Collections > Electronic Theses and Dissertations > Dollywood: Presenting Regional Culture Through Themed Environments

Dolly Parton's "Tennessee Mountain Home" and her hardscrabble rural upbringing are essential to our idea of her as a celebrity. We think we know Dolly Parton because of what we think we know about those mountains, we also think we know those mountains because of what we think we know about Dolly Parton. Dollywood is an essential southern place, a simultaneously artificial and authentic piece of Americana carved out of the Smokey Mountains by the sheer force of Dolly Parton's personality. After the nearby National Park, it is the largest draw for tourists in the region. The park allows visitors to experience themes from Parton's life, and to experience her idealized vision of the Smoky Mountains. To create, and curate, these environments the park leans heavily on tropes of mountain life, incorporating a carefully crafted blend of stereotype, nostalgia, and anachronism to sell a uniquely personal conception of the mountains.