Guide to the John Gaventa Papers, 1882-1996, undated

Summary Information

Title: John Gaventa Papers, 1882-1996, undated
Collection: AC.630
Extent: 11.0 linear feet (16 boxes, 2 oversize folders, 1 audiocassette box)
Abstract:

The John Gaventa Papers consist of the papers and research materials of political sociologist John Gaventa. This includes research materials concerning coal mining in Appalachia and Wales and the economic and environmental effects of mining on these regions as well as materials concerning the American Association Limited and Sir Denys Lowson. It also includes correspondence, journals and calendars, publications and papers written by Gaventa, interview transcripts, photographs, and audiocassette tapes and a VHS tape of speeches given by Gaventa.

Creator: Gaventa, John, 1949-

Biographical/Historical Note

John Gaventa was born in Tennessee in 1949. He obtained a BA in Politics, Sociology, and Philosophy from Vanderbilt University and his doctorate in Politics from Oxford University (Nuffield College). Much of Gaventa’s writing and research concern international development, grassroots organizations, social movements, and poverty and landownership in the Appalachian region. He also conducted extensive research on the American Association Limited, a British landowning company that owned 50,000 acres of land in Tennessee and Kentucky, which was suspected of not paying property taxes on the land it owned. His work has been widely published in academic and popular journals. He published his book Power and Powerlessness in an Appalachian Valley in 1980 and has since edited several other books.

In 1975 and 1976, Gaventa worked with sociologist Helen Lewis and filmmaker Richard Greatrex as part of the South Wales Mining Community study funded by a grant by the National Science Foundation and the Miners Library in Swansea, Wales to compare mining communities in South Wales with similar communities in Appalachia. They conducted the study in Upper Brynamman and Rhosamman in the Amman Valley, Wales.

From 1976 until 1993, Gaventa worked as the director and co-director of the Highlander Research and Education Center in Tennessee. Founded in 1932, the Highlander is an organization that supports grassroots organizations that fight for justice and equality. The center holds workshops on social justice and other related topics. After working at the Highlander Center, he worked as co-founder and co-director of the Community Partnership Center and professor of Sociology at University of Tennessee, Knoxville; professor and research fellow in the Power, Participation, and Social Change team, Institute of Development Studies at the University of Sussex; and as director of the Coady International Institute and VP of International Development. Gaventa also participated in conducting and writing several studies and reports regarding the Appalachian region, the American Association Limited, and the effects of coal mining on the Appalachian region.

The American Association Limited is a British land-owning company that during the 1970’s owned 17% of the land in Claiborne County, Tennessee. Alexander Arthur, a Scottish engineer, founded the company in 1886 and began mining coal and coke and converting ore into pig iron. He also founded the town of Middlesboro in the Yellow Creek valley. After the Panic of 1893, the company suffered financial difficulties. Sir Denys Lowson bought the company in the 1960’s. Lowson served as Lord Mayor of London before he bought the American Association and ran a large financial empire. During the 1970’s, the company was suspected of tax evasion and aU.S. Senate subcommittee ordered an investigation of the company. Lowson’s financial empire was also scrutinized resulting several court cases and parliamentary inquiries.

Scope and Contents

The John Gaventa Papers include materials generated and collected during Gaventa's career as a political sociologist, educator, author, and civil society practitioner. This includes correspondence, day planners and calendars, journals, materials from conferences, and papers, reports and studies written by Gaventa. The collection also includes resesearch notes, newspaper clippings, photographs, interview transcripts, and maps concerning coal mining in Appalachia and Wales and the economic and environmental effects of coal mining on these regions as well as materials concerning the American Association Limited and Sir Denys Lowson. There are also several posters advertising talks and film showings hosted by John Gaventa and cassette tapes and a VHS tape of speeches given by Gaventa.

Arrangement

The collection is arranged into five series. Materials are arranged alphabetically and then chronologically within series and subseries. Series I: Subseries B is arranged chronologically.

