Special Issue "Gender’s Influence on Genealogy Narratives"

A special issue of Genealogy (ISSN 2313-5778).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (1 May 2017)

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Dr. Amy M. Smith

Associate Professor, Communications Department, Salem State University
Website | E-Mail
Interests: family history; family narrative; feminist theory; genealogy studies; communication; narrative; identity; autoethnography; ethnography

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

This Special Issue of Genealogy invites essays on the topic, “Gender’s Influence on Genealogy Narratives”. The goal of the issue is to examine the impact of gender on family, immigration, or genealogy narratives. Highlighting the contributions that these narratives can make to an interdisciplinary array of research interests is at the forefront of this issue. Contributors are asked to explain how and/or where gender and genealogy intersect and the impact it might have upon the genealogy narrative families create and sustain about their experiences. The editorial team hopes to provide a wide spectrum with regard to discipline or sub-discipline and invites contributions that strengthen and broaden the framework for genealogy studies. Some potential areas of focus may include the following, although are submissions are welcome and encouraged:

Impact of gender roles/norms throughout historical documentation.

Role of gender within family narratives as they intersect with genealogy collection and preservation.

Reclamation of women’s stories via theoretical/epistemological framework of Genealogy Studies.

Family/gender roles privileged or marginalized within immigration narratives.

The impact of gender upon genealogical narratives and the social construction of family lineage.

Exploring the intersections of gender, genealogy, and narrative theory (including, but not limited to: the disciplines of anthropology, literary studies, media studies, communication, psychology, and sociology).

Dr. Amy M. Smith
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Genealogy is an international peer-reviewed open access quarterly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • gender
  • feminist theory
  • genealogy studies
  • communication
  • narrative
  • identity
  • family story
  • immigration

