The University of Tennessee has finally recognized something we’ve known for years: Dolly Parton = higher learning.
Since the Fall 2016 semester, Dolly has been the subject of an honors class—”Course-Work: Dolly’s America”—at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville, which is about 30 miles northwest of her hometown in Sevierville, Tenn.
The class is offered to honors history students. Materials assigned for the class include Dolly Parton’s book, Dolly: My Life, and other books about Appalachia like Hillbilly and Dear Appalachia. The wider watch list includes a range of media like the TV show The Beverly Hillbillies and trailers for Roots, Saturday Night Fever and Coal Miner’s Daughter—pop culture sources that are generally overlooked by historians. Students keep journals, making notes on topics like the perceptions of Appalachia in pop culture. At the end of the class, each student writes a 10-page work answering the question “What was Dolly Parton’s America?”
A few days ago, Dolly tweeted about the ongoing class.
From the girl voted in High School ‘least likely to succeed’ this sure is a blessing! https://t.co/3EnB8ixB4f
— Dolly Parton (@DollyParton) April 10, 2017