Volume 47, Issue 1, April 2013

SOCIETY FOR THE STUDY OF SOUTHERN LITERATURE NEWSLETTER 47.1 SPRING 2013

The New Southern Studies Issue

David A. Davis is Assistant Professor of English and Southern Studies at Mercer University and Editor of the SSSL Newsletter.

The new southern studies emerged while I was in graduate school. Calls for conference presentations and special issues of journals heralded the discourse, which critiqued the field of southern studies from a theoretically-informed, transnational perspective. New southern studies brought dynamism to southern literary criticism, including some contentious debates, and it reoriented the geographic construction of the South, expanding it both as an entity with global resonance and as an ideological space situated primarily in imaginative constructions.

This issue of the SSSL Newsletter reconsiders the new southern studies with a state of the field column by Leigh Anne Duck and an interview with Jon Smith and Deborah Cohn. The issue also announces the winners of the Holman Prize and the inaugural Rubin Prize and contains the cfp for our next biennial conference to be held in Arlington, Virginia, next spring.

This issue is also the first to be published on SSSL’s new website. We now have a permanent home on the web, the Digital South, and from here you can find current and back issues of the newsletter, teaching resources, calls for papers, and information about conferences and membership. We welcome you here and look forward to seeing you in Arlington next year.

President’s Column

Eric Gary Anderson is Associate Professor of English and Director of Native American and Indigenous Studies at George Mason University. He is the author of American Indian Literature and the Southwest: Contexts and Dispositions and several essays on southern literature, Native American studies, and ethnicity and geography.

For those of you who are as busy as I am with grading, classroom teaching, grading, service commitments, and grading, here’s the even shorter version of my spring column: Website! Conference! Cherry blossoms! Cicadas! Conference!

First, welcome to the new SSSL website! We have been fortunate to be able to work with a talented website builder, Isaac Slape, who has patiently guided us through the process of developing, drafting, and revising southernlit.org. One of our goals has been to create a one-stop shop where you can, for example, read current and/or past newsletters; find southern-themed calls for papers; stay up to date about SSSL 2014 information; send us your SSSL 2014 proposals; join SSSL or renew your membership, using PayPal; bone up on SSSL history; and collaborate with us in curating a wide-ranging collection of teaching resources. Kerry Hasler-Brooks and I will be actively updating the teaching resources section of the new site, so please keep sending us your materials as you continue to develop and revise them. While we would very much like to post any undergraduate or graduate course syllabi that you’re willing to share, we are also very interested in building a collection of non-syllabi resources to illustrate the specific, dynamic practices and pedagogies of southern literature/studies courses.

Likewise, those of us who are currently watching over the website will continue to update other pages and sections as needed; please let me know if you notice any lacunae, errors, or other glitches. Please also continue to send us your southern literature/southern studies calls for papers. We’ll be glad to post them here.

The 2014 SSSL biennial conference will meet March 27-29, 2014, in Arlington, Virginia. We’ve chosen a capacious, inclusive theme—”Other Souths: Approaches, Alliances, Antagonisms”—which (we hope) will work as a kind of disciplinary and interdisciplinary GPS for southern studies. As we say in the call for proposals, recent southern studies “turns to swamps, Indians, eugenics, early Souths, poor whites, trans-Appalachian migrations, the extrasouthern, queer Souths, digital Souths, undead Souths, and Souths we can’t even imagine are exciting both in their own right and as starting points for important new lines of inquiry. We would like to use the opportunity of the next SSSL meeting to push these questions further, and to propose, describe, define, and debate an even broader, more expansive constellation of ‘Other Souths.’ How might we productively re-envision southern literatures, cultures, spaces, and histories? What else needs to be done? And what scholarly, pedagogical, and institutional challenges bedevil these sea changes?” We are so looking forward to hearing from you and talking with you about all this and more next spring!

Our home base for SSSL 2014 will be the Hilton Arlington, which, hotel personnel reassure us, is 27 steps away from the nearest Metro stop. We’ll be minutes away from downtown Washington, DC. Just as important, the hotel sits in the heart of the vibrant, urban Ballston neighborhood of Arlington, a hotbed of interesting restaurants and all sorts of other attractions within easy walking distance. We’ll also be five miles from downtown DC and the Mall, three miles from Georgetown, and four miles from both Arlington National Cemetery and the Kennedy Center, to name no more.