Published Papers (6 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle Gender as a Determining Factor in the Family History and Development of the McGee Family
Received: 31 May 2017 / Revised: 5 July 2017 / Accepted: 7 July 2017 / Published: 24 July 2017
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Abstract
This paper examines how gender shaped the family of Nancy Hood McGee, who belonged to one of Georgia’s antebellum planter families, across four generations. The McGee family had joined the planter class late in the antebellum period, and after the American Civil War
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This paper examines how gender shaped the family of Nancy Hood McGee, who belonged to one of Georgia’s antebellum planter families, across four generations. The McGee family had joined the planter class late in the antebellum period, and after the American Civil War they continued to be prosperous farmers in the former cotton belt. The essay proposes that women in the McGee family played a determining role in the family’s economic success during this time period. As such, it relates to scholarship on women in the nineteenth-century American South as well as to the role of women within southern families. It also serves as a case study on the importance of the female legacy in family history and genealogy that should be studied as a model in similar instances. McGee women became active in agriculture, business, and education. Research focused on records that revealed information about the family’s social and economic development. No diaries and only a few family letters were located, but information transmitted through oral history proved important. Other sources included census records, legal documents such as wills and deeds, newspaper articles, and church records. The research suggested that women in the McGee family played an active role in shaping the family’s development across nearly two centuries. This contrasts with popular images of southern women as weak and delicate, although it corresponds with recent research that has highlighted the accomplishments of nineteenth-century women in the American South. Of particular significance is that women in the McGee family kept a record of accomplishment and achievement across several generations of changing circumstances. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Gender’s Influence on Genealogy Narratives)
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Open AccessArticle Keeping the Culture of Death Alive: One Hundred Years of a Japanese American’s Family Mortuary
Received: 4 May 2017 / Revised: 23 June 2017 / Accepted: 26 June 2017 / Published: 29 June 2017
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Abstract
This article explores a Japanese American family mortuary and its 100 years of service and involvement with the Japanese American community in Los Angeles through five generations of the Fukui family. The Fukui Mortuary is Los Angeles’s oldest Japanese American family mortuary and
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This article explores a Japanese American family mortuary and its 100 years of service and involvement with the Japanese American community in Los Angeles through five generations of the Fukui family. The Fukui Mortuary is Los Angeles’s oldest Japanese American family mortuary and has provided the Japanese American community with services relating to death and bereavement for nearly a century. Through autoethnographic and ethnographic methods, this research examines a site within the Japanese American community after World War II where death, ethnicity, nationality and gender intersect. Studying the cultural and traditional options people have to negotiate, participate and engage in one’s cultural practices during a time of death allows us to investigate the structures of power, economics and institutions that are embedded in our histories and societies. Through the mobilization and service of cultural traditions related to death, the Fukui mortuary contributes to the story of Japanese Americans and how ideas of death, religion, gender and ethnicity are situated in community involvement and the genealogy of the Fukui family. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Gender’s Influence on Genealogy Narratives)
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Open AccessArticle The Genealogy of Roberts Settlement Explored Through Black Feminist Autoethnography
Received: 2 May 2017 / Revised: 11 June 2017 / Accepted: 15 June 2017 / Published: 22 June 2017
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Abstract
This autoethnographic research examines the legacy of Roberts Settlement, a mixed-race settlement in Indiana that became one of the largest rural communities of free people of color in the state before the 20th century. As a Roberts descendent, the researcher uses Black feminist
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This autoethnographic research examines the legacy of Roberts Settlement, a mixed-race settlement in Indiana that became one of the largest rural communities of free people of color in the state before the 20th century. As a Roberts descendent, the researcher uses Black feminist thought and poetic inquiry to investigate the gendered and racial family narratives that constitute the genealogy of the Roberts family. Utilizing present and past narratives to analyze the lived experience of being a black hoosier woman, the researcher finds that dominant male narratives marginalize the stories of Black women in the Roberts family genealogy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Gender’s Influence on Genealogy Narratives)
Open AccessArticle Anamnesis: Intertextual Memory and Alzheimer’s Disease
Received: 2 May 2017 / Revised: 13 June 2017 / Accepted: 14 June 2017 / Published: 16 June 2017
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Abstract
This essay develops and performs a theory of intertextual memory; and uses this concept as a heuristic to re-conceptualize identity for people suffering from Alzheimer’s disease. This work emerges from three key sites of personal and cultural inquiry. At the center is my
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This essay develops and performs a theory of intertextual memory; and uses this concept as a heuristic to re-conceptualize identity for people suffering from Alzheimer’s disease. This work emerges from three key sites of personal and cultural inquiry. At the center is my engagement with my matrilineal ancestry; which is haunted by the specter of memory loss: my mother’s mother (my Nanny) was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease (AD) in 2002 when she was 73; and my mother was diagnosed with Early Onset Alzheimer’s in 2012 when she was 51. By telling stories about my mother and my Nanny which rely on intertextual memory; I hope to broaden the poetic space of remembering and to challenge the Western humanistic conception of identity as inherent; atomistic; and highly dependent on successful memory performance. Secondly; I examine the rhetorical discourse circulating Alzheimer’s disease in the popular cultural imaginary; where illness metaphors deleteriously situate the forgetting body within narratives of failure; fear; and loss of personhood. I argue that an intertextual approach to memory performance can help us reimagine Alzheimer’s patients outside the stigmatizing parameters of these broader cultural stories. Lastly; I draw on empirical research related to communication failure in AD in order to consider the ways caregivers might approach Alzheimer’s patients with the kind of linguistic and interactional flexibility subtended by an intertextual approach to identity; in order to forge improved relationships both with Alzheimer’s patients and with the disease itself. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Gender’s Influence on Genealogy Narratives)
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Open AccessArticle Investigating Gender on the Frontier: 19th-Century Crooked Creek Cemetery
Received: 24 April 2017 / Revised: 7 June 2017 / Accepted: 9 June 2017 / Published: 15 June 2017
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Abstract
This qualitative case study highlights the work of university students who participated in a service learning component of a sociological research methods course. Their complete documentation and analysis of all 477 gravestones in the abandoned Crooked Creek cemetery provide a cultural snapshot of
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This qualitative case study highlights the work of university students who participated in a service learning component of a sociological research methods course. Their complete documentation and analysis of all 477 gravestones in the abandoned Crooked Creek cemetery provide a cultural snapshot of life in the Western frontier in the 1800s. In contrast to existing literature on the analysis of gender indicators on gravestones, this study finds significant evidence that gender was related to social identity and that indicators of master status exist for both women and men. Furthermore, the significant role of women in the development of a pioneer village is represented in the epitaphs chosen by a woman’s surviving family members. The findings attempt to dispel assumptions that the use of terms such as “wife” and “mother” on gravestones of the period exemplified the lower status of women in relation to men. Implications for genealogical research include rethinking the way researchers consider the role of wife and mother to write more historically situated narratives of family and community histories. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Gender’s Influence on Genealogy Narratives)
Open AccessArticle That was the Worst Day of My Life: Recrafting Family through Memory, Race, and Rejection in Post-WWII Germany
Received: 24 April 2017 / Revised: 29 May 2017 / Accepted: 1 June 2017 / Published: 9 June 2017
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Abstract
This research project is a historical and narrative study of cross-racial, international couplings between Black U.S. servicemen and White German women during WWII and the children who resulted from these relationships. Once pejoratively referred to as “Brown Babies,” or worse, often both the
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This research project is a historical and narrative study of cross-racial, international couplings between Black U.S. servicemen and White German women during WWII and the children who resulted from these relationships. Once pejoratively referred to as “Brown Babies,” or worse, often both the U.S. and German governments collaborated in the destruction of families through forbidding interracial coupling and encouraging White German women to either abort mixed raced babies or give up these children for international adoption in an effort to keep Germany White. Using my own family’s history to show that mixed race children are the dross that needed to be removed from Germany, I employed memory and post-memory as my theoretical framing, coupled with authoethnography, family interviews, and narratives as my methodological tools. Of primary concern is what place Black German children and their mothers were allowed to occupy in the German national imagination and to what extent their individual rights and interests were superseded by the assertion of state interest in managing the German citizenry. Ultimately, it is argued that different tactics of constituting Germanness as homogenously White comes at the expense German women’s rights over their bodies and the exclusion of mixed race Black German children. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Gender’s Influence on Genealogy Narratives)
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