restricted access ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
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xv Acknowledgments The Ongoing Burden of Southern History: Politics and Identity in the TwentyFirst -Century South is dedicated to the organizations that made its publication possible. Without the support of the Diane D. Blair Center of Southern Politics and Society at the University of Arkansas—specifically, Jim Blair—and the Winthrop Rockefeller Institute, we would remain academics with good ideas and few resources. Their financial and moral support allows us to reach beyond disciplinary boundaries and ask questions about the legacy of the leaders who shaped our past and continue to affect our present. The Diane D. Blair Center of Southern Politics and Society was established by an act of the U.S. Congress in the fall of 2001; only a few research centers in the country have been so established. It was named in honor of Diane Divers Blair, who taught in the Political Science Department at the University of Arkansas for thirty years. Diane, a daughter of William Keeveny Divers and Minna Rosenbaum Divers, was born October 25, 1938, and raised in Washington, D.C. She graduated cum laude from Cornell University in 1959 and was a member of Phi Beta Kappa. She worked in Washington, D.C., in the early sixties as a contract analyst for the President ’s Committee on Government Contracts, as a research assistant for a Senate Special Committee on Unemployment, and as legislative secretary and speechwriter for Senator Stuart Symington of Missouri. Relocating to Arkansas in 1963, Diane immersed herself in numerous civic and political organizations, as well as the modern literature club, and she received her master’s degree in political science from the University of Arkansas in 1967. She is listed in “America’s Who’s Who in Government and Politics” and in the “World’s Who’s Who of Women.” She debated Phyllis Schlafly before the Arkansas Legislature on Valentine’s Day 1975 on behalf of the Equal Rights Amendment, and in 1992 Diane was selected to cast one of Arkansas’s ballots in the Electoral College. xvi Acknowledgments Diane established a record of accomplishment simply unparalleled in its combination of serious scholarship and practical involvement in both local and national politics. In May 2000, Diane was awarded an honorary Doctor of Laws by the University of Arkansas; she was twice nominated to the board of the U.S. Corporation for Public Broadcasting by President William Jefferson Clinton and twice confirmed to that position by the U.S. Senate. She served two terms as chair of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting , and the corporation has now named its governing board after her. She was appointed by Governor Dale Bumpers in 1971 to serve as chair of the Governor’s Commission on the Status of Women; by Governor David Pryor in 1976 to chair a Commission on Public Employee Rights; and by Governor Bill Clinton in 1980 to serve as a member of the Arkansas Educational Television Network commission, which she served until 1993—and chaired from 1986 to 1987. In 1992 she took leave from the University of Arkansas to serve as senior researcher for the Clinton presidential campaign and again took leave in 1996, when she served as senior adviser to the Clinton-Gore reelection campaign. In addition to establishing a breakneck record of service to her state and nation, Diane was an accomplished scholar, teacher, and mentor. She published two books, the first an analysis of Senator Hattie Caraway, the first woman elected to the U.S. Senate, entitled Silent Hattie Speaks: The Personal Journal of Senator Hattie Caraway. Her second book, Arkansas Politics and Government: Do the People Rule? continues to be a primary text used in Arkansas high schools, colleges, and universities. In addition, she authored fourteen chapters in edited volumes and authored or coauthored more than ninety articles in various publications. Her research interests focused primarily on women and politics, state and local government, and the politics of Arkansas and the South. In 1993 she served as a guest scholar at the Brookings Institution in Washington, D.C. Diane was three times named the “Outstanding Faculty Member” by University of Arkansas students, and in 1982 she was one of the first recipients of the Fulbright College Master Teacher Award. In 1995 she was honored by the Midwest Political Science Association for the body of her work in political science. The Southern Political Science Association now has a competitive annual award called the Diane D. Blair award, which is given to a scholar, chosen by committee...


Subject Headings

  • Southern States -- Politics and government -- 21st century.
  • Southern States -- Social conditions -- 21st century.
  • Southern States -- Civilization -- 21st century.
  • Woodward, C. Vann (Comer Vann), 1908-1999. Burden of southern history.
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