SSSL sessions, including a big, manifesto-driven opening-night plenary panel followed by a reception, will convene at the Hilton on Thursday the 27th. On Friday and Saturday, sessions will meet on George Mason University’s Arlington campus, which is a 0.3 mile/5-6 block walk from the hotel (one Metro stop away, for those who would rather take the train).

When we gather next spring, the cherry blossoms just across the river will very probably be in top form. As the conference draws near, I’ll keep you updated about cherry blossom peak forecasts, in the hope that you’ll have the chance to visit these magnificent trees at or near peak.

As for the cicadas . . . the good news (for you) is that this is their year. In the late 1980s, I was peaceably walking across a street in northwest DC, carrying a suitcase in each hand, when a cicada descended from the skies, landed on my chest, and gazed implacably at me with its very big, very red, very disconcerting eyes. Coming face-to-face with a cicada for the first time, I dropped both suitcases in the middle of the street. In any event, 2013 is year seventeen in their seventeen-year cycle, the brood is answering nature’s call, and we’re bracing ourselves now so that you won’t have to when you come to SSSL next year.

The 2014 conference program committee—Michael Bibler, Lisa Hinrichsen, Kirstin Squint, and myself—very much looks forward to reading your proposals. (Fear not: you have until December 15.) As we say in more detail on the “Conference” page of this website, we invite panel as well as paper proposals, and we envision—and hope for—a conference program that features a wide and eclectic range of topics and approaches. We welcome your work! We also expect to announce our keynotes and our other featured speakers soon. Until then, all best wishes—and if you’re in the DC metro area, watch the skies!

Louis D. Rubin, Jr., Prize for Best Essay

Michael Bibler has been awarded the inaugural Louis D. Rubin, Jr., Prize for best essay published by a member of the Society for the Study of Southern Literature in 2012 for his essay “How to Love Your Local Homophobe: Southern Hospitality and the Unremarkable Queerness of Truman Capote’s ‘The Thanksgiving Visitor’” published in Modern Fiction Studies (58.2 [2012]: 284-307).

C. Hugh Holman Prize for Best Book

The winner of the 2012 C. Hugh Holman Award for the best book of literary scholarship or literary criticism in the field of southern literature published during a given calendar year is Jean W. Cash for her 2011 book Larry Brown: A Writer’s Life. Julie Armstrong won an Honorable Mention for her 2011 book Mary Turner and the Memory of Lynching.

What Was the New Southern Studies?1

Leigh Anne Duck is Associate Professor of English at the University of Mississippi. Her book, The Nation’s Region: Southern Modernism, U.S. Nationalism, and Segregation, was published by the University of Georgia Press in 2006, and she will become editor of the journal The Global South in fall 2013.

First, let me reassure any reader who may, at this moment, be in the process of positioning a new book or dissertation via reference to this field: I do not mean to suggest that the “new southern studies” is finished. It is, however, no longer new—as evidenced by the fact that it can now be used as a phrase that helps to describe developing research projects and clarify their audience. The explicit subject of conference panels as well as a book series—and a field referenced in many more panels, essays and books—new southern studies has achieved institutional recognition. But for a scholarly approach that defined itself primarily through its commitment to transformation, this feat may stir some ambivalence. For me, new southern studies never seemed a particularly coherent movement: that’s one of the things I liked about it. Is it possible to attain academic influence—to become “a thing,” as contemporary culture-watchers say—and yet escape reification?

My titular echo of Kenneth Warren’s 2011 What Was African American Literature? may be inappropriately grand. Warren, after all, suggests that literary categories are historically constructed and therefore mutable—even provisional—prompting one interlocutor to protest, “Few would claim that English literature is dead now that the sun sets on the British Empire” (Bradley 572). In contrast, the suggestion that methodologies in the humanities lack such longevity raises few eyebrows. Reviewing some early works in new southern studies, Michael Kreyling implicitly predicted this moment by invoking Thomas Kuhn’s model of the “paradigm shift”: “some players sprint into new territory, some continue by the old rules, hoping that the shift is an illusion or that another turn will bring the wheel back to status quo ante, still others twist slowly in the wind unable to decide between the old and the new” (“Toward” 4). Though he focused on the tensions experienced by new southern studies skeptics, he hinted that the rest of us would eventually slow down: a “sprint” is not a sustainable pace, and—according to Kuhn—investigative turmoil typically resolves into an established set of assumptions and methodologies.