Series I: Personal Papers • Subseries A: Awards • Subseries B: Calendars and Journals • Subseries C: Clippings and Publications • Subseries D: Correspondence • Subseries E: Interview Transcripts • Subseries F: Professional Activities • Subseries G: Research

Series II: His Works • Subseries A: Papers • Subseries B: Publications • Subseries C: Reports and Studies • Subseries D: Speeches and Lectures

Series III: Coal and Union History

Series IV: American Association and Lowson • Subseries A: American Association • Subseries B: Sir Denys Lowson

Series V: Audiovisual Material

Administrative Information

Access Restrictions

This collection is open for use in the Dougherty Reading Room. An appointment for research is recommended. The Dougherty Reading Room is located on the 4th floor of Belk Library in Special Collections. Series I, Subseries B: Calendars and Journals as well as the file Correspondence - General - Personal, 1973-1974 in Subseries D: Correspondence are restricted until death of the donor. Exceptions to these restrictions will be made only if written permission granting access is obtained from the donor.

Acquisitions Information

This collection was donated by John Gaventa in May and September of 2006 and was accessioned as AC.2006.024.

Processing Information

This collection was processed by Anne Walker and Rachel Lovelace-Portal in 2013. The finding aid was written by Rachel Lovelace-Portal in 2013. This collection was processed as part of a grant from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission. The grant funded extensive processing of the backlog within the W. L. Eury Appalachian Collection between 2012 and 2014.

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], AC.630: John Gaventa Papers, W.L. Eury Appalachian Collection, Appalachian State University, Boone, North Carolina, USA.

Container List

Series I: Personal Papers, 1930-1996, undated

Series Description: This series contains materials relating to Gaventa’s research and professional life. These materials include correspondence and clipping regarding awards given to Gaventa, calendars, day planners, journals, newspaper clippings and publications citing Gaventa and his writings, reviews of his books, and correspondence. There are also materials relating to conferences he attended as well as materials from the Highlander Research and Education Center and his teaching career at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. The research materials included in this series are notes taken by Gaventa, interview transcripts, newspaper clippings, and maps concerning Claiborne County, Kentucky; Clairfield, the Welsh video project, and Gaventa’s thesis.

Subseries A: Awards, 1980-1985

Book Awards, 1980-1981 Box 1, Folder 1
MacArthur Fellowship, 1981-1982 Box 1, Folder 2
MacArthur Foundation, 1985 Box 1, Folder 3

Subseries B: Calendars and Journals [Restricted], 1972-1991

Journal, 1972-1974 Box 1, Folder 4
Loose Materials from Journal, 1972-1974 Box 1, Folder 5
Monthly Minder, 1973 Box 1, Folder 6
Loose Materials from Monthly Minder, 1973 Box 1, Folder 7
Big Red Diary, 1974 Box 1, Folder 8
Academic Year Monthly Minder, 1974-1975 Box 1, Folder 9
Diary, 1976 Box 1, Folder 10
Diary, 1977 Box 1, Folder 11
Diary, 1978 Box 1, Folder 12
Miners and Millworkers Calendar, 1979 Box 1, Folder 13
Weekly Business Planner, 1980 Box 1, Folder 14
Calendar, 1981 Box 1, Folder 15
Day Planner, 1982 Box 2, Folder 1
Appointment Book, 1983 Box 2, Folder 2
Planner 1986 Box 2, Folder 3
Planner, 1988 Box 2, Folder 4
Planner, 1989 Box 2, Folder 5
Monthly Administrator, 1990 Box 2, Folder 6
Appointment Book, 1991 Box 2, Folder 7

Subseries C: Clippings and Publications, 1980-1993

An Even Chance, 1989 Box 2, Folder 8
Highlander Reports, 1980-1985 Box 2, Folder 9
Highlander Reports, 1986-1992 Box 3, Folders 1-2
Journal Series: Laid Off and Pushed Aside, 1988 Box 3, Folder 3
Newspaper Clippings, 1982-1990 Box 3, Folder 4
“Now and Then,” 1990 Box 3, Folder 5
Power and Powerlessness, Citations, 1981-1990 Box 3, Folder 6
Reviews: Communities in Economic Crisis, 1989 Box 3, Folder 7
Reviews: Power and Powerlessness, 1980-1982 Box 3, Folder 8
Reviews: We Make the Road by Walking, 1990-1993 Box 3, Folder 9

