Masters Theses

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts



Major Professor

Tore C. Olsson

Committee Members

Shellen X. Wu, Brandon K. Winford


This thesis outlines the work of the University of Tennessee’s Colleges of Home Economics and Agriculture in India as part of Cold War global development programs funded by the Technical Cooperation Mission to India and, later, the United States Agency for International Development. Through this program, the instructors from the University of Tennessee worked with Indian educators at agricultural and home science colleges and universities throughout India to “improve” home economic and agricultural education and foster pro-American sentiment in the region. By exploring the themes of gender, race, nationalism, rural life, and development, this thesis argues that while the home economics department emphasized cross-cultural connections and the adaptation of westernized domestic practices to better fit the cultural and religious practices of India, the College of Agriculture worked to transplant Appalachian agricultural models directly onto India. Taken together, however, these two programs demonstrate the global connections between two largely rural populations and by doing so, blurs the divide between the “developed” and the “developing” world.

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