In exploring the relationship between is and was, I am asking whether that “new territory” onto which we were supposedly running has become terra firma or whether Kreyling’s “wheel” is still turning; in choosing the latter, I mean to underscore and celebrate the paradox. I recognize scholarly inquiry as a generally conservative process in the sense that it requires persistent review of premises, theories, and data, and the contemporary anxieties roiling the profession—concerning how universities are financed, how education in the liberal arts is valued, and how scholarship is produced and shared (including not only the future of publishing but also the structure and distribution of labor)—could fuel preservationist impulses, in addition to exciting innovations. For the moment, however, I see little sign of the former in U.S southern studies. On the contrary, the cfp for next year’s SSSL meeting—“Other Souths” (included in this newsletter)—makes clear that change remains on the agenda: beginning with reference to “recent sea changes,” it almost immediately seeks “new lines of inquiry.”

While it calls for an ever newer southern studies, “Other Souths” exemplifies our recent Kuhnian change in worldview: from the perspective of the previous paradigm, it hardly seemed possible, as this cfp argues, to “position ourselves” while also “expan[ding]” our parameters—or, for those less inclined to move outward, mapping little-known disciplinary spaces. Such loose and metaphorical geographic references did not suffice, as evidenced by the many essays and volumes debating whether the South is sufficiently coherent or distinctive to merit the label of region or culture—and thereby stabilizing those italicized terms. In contrast, new southern studies (myself included) regularly suggests that “the South” lacks an identifiable referent. (Thus, observing my title, some readers may have wondered whether, rather than querying new southern studies’ end, I might be planning to do the same to U.S. southern literature, qua southern.) Kathryn McKee and Annette Trefzer warn readers that their special issue of American Literature, titled Global Contexts, Local Literature: The New Southern Studies, “is not a rejection or a critique or a celebration of any particular place,” and Jennifer Greeson, introducing Our South: Geographic Fantasy and the Rise of National Literature, describes “‘the South’ [as] first and foremost an ideological concept rather than a place” (McKee and Trefzer 678; Greeson 10). Everyone involved agrees, however, that the region is, in Greeson’s words, “very good . . . for thinking geographically” (2). New southern studies has, among other things, sought more interesting ways to explore how regionality is produced, imagined and experienced and how cultural forms move, interact, and develop. Now, I suspect few would question that such a mutable space, with its unfixed, porous borders and widely diverse residents—many of whom maintain strong attachments to other places—“grounds” the discipline sufficiently. Some, however, may still wish to argue for a thickly meaningful and binding regional culture, which I take to be a fairly stark dividing line between new southern studies and other scholars: at this point in SSSL’s history, some of our “Souths” are probably incommensurable, in Kuhnian terms, with others.

This fragmentation within southern studies may fuel, as the “Other Souths” cfp suggests, increasing attention to broader “allies,” “alliances,” and possibly “antagonisms”; I would additionally advocate more permeable, less permanent, connections. My reticence to prescribe in this essay is not a matter of coyness or uncertainty but of methodological priority: I believe our field will benefit, above all, from continuing our recent “intellectual promiscuity.” I take this phrase from Sabine Haenni’s retrospective concerning the work of Miriam Hansen, a cinema scholar who influentially illuminated the promiscuity of that medium itself. Haenni points out, however, that this process necessitates, for Hansen, a reciprocal promiscuity on the part of the critic—and, Haenni suggests, of the cultural historian more broadly. Confronted with omnivorous, vertiginous, and tangled texts and histories, we must be willing to taste widely, tumble thoughtfully, and pursue meandering paths. This recommendation does not comport with a decline in rigor: any reader of Hansen’s or Haenni’s can attest to the intimate connection between intellectual promiscuity and assiduous research. But I am encouraging a willingness to explore surprising and temporary or partial connections, intersections that are both more modest and chaotic—but potentially also more radical—than those we call “interdisciplinary.” Intellectual promiscuity refuses containment by such systems, and this friction helps to generate its enlivening spark.