Subseries D: Correspondence, 1973-1988

AAACE General Session – Salt Lake City, 1990 Box 3, Folder 10
Belkin –Highlander –TN, 1987 Box 3, Folder 11
Correspondence – General – Personal [Restricted], 1973-1974 Box 3, Folder 12
Correspondence – Jerry Williamson, 1988 Box 3, Folder 13
Correspondence - UTK 1991-1994 Box 3, Folder 14
Film: Note, Correspondence, etc., 1975-1977 Box 4, Folder 1
Letters from Mtn Folks, 1973-1974 Box 4, Folder 2
Subcommittee on Labor-Management Relations, November 24, 1987 Box 4, Folder 3
Video Contacts, 1974 Box 4, Folder 4

Subseries E: Interview Transcripts, 1974-1996, undated

Anderson Interview, undated Box 4, Folder 5
Foster Interview, 1996 Box 4, Folder 6
Roth Interview, 1996 Box 4, Folder 7
Welsh Transcripts, 1974 Box 4, Folder 8
Welsh Transcripts – Photographs, 1974-1976, undated Box 4, Folder 9

Subseries F: Professional Activities, 1972-1996

AERL Panel – U of TN, Knoxville, TN, May 20, 1994 Box 4, Folder 10
ASA Notes, August 1994 Box 4, Folder 11
Belkin Conference, 1974-1975 Box 4, Folder 12
CBCC Seminar – Tokyo, Japan, June 12, 1991 Box 4, Folder 13
Community Partnership Center – UTK, 1994 Box 4, Folder 14
Dept. of Education –Remarks Tenn., April 20, 1994 Box 4, Folder 15
Highlander Documents, 1982-1991 Box 4, Folder 16
Meeting Notes, Process and Development, 1972, undated Box 4, Folder 17
Miami – Highlander – TWHC, 1996 Box 4, Folder 18
NAAPAE Meeting, October 1995 Box 4, Folder 19
OUP Book, 1978 Box 4, Folder 20
Penn/Cornell Conference – U of PA, Feb. 6-7, 1992 Box 4, Folder 21
Posters, undated Drawer E2-6, Folder 1
Promotion Tearsheet, 1994 Box 5, Folder 1
Rural Soc – Memphis, TN, September 20, 1993 Box 5, Folder 2
SSSP Paper – Los Angeles, CA, August 4, 1994 Box 5, Folder 3
Teaching Sociology Seminar – TN, November, 1994 Box 5, Folder 4
“Throw-Away Workers,” September, 1992 Box 5, Folder 5

Subseries G: Research, 1930-1988, undated

ALCOA, 1980-1983 Box 5, Folder 6
Beer Supermarket Inc., 1965-1969 Box 5, Folder 7
Canadian Connection, 1971-1973 Box 5, Folder 8
Claiborne Co. Voting Kentucky, 1930-1972 Box 5, Folder 9
Clairfield Photos, 1972 Box 5, Folder 10
Clear Fork Valley, 1993-1994 Box 5, Folder 11
General Thesis – Outline, ect., 1973-1976 Box 5, Folder 12
“Linking Environmental & Economic Development” Notes, 1992 Box 5, Folder 13
Maps, undated Box 5, Folder 14
Nicaragua, undated Box 5, Folder 15
NYT/KNS/MDN, 1930 Box 5, Folder 16
Inter-American Foundation – Video/Dev., October 12, 1988 Box 5, Folder 17
Photographs from Lindy, undated Box 5, Folder 18
Removing the Grassroots, 1975-1982 Box 6, Folder 1
Voting, undated Box 6, Folder 2
Welsh Video Project, 1974-1975 Box 6, Folder 3

Series II: Writings, 1971-1996

Series Description: This series is divided into four subseries: Papers; Publications; Reports and Studies; and Speeches and Lectures. Materials in this series include papers, book reviews, speeches, lectures, reports, and studies written by Gaventa. The publications in this series contain articles and reviews written by Gaventa. The works discuss coal mining, land ownership, and economic problems in Appalachia as well as papers and studies about teaching and education theory.

