Spring City native donates thesis to library

June 4, 2014

edwards1smSpring City, Tenn., native Kari Edwards recently presented a copy of her Master’s thesis on the Scopes Trial to the Bryan library.

Kari Edwards, left, presents a copy of her thesis to Vonnie Johnson, Bryan’s public services librarian. Ms. Edwards, who earned a Master of Arts degree in Southern Studies from the University of Mississippi, said the Bryan library staff and archivist Stephanie Wood were “very helpful” as she conducted research on the trial.

Her thesis “looks at the Scopes Trial as a significant religious event that altered the course of Christian fundamentalism and the creationist movement, and perpetuated some of the religious stereotypes about the South,” she said. “I was looking at William Jennings Bryan and the community of Dayton particularly.”

The title of her thesis is “Six Days of Twenty-Four Hours: The Scopes Trial, Antievolutionism, and the Last Crusade of William Jennings Bryan.”

She said she plans to pursue a doctorate in history and continue her research into the religious aspects of the trial.