Such goals were almost antithetical to the exceptionalist account of “the South,” for how could extraneous discourses or circumstances help in understanding such a distinctive region? As both Kreyling and Barbara Ladd have noted, even efforts to incorporate African American and female writers into the category of “southern literature” tended not to disrupt the principles of the old paradigm (Kreyling, Inventing 76-125; Ladd, “Literary” 1631). New southern studies has approached these questions in ways informed by other discourses: African American studies, critical race studies, feminism, and queer theory, obviously, but also circum-Atlantic, Black Atlantic, hemispheric American, Pacific Rim and Global South studies. Not all of this work has been “intellectually promiscuous”; some of its practitioners, to their credit, are grounded in multiple literatures or interdisciplines (comparative literature or American studies, for example). But more limited explorations and the sharing of these multi-pronged projects across disciplinary lines retain their own kind of value, as they stimulate unexpected questions and insights. Early in new southern studies, when participants would gather at conferences or panels, we would often speak of our anxiety at being called upon to demonstrate proficiency in a new field; I recall hesitating to step outside a specialization I had only recently attained. From an intellectually promiscuous perspective, however, such challenges—which tend to culminate less in broad expertise than narrower grappling—restore our sense of scale and status in relation to our archives; fantasies of mastery or autonomy give way to perceptions of mobility and possibility. Nor is this shift toward intellectual promiscuity restricted to new southern studies: I see instances of expansive comparison and disciplinary intersection in multiple texts that developed somewhat separately from this movement, and that synchronicity makes me excited for future scholarship.2 Though my own work still centers on how ideas of the region illuminate those of the nation, I see promise in all the connections cited above: we should also explore routes linking the circum-Atlantic and the Indian Ocean; expand our theoretical vocabulary for explicating economics, politics, networks, ecology, and other concepts; and continue our research into other representational media. Ambitious aims, of course, but isn’t that appropriate for a discipline still in the making?

It may seem all too predictable for a consideration of U.S. southern literary studies to play with verb tenses so prominently: where is the newness, you may ask, in that? But Faulkner’s famous contortions in this vein stemmed from acute awareness of the difficulties of periodization amid convulsive social change—transformations that seemed acute in some ways while also outrageously protracted. Disciplinary change, though hardly so momentous, raises its own questions of chronology: at the close of the 2006 PMLA “Forum” in which Jon Smith and Barbara Ladd debated the parameters of “the new southern studies,” the latter concluded by looking forward to “conversation among those of us who share interests in . . . the meaning of the ‘new’ in United States southern writing” (“Reply” 552). In fact, they were talking about different approaches: some recent works in southern literary criticism seek, as Ladd argues, “to reconceptualize memory, history, place, family, kinship, and community in ways that do not reify the shifting subject and subjects of the discourse,” but these are categories to which Smith—and what we now call NSS—would rather “take a hammer” (Ladd, “Literary” 1636; Smith, “Letter” 550). There are multiple forms of newness, diversely influenced by disciplinary history. Warren’s volume is so often cited when exploring moments like these because of its determination to interrogate all scholarly attachments, including whether a category that seemed generative and even necessary in an era shaped by certain concerns might become constraining and even misleading in another.3 I doubt anyone needs me to rehearse why this vigilance regarding critical conventions should resonate strongly with scholars of the U.S. South. In echoing his title, I mean not to foreclose a scholarly movement that is only in its teens but rather to highlight these principles of self-critique and openness. Post-paradigm research leaves much to be tried and little to be entirely trusted. The New Southern Studies lives! Bring on the Newer Southern Studies!

Notes
1. I thank Sarah Gleeson-White, Bob Jackson, Sabine Haenni, Jaime Harker, and Jon Smith for sharing their comments as I was developing this column—and Sabine, also, for sharing her manuscript. None of them should, of course, be held responsible for this content.
2. Where NSS has tended to privilege relationships of contiguity or diaspora in its comparative studies, some essays in South to a New Place engage in forms of comparison organized around the theme of regional differences, and several works have focused on how southern texts circulate within the category of world literature. These—like the similarly recent interest in urban studies—strike me as productively promiscuous.
3. In his response to a series of comments on the volume for African American Review, Warren notes that Colleen Lye, a professor in the University of California Berkeley’s English Department, taught a graduate seminar titled “What Was Asian American Literature?” in fall 2011 (“Response,” 588). More recently, delivering the inaugural Edith Baine Lecture at the University of Mississippi on 28 November 2012, Melanie Benson Taylor titled her talk “What Was Native American Literature? Tribalism, Regionalism, and Comparativism in the Age of Globalization.”