Subseries A: Papers, 1972-1995

Altered States: Rural Task Force, 1991-1992 Box 6, Folder 4
Appalachia & the Third Face of Power-Gaventa and Couto, 1976 Box 6, Folder 5
Coal Property and Theft, 1973 Box 6, Folder 6
Coal Tax in Central Appalachia, 1973 Box 6, Folder 7
Colonialism and Power – Balliol Seminar Paper, 1973 Box 6, Folder 8
International Community – Video Project, 1972 Box 6, Folder 9
Participatory Development – Hawaii, 1989 Box 6, Folder 10
Pathways from Poverty, 1995 Box 6, Folder 11
PEGS, Copies, 1995 Box 6, Folder 12
Plant Closing Article Draft, 1989 Box 6, Folder 13
Power and Powerlessness, Thesis, October 1, 1975 Box 7, Item 1
Responding to the New Politics of Poverty, 1987 Box 7, Folder 2
“The Deindustrialization of Appalachia,” October 30, 1987 Box 7, Folder 3
“The Political Economy of Land Tenure,” Draft, 1995 Box 7, Folder 4
The Pol Sol of Colonized Communities: Power in the Appalachian Valley, 1974 Box 7, Folder 5
“The South Today: Rural Poverty and Social Capital” Draft, November 30, 1995 Box 7, Folder 6
Tijuana paper and Materials – Mexico, April 14, 1988 Box 7, Folder 7

Subseries B: Publications, 1971-1996

Appalachian Economics for Tomorrow, CORA undated Box 7, Folder 8
Appalachian Studies for Social Change, 1977 Box 7, Folder 9
Blacks in Appalachia: Review, 1985 Box 7, Folder 10
Book Reviews, 1992 Box 7, Folder 11
Changing Economics in the South: Preparing Our Youth, April 24, 1987 Box 7, Folder 12
Citizen’s Research (Land), 1980 Box 7, Folder 13
Communities in Economic Crisis, 1990 Box 7, Folder 14
Contemporary Sociology Review Foxfire, 1989 Box 8, Folder 1
Convergencia – PR, 1989 Box 8, Folder 2
Dollars and Sense: “Disposable Communities,” 1992 Box 8, Folder 3
“Education Reform and Social Change,” 1971 Box 8, Folder 4
Fisher Review, Journal of American History, February, 1994 Box 8, Folder 5
Forum, 1990 Box 8, Folder 6
Forum for Applied Research and Public Policy, Fall 1989 Box 8, Folder 7
Gaventa: Toward “People Centered” Economy (CORA), 1987 Box 8, Folder 8
“Inequality and the Appalachian Studies Industry,” 1978 Box 8, Folder 9
Knowledge Democracy, 1991 Box 8, Folder 10
“Land Ownership” in Cultural Adaption, 1984 Box 8, Folder 11
“Land Reform,” 1984 Box 8, Folder 12
Makt-Bergreppet, undated Box 8, Folder 13
Maquiladoras (Spanish), 1989 Box 8, Folder 14
Overcoming Constraints to Ill Health in Appalachia, 1993 Box 8, Folder 15
Participatory Ed and Development, Gaventa and Lewis, 1991 Box 8, Folder 16
“Poverty of Abundance,” 1987 Box 8, Folder 17
Rural Adult Education Article, 1989 Box 8, Folder 18
Social Audit, 1974 Box 8, Folder 19
Social Policy, 1991 Box 8, Folder 20
Sociological Imagination, Vol. 33 No. 2, 1996 Box 9, Folder 1
The Changing American Countryside, November 1995 Box 9, Folder 2
The Deindustrialization of the Tennessee Economy, November 1, 1987 Box 9, Folder 3
TVA at Grassroots –Talk in Nashville, undated Box 9, Folder 4
TVA Review, 1982 Box 9, Folder 5

