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“How East Tennessee Transformed the World: Following the TVA’s Global Career During the Cold War”

Too often, East Tennessee is imagined as insular, isolated, and disconnected from the larger world. In fact, this is far from true. In this lecture, historian Tore Olsson demonstrates how one regional institution – the Tennessee Valley Authority – came to serve as a model for hydraulic social transformation in places as far-flung as Mexico, India, and Afghanistan. After World War II, countless governments in the so-called “Third World” looked to the Tennessee Valley for lessons in rationalizing water, land use, and human society. East Tennessee, it turns out, has a global footprint far greater than you may expect!

Time/place: Tuesday, October 24, 6 pm, East Tennessee History Center, 601 South Gay Street, Knoxville TN

Speaker bio: Tore Olsson is an assistant professor of history at the University of Tennessee, where the teaches and researches modern US history in international perspective. His first book, Agrarian Crossings: Reformers and the Remaking of the US and Mexican Countryside, was published by Princeton University Press in 2017.

This lecture is co-sponsored by the UT History Department and the East Tennessee Historical Society.

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