Bibliography
Bradley, Adam. “Our Mayan Prophecy.” African American Review 44.4 (2011): 570-3.
Duck, Leigh Anne. “Southern Nonidentity” (response essay). Safundi: The Journal of South African and American Studies 9.3 (2008): 319-330.
Greeson, Jennifer. Our South: Geographic Fantasy and the Rise of National Literature. Cambridge: Harvard UP, 2010.
Haenni, Sabine. “Intellectual Promiscuity.” Manuscript, 2013.
Jones, Suzanne W. and Sharon Monteith, eds. South to a New Place: Region, Literature, Culture. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State UP, 2002.
Kreyling, Michael. Inventing Southern Literature. Jackson: UP of Mississippi, 1998.
—. “Toward ‘A New Southern Studies.” South Central Review 22.1 (2005): 4-18.
Kuhn, Thomas S. The Structure of Scientific Revolutions. 4th ed. Chicago: U of Chicago P, 2012.
Ladd, Barbara. “Literary Studies: The Southern United States, 2005,” PMLA 120.5 [2005]: 1628-1639.
—. “Reply,” “Forum: The State of United States Southern Literary Studies,” PMLA 121.2 (2006): 550-552.
Kathryn McKee and Annette Trefzer, “Preface: Global Contexts, Local Literatures: The New Southern Studies,” American Literature 78.4 (2006): 677-690.
Smith, Jon. “Letter to the Editor,” “Forum: The State of United States Southern Literary Studies,” PMLA 121.2 (2006): 549-50.
Warren, Kenneth W. “Response.” African American Review 44.4 (2011): 584-91.
—. What Was African American Literature? Cambridge, MA: Harvard UP, 2011.

The New Southern Studies: An Interview with Jon Smith and Deborah Cohn

Jon Smith is Associate Professor of English at Simon Fraser University in British Columbia and chair of the Department of English for 2013-14. His book Finding Purple America: The South and the Future of American Cultural Studies is out now!

Deborah Cohn is Associate Professor of American Studies and Spanish at Indiana University – Bloomington. She is the author of The Latin American Literary Boom and U.S. Nationalism during the Cold War (Vanderbilt 2012) and History and Memory in the Two Souths: Recent Southern and Spanish American Fiction (Vanderbilt 1999), and co-editor with Jon Smith of Look Away!: The U.S. South in New World Studies (Duke 2004).

What is new southern studies?

Jon Smith: The term was coined by Houston Baker and Dana Nelson in their introduction to the June 2001 issue of American Literature, though my own sense is that NSS originated in the banner year of 1999 with Deb’s first book History and Memory in the Two Souths: Recent Southern and Spanish American Fiction (the hemispheric turn), Scott Romine’s The Narrative Forms of Southern Community (the critique from within of old categories of analysis), and Jennifer Greeson’s Yale Journal of Criticism article (the engagement with American studies). Nowadays I read it two ways: as a southern studies that has an impact on fields beyond southern studies and, relatedly, as a general skepticism toward southern exceptionalism: both the kind of exceptionalism that allows the nation to feel good about itself, and the kind of exceptionalism that allows people who identify with the region to feel good about themselves. Baker and Nelson cite Žižek as a theoretical underpinning, and that seems right, at least for talking about exceptionalist fantasies.

Deborah Cohn: Way back in 1999, Jon proposed a fairly concrete definition of the New Southernism in an email to me. He wrote at the time that he meant: “something pretty specific by it …a set of texts, usually by writers who did not receive their graduate training under Rubin or Simpson … and who are mostly under 40, which
1) are informed by post-New Critical critical theory,
2) reject the “Solid South” model, and
3) understand the Agrarian construction of Southern identity (like all constructions of Southern identity) to be an ideological construct that does (reactionary) cultural work, rather than some mirror of Southern reality.”

Now, Jon may want to revise this at this point (at the very least, we are no longer as a whole in the same age bracket that we once were). But at the time, this was for me a good starting point. At the heart of this was a questioning of the South as a monolith and as exceptional; also, of course, this was the time when scholars started to be much more careful about distinguishing between “the South” and “the white South”—a distinction that had long been ignored.

I have to add here that I have been pleased to see over the years another, parallel distinction being made by southernists, specifically, referring to “the U.S. South” rather than just “the South”: as a Latin Americanist by training, when talking to fellow Latin Americanists I have always had to make this distinction, and the growing recognition that “South” could refer to a region within the U.S., within the Americas, or globally, speaks to similar changes in realizing that “The South” can have many referents.

You collaborated to edit Look Away: The U.S. South in New World Studies. How has that book changed the field of southern studies?

Deborah Cohn: Jon and I met at an MLA panel in 1998. I had organized a panel on the U.S. South and Latin America, and though it was the last session of the last day, he nevertheless came. I gave a paper examining the constructions of regional identity put forth in I’ll Take My Stand and Uruguayan writer José Enrique Rodó’s Ariel (1900). Jon challenged me, pointing out that the identities that I was examining were elite, white/criollo constructions, and he asked how these identities fit in with other (and racialized) identity constructions in the two regions. The discussion continued from there, and its end product (though not the end of the discussion, by any means) was Look Away!

I will let others speak to how the book has changed southern studies. What I have observed, though, is that it is read, and taught, by southernists, by Americanists, by Latin Americanists, and by comparatists, among others. Part of the interest, I think, stemmed from our reworking of traditional approaches to scholarship on the U.S. South by using postcolonial theory as an important framework for analyzing the region, even as we problematized some of the categories and binaries underpinning postcolonial studies. The collection also reoriented the study of the U.S. South from a geographic standpoint: moving away from more traditional approaches that located the region on the margin of U.S. national culture, the book situated the South within a transnational context, of experiences common to the Americas as a whole, asking questions whose answers were not limited to national or regional political boundaries. That was a way for us of moving the region to the center of issues being discussed in hemispheric American studies.

Jon Smith: Deb and I met at the 1998 MLA in San Francisco when I went to her panel. (I’d forgotten that “challenging” question Deb mentions! Hey, it was the 90s.) I think the book had a bigger impact on hemispheric American studies than on southern studies per se. There had already been a comparative boom in southern studies starting with Deb’s first book History and Memory in the Two Souths: Recent Southern and Spanish American Fiction, George Handley’s first book Postslavery Literatures in the Americas: Family Portraits in Black and White, and, in some ways, Barbara Ladd’s first book Nationalism and the Color Line in George W. Cable, Mark Twain, and William Faulkner, along with the Puerto Vallarta conference, although that had originally been planned to coincide with the publication of Look Away!

More important to me has been the misreading of our introduction as identifying the U.S. South only with the global south. Partly as a result, my forthcoming book swings hard in the other direction; at one point I suggest the U.S. South assumes the place of the national Real.

How has globalization changed southern studies? Has the South always been global or is that the result of recent changes? Are southern writers representative of the region’s population?

Jon Smith: I actually think the globalization turn that started with The American South in a Global World rendered the postcolonial/hemispheric turn instantly obsolete. I’m most drawn to Donald Nonini’s observation in that volume that the South may have always been on the cutting edge of globalization because of its history of exploiting cheap labor. I’m surprised more folks haven’t followed his lead, and opened up the narratives implicit in such a claim. I’m undecided on whether the South was always global or whether it was global, turned inward, and then went global again. That’s one for the historians.

That’s a shrewd question about representativeness. I moved to cultural studies precisely because most contemporary “southern lit” strikes me as shtick. The fakeness that Scott Romine has such fun with in The Real South, I just find unbearable. That said, Richard Ford’s Canada worked well in a grad seminar up here, and I may end up writing on it. It’s a weird novel about identity and borders, and gets weirder the closer you look—very Willa Cather in that regard.

Not least as a Virginian (from the People’s Republic of Charlottesville, no less) who spent twelve years in Mississippi and Alabama, I really don’t see much commonality across the region, so I’m actually skeptical there’s much of anything for southern writers to represent. I’m much more comfortable talking about metropolitan Birmingham or Atlanta or even Georgia—or American conservatism—as conceptual units, and even then there’s so much diversity within such units. For a long time, the working title of my book was Alabama and the Future of American Cultural Studies for just that reason: although not perfect, “Alabama” is to me a much more workable and interesting scalar unit than “the South.” That would be my version of what Leigh Anne Duck has called “southern studies without ‘the South.’”

Deborah Cohn: Back in 2004, at the symposium on “The U.S. South in Global Contexts” that Katie McKee and Annette Trefzer organized at Ole Miss, one of the keynote speakers, Marshall Eakin (Vanderbilt), argued that “We cannot understand the U.S. South unless we recognize that global forces created and have always shaped its histories, societies, and cultures,” and that “From its very origins, the U.S. South became a battleground of empires—European and American—as the consumption patterns of peoples in England, France, and Spain transformed the lives and societies of Native Americans, and as the peoples and products of the New World changed the lives of Europeans and Africans.” I agree that the South has always had a global orientation (though that is not to preclude the possibility that Jon mentions of its moving away and back towards being global), as have the Americas as a whole for similar reasons. What has changed, I think, is the decentralization of both knowledge and knowledge production that allows the differences that were always already present to be acknowledged and treated as a legitimate object of study, and to be studied by scholars from different disciplines (and in this respect I don’t mean historians or lit types, but comparatists and other scholars whose training and frame of reference is not necessarily rooted in the U.S.). This, in turn, opens up the field so that many people study these issues who are receiving degrees in disciplines other than, say, U.S. literature and history.

Is new southern studies still a distinctive field of discourse or have the major issues been subsumed by the mainstream discourse?

Jon Smith: Whose mainstream discourse? In mainstream southern studies, there still seems to be plenty of enthusiasm for southern exceptionalism, especially among baby boomers. I’m finding many of the younger people harder to read: a lot seem to be hedging their bets, writing positive reviews of books from both orientations, that sort of thing. But it seems to me logically impossible for new southern studies to be subsumed by the mainstream discourse, as it flatly argues that that discourse is a fantasy. Subsumption would require pretty dramatic misreading—which happens, of course, but then what gets subsumed is just a straw opponent or some watered-down or even antithetical version of what was actually argued.

My main ambition is to influence mainstream Americanist discourse. My own book is targeted more at those folks—the hipper-than-thou ASA crowd—than at, you know, the sixtysomething Chapel Hill/Vanderbilt set going on about “memory.” (We definitely haven’t been subsumed by them.) And yes, I’m aware of the irony, within southern studies, of NSS calling anybody else the hipper-than-thou crowd! But that’s in the book, too.

Deborah Cohn: I think that the discourses in the NSS both draw on and contribute to broader discourses in American studies, transnational and hemispheric studies, global southern studies, critical race studies, etc. Likewise, our objects of study overlap with those of these other fields. I am less concerned with whether this makes us less “distinctive,” in part because (and this may be a facile answer) in the past “distinctive” could bleed into “exceptional.” What this permits, in my view, is a lot of important crossover between scholars working in the NSS, and it further allows others who might not consider themselves to be southernists to join in our conversations, making for lots of truly productive dialogue and interchanges.

What is in the future of southern studies?

Deborah Cohn: I hope to continue to see increasing interdisciplinarity and crossover of the type that I’ve mentioned above. I would encourage young scholars starting in this area to network, network, network. Over the years, I’ve often had junior scholars come to me at conferences and say that my work was important to them because there was no one in their home department who worked in that area and they felt a lack of infrastructural support (sometimes related to institutional structures, sometimes to the lack of others working in their field) that would allow them to pursue their interests. So, they should reach out, contact scholars in the field and network among those who are starting out. Put panels together, create writing groups, share resources, encourage one another to apply for fellowships, support each other through the job search process – look for opportunities to make their goals happen.

Jon Smith: As I said at the last SSSL, I’d be happy if southern studies ceased to exist—so long as American studies dealt proportionately with the region, which so far has never happened. So, like Deb, I think one set of projects on the horizon would be those that continue to work to establish southern matters within American studies (and other fields). In addition to the books in Georgia’s NSS series, I’d note works of history like Kevin Kruse’s White Flight and Lassiter and Crespino’s The Myth of Southern Exceptionalism. Those guys don’t see themselves as “southern historians” at all, and I think that’s a very, very useful model. I’d also suggest people watch for work by Jade Ferguson, who does very interesting scholarship on connections between “the South” and Canada. In the near term, too, the native turn is very hot. So are other turns that complicate a merely black-white narrative, but the native turn seems to require the most fundamental rethinking.

Deb may have a different take, but I do feel like the hemispheric turn is done, in part because we got “the experience of defeat” wrong. From Woodward forward, we’ve kept abstracting it, but it originally meant the experience of Emancipation and Reconstruction as a great, narcissistic wound to white supremacy. (Read Edwin Alderman!) Rather than talking about how that experience, abstracted from its racism (generalized to black Southerners, etc.), makes “us” like Asia or (more recently) Latin America, what’s now hot and relevant is work that examines it as the roots of contemporary U.S. conservatism. In the contemporary Republican Party we’re watching the furious, crazed death throes of white supremacy in the United States. It’s obviously not particular to the South, but on this matter Southernists—as has always been true—have quite a lot to tell the nation about what it doesn’t want to know about itself.

Institutionally, I’d say the future mainly is at Boston University as long as Jack Matthews is there (his placement record crushes everyone else’s); at the University of Virginia; at the University of Mississippi; and at Texas as long as they have Cole Hutchison. The southern studies centers that used to dominate simply haven’t kept up in hiring at the junior level, which is where the action has been for the past fifteen years, and it’s really starting to show.

I totally agree with Deb about networking for younger scholars.

Really, though, it’s not the 2000s anymore, and I’m rather obviously no longer a young Turk. If you want to know about the future of the field, ask Amy Clukey, Jade Ferguson, Jennifer Greeson, Cole Hutchison, Sarah Mesle, Claudia Milian, Melanie Benson Taylor, Jeremy Wells. I’d love to read (more of) their takes in these pages!

The Society for the Study of Southern Literature Biennial Conference

OTHER SOUTHS: APPROACHES, ALLIANCES, ANTAGONISMS
March 27-29, 2014, Arlington, Virginia

In her keynote address at the 2012 SSSL conference, Barbara Ladd discussed numerous recent sea changes in the field of southern literary studies. These shifts include a decentering of the Southern renascence and a heightened interest in earlier texts; in coastal, middle, and upper Souths; in previously overlooked intercultural relationships and tensions; in new ways of thinking about race and racism; in still-nascent understandings of class and classism; and in texts that illuminate “southern” without themselves being “southern.”

These turns to swamps, Indians, eugenics, early Souths, poor whites, trans-Appalachian migrations, the extrasouthern, queer Souths, digital Souths, undead Souths, and Souths we can’t even imagine are exciting both in their own right and as starting points for important new lines of inquiry. We would like to use the opportunity of the next SSSL meeting to push these questions further, and to propose, describe, define, and debate an even broader, more expansive constellation of “Other Souths.” How might we productively re-envision southern literatures, cultures, spaces, and histories? What else needs to be done? And what scholarly, pedagogical, and institutional challenges bedevil these sea changes?

Thinking in terms of southern studies as a field, how might “we”—as self-identified “southernists” or scholars working in fields that bump up against the South—position ourselves professionally, and how we might organize, collaborate, and work across disciplines? How might we learn better to be both southernists and Americanists, for example, or both southernists and comparatists? In other words, who are (and who might be) our allies? What are (and what might be) our most productive alliances? And how do we go about forming these alliances? How does a southernist become more—or differently—interdisciplinary and/or multicultural? And, importantly, as we shape and continue to build the field of southern literary studies, how do we both honor those who have come before us and develop 21st-century pedagogies, mentorships, academic programs, and institutional influence?

Finally, what are the antagonisms—the counterforces, struggles, foils, obstacles, strains, tensions, insurgences, etc.—that attend this work? Is there a value in strategic antagonism?

We’ll gather in Arlington, Virginia, a longstanding yet ever-changing site of transatlantic, multiethnic, colonial, urban, and cosmopolitan alliances and antagonisms. The Washington, DC, metropolitan area is of course replete with iconic, monumental fashionings of U.S. national identity and cultural memory. But northern Virginia is also, now more than ever before, an “Other South” in its own right, a region of tremendous fluidity, full of surprises and crisscrossed by routes—of trade, labor, government, law, media, languages, cultures—that continue to be negotiated, constructed, mapped, traveled, toured, enforced, and contested. SSSL 2014 offers us an opportunity to consider how these and other networks provoke both alliances and antagonisms, both connections and disconnections, both memory and amnesia, among the local, the federal, the regional, the national, the hemispheric, and the global.