Subseries C: Reports and Studies, 1973-1989

Coal Productivity and Community, February 1978 Box 9, Folder 6
Commission on Religion in Appalachia, 1986 Box 9, Folder 7
Deindustrialization of Tennessee, 1987 Box 9, Folder 8
Dismantling the Barriers, 1993 Box 9, Folder 9
“Displaced Workers” Case Study, 1988-1989 Box 9, Folder 10
Land Ownership Study, 1978-1979 Box 10, Folder 1
Land Ownership Study – Computer Guide, 1981 Box 10, Folder 2
Mountains to the Maquiladoras, undated Box 10, Folder 3
Muskie Report, 1973 Box 10, Folder 4
Report of Participatory Research in India, 1984 Box 10, Folder 5
Reports, Taxes, 1971-1973 Box 10, Folder 6

Subseries D: Speeches and Lectures, 1980-1994

Community Leadership & the Reform of Education, 1994 Box 10, Folder 7
Fals-Borda Speech – Atlanta, GA, Summer 1995 Box 10, Folder 8
“From Migration to Multinationals,” John’s Speech, 1980 Box 10, Folder 9
IDS – PR Knoxville, TN, Talk, June, 1989 Box 10, Folder 10
Keynote to SOCM, 1993 Box 10, Folder 11
Lecture at Temple University – Philadelphia, PA, March 22, 1988 Box 11, Folder 1
Maryville College, Maryville, TN, October 14, 1993 Box 11, Folder 2
Michigan Tech, MI, May 12-13, 1994 Box 11, Folder 3
Middleboro Talk, September 1985 Box 11, Folder 4
MIT – Boston, MA, November 16, 1992 Box 11, Folder 5
NGO – Wisconsin, March 17, 1990 Box 11, Folder 6
Pathways – Boston, MA, September 25, 1995 Box 11, Folder 7
Pathways from Poverty Speech, 1993 Box 11, Folder 8
Participatory Research Talk, August 14, 1990 Box 11, Folder 9
Plenary Speech, Interaction Conference – Annapolis, MD, May 1, 1991 Box 11, Folder 10
Sociology 100, 1987 Box 11, Folder 11
SOCM Talk –Lake City, TN, 1992 Box 11, Folder 12
SSRI – Knoxville, TN, January 8, 1990 Box 11, Folder 13
Talk and Speech Notes, 1981-1982 Box 11, Folder 14

Series III: Coal and Union History, 1882-1975, undated

Series Description: This series contains information Gaventa used in his writing and film project about coal mining in Appalachia and Wales as well as the environmental effects of mining, workers’ wages, and taxes on coal. The materials in this series include research notes, newspaper clippings, photocopies of book chapters pertaining to coal mining, correspondence relating to Gaventa’s research, and materials regarding the United Mine Workers of America.

Buffalo Case, 1972-1973 Box 11, Folder 15
Coal Camp Era Research Notes, undated Box 11, Folder 16
Contemp. Union – Published and Literature, undated Box 11, Folder 17
Department of Labor Reports – re: Claiborne, (9842-19057), 1882-1910 Box 12, Folder 1
Environmental/Water, 1972-1974 Box 12, Folder 2
Gilchrist and White Oak Cases, undated Box 12, Folder 3
Historical – Union Records and 1934 Rebellion, 1933-1934 Box 12, Folder 4
Historical 31-41, 1973 Box 12, Folder 5
Model Valley, 1973-1975 Box 12, Folder 6
Peoples Appalachia, Vol. 2 No.3, Winter 1972-1973 Box 12, Folder 7
Poli. Controls, 1973 Box 12, Folder 8
SLU Study, 1975 Box 12, Folder 9
Stripping in Germany, 1973 Box 12, Folder 10
The Development of Underdevelopment, undated Box 12, Folder 11
UMWA – Clippings etc., 1969-1975 Box 12, Folder 12
UMWA – D-IG 1922, Internal Dissent, 1922 Box 12, Folder 13
UMWA Early Period, 1890-1900 Box 12, Folder 14
UMWA Records/Notes, 1912-1934 Box 12, Folder 15
UMWA Yablowski, 1970-1973 Box 12, Folder 16
Union 50’s and Anti-Trust Cases, undated Box 12, Folder 17
Union – 60’s: UMWA Files, 1954-1974 Box 13, Folder 1
Union – Yablowski Murder – Notes Transcripts, 1968-1973 Box 13, Folder 2
United Mine Workers Journal, Dec. 1972- Dec. 1974 Box 13, Folder 3

Series IV: American Association and Lowson, 1962-1979

Series Description: This series contains materials relating to the American Association, a British landowning company, and Sir Denys Lowson, owner of the company. This series contains newspaper clippings about the American Association and the cases against the company and Lowson, research notes written by Gaventa, correspondence to and from the American Association and Lowson, and a map of the company’s properties. Much of the materials pertain to investigations of the American Association and Lowson that took place in the 1970’s.

