- Location: In the Authors Tent
- Presentation: “I’ve done my duty”: Images of Arkansans During the Great Depression
- Author Name: Patsy Watkins
Presentation Time – 1:00 PM to 1:25 PM
“I’ve done my duty”: Images of Arkansans During the Great Depression
Government photographers roamed Arkansas in the 1930s, documenting the struggles of farmers who had lost their land in the Great Depression. The Roosevelt Administration intended to use the photos to gain public support for proposed farm relief programs. Many of the Arkansas photographs are astonishing images, provide insights into the state’s history during a national economic crisis, and testify to the strength and endurance of these Arkansans. This presentation will focus on a selection of these photos, the stories they tell, why they were taken, and the photographers who took them.
About Patsy Watkins
Patsy Watkins recently retired after 34 years teaching journalism at the University of Arkansas; she also served as journalism department chair. A Texas native, she went to the University of Texas and has a doctorate in American Studies from the University of Iowa. Professionally, she worked in newspaper reporting, magazine editing, graphic design, radio, and university public relations, and was a legislative assistant for Texas Congressman J.J. Pickle (10thDistrict). For 10 years she had her own small press publishing company, Piccadilly Press, where she published about 30 books of poetry and short stories.
At the U of A, she taught media ethics, photography, writing, and design, and published research on war photojournalism and historical photography. She has written for the Arkansas Historical Quarterly. In 2018 Watkins’ book It’s All Done Gone: Arkansas Photographs from the Farm Security Administration Collection, 1935-1943 was published by the University of Arkansas Press.