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Charlie Fanning

Charlie had quite the adventure at the P.K. Yonge, arriving about five days before the COVID pandemic forced the university to shut down and remove all personal from campus!  Fortunately, by agreement with the Provost, Charlie was able to remain in a social-distance environment to complete his research and had a safe trip and safe return home!  

About the 2020 Recipient

The 2020 Recipient of the Chase Family Award for Visiting Graduate Scholars - Eugene Charles Fanning

Charlie Fanning is a PhD candidate in history at the University of Maryland, College Park, where he is writing a dissertation preliminarily titled “Empire of the Everglades: Agribusiness, the Land, and Labor in 20th Century South Florida.” 

"In my dissertation project, I seek to unravel the intertwined local and global processes that transformed rural South Florida from a scarcely-inhabited “river of grass” into an expansive agro-industrial complex and hemispheric hub for commodity production and labor migration. . .   I accessed and examined material related to growers’ associations, agribusiness, agricultural labor, and environmental politics from various collections during my week of research. The Chase family, Ernest Graham, Braga Brothers, and Nathan Mayo collections, in particular, have been important to understanding the social and political world of Florida’s major growers, their political positions and associations, and how they operated within and contributed to an environment of increasing agricultural consolidation." 

Rachel Kirby

Rachel Kirby, the 2019 recipient of the Chase Family Travel Grant, visited the P.K. Yonge Library of Florida History in June 2019 where she delved into imagery of the orange in our extensive collection of advertising and promotional brochures, in materials from the Chase Family Papers, and in the postcard collection.  We look forward to seeing her dissertation chapter on Florida citrus culture and the iconography of the orange.

About the 2019 Recipient

The 2019 Recipient of the Chase Family Award for Visiting Graduate Scholars - Rachel C. Kirby

Rachel C. Kirby did her work at the Yonge Library as a doctoral candidate in the American & New England Studies Program at Boston University. Her research examines agricultural imagery that contributed to the creation, circulation, and celebration of identity and place in the American South.   She is tracing pop culture imagery of cotton and rice, and of advertising icons like Mr. Peanut, Bull Durham, and the Florida Orange Bird. 

"The orange – in its organic and represented forms – functions as a souvenir for Florida and a proxy for the various promotional associations that the state has embraced over time.  My first section focuses on the time period roughly covering the Great Depression through 1950, as oranges became a major export, and tourists and seasonal residents became an import, so to speak. The second time period is most clearly defined by the lifespan of the Orange Bird (1971-1987). This animated bird was the culmination of the commercialization of orange production and corporate tourism, as he was created from a partnership between Walt Disney Studios and the Florida Citrus Commission."

See Rachel's blog on Baseball Spring Training and Citrus!

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