Subseries A: American Association, 1948-1981, undated

AA and Film, 1974 Box 13, Folder 4
AA Correspondence, 1973-1974 Box 13, Folder 5
AA Overview with Maps, 1971-1972 Box 13, Folder 6
AA Ownership, 1971-1973 Box 13, Folder 7
AA Press Clippings, 1973-1975 Box 13, Folder 8
AA Press Clippings – Photographs, undated Box 13, Folder 9
AA Recreation Plans, 1972 Box 13, Folder 10
AA Taxation, 1972-1974 Box 13, Folder 11
American Association Material, 1974-1978 Box 13, Folder 12
Anti-Trust Memo, 1972-1973 Box 13, Folder 13
Book, 1981 Box 13, Folder 14
Book – Photograph, undated Box 14, Folder 1
Clairfield, 1974-1979 Box 14, Folder 2
Davis Creek Rd. Case, 1972-1973 Box 14, Folder 3
Estates House and Trust and AA Post Lowson, 1975-1976 Box 14, Folder 4
Funk Clippings and Notes, 1948-1950 Box 14, Folder 5
Housing and Land, 1972-1973 Box 14, Folder 6
Huber, 1962 Box 14, Folder 7
Lewis Lowe’s Case, 1972-1976 Box 14, Folder 8
Map of American Association, undated Drawer E2-6, Folder 2
Method: Meetings, Schedules Etc.Misc., 1972-1974 Box 14, Folder 9
Middlesboro 1890’s – AA Founding: Newspaper, 1965-1967 Box 14, Folder 10
Middlesboro 1890’s – Historical Early Period, 1973 Box 14, Folder 11
Middlesboro 1890’s – Land Acquisition and Financial History undated Box 14, Folder 12
Middlesboro 1890’s – Notes, 1973 Box 15, Folder 1
Timber, 1966-1971 Box 15, Folder 2

Subseries B: Sir Denys Lowson, 1970-1975

First Re-Investment Trust Limited, 1974 Box 15, Folder 3
Investors Chronicle, January 28, 1972 Box 15, Folder 4
Iowa Land, 1972 Box 15, Folder 5
Lowson, 1970-1973 Box 15, Folder 6
Lowson – Parliamentary Inquiry Effort, 1973-1974 Box 15, Folder 7
Lowson – Photograph, 1973 Box 15, Folder 8
Nader Letter, May 16, 1973 Box 15, Folder 9
Nader Letter – Drafts and Notes, 1973 Box 15, Folder 10
Other Lowson Holdings, 1972 Box 15, Folder 11
Social Audit, 1972-1974 Box 15, Folder 12
The Shadowy Side of the Lowson Empire, 1973-1975 Box 15, Folder 13
The Shadow Side of the Lowson Empire, Rough Draft and Notes, 1972-1975 Box 15, Folder 14

Series V: Audiovisual Material, 1982-1983, undated

Series Description: This series contains all the audiovisual materials including cassettes containing Gaventa's research and speeches.

Sound Track: Strip-Mining in Germany, [audio tape] undated Box 16, Item 1
SOCM: People Like You, Gaventa Copy,[VHS] undated Box 16, Item 2
Duke Media Class, [cassette] April 19, 1982 Box 16, Item 3
John’s Speech – Holland, [cassette] January 1983 Box 16, Item 4
[illegible] Research 1, [cassette] undated Box 16, Item 5
Tape 2 – Wales Trip, [cassette] August 21 Box 16, Item 6
Union Talk – Power, Practice, and Knowledge, [cassette] undated Box 16, Item 7
Who Owns America – Speech by John Gaventa [cassette] undated Box 16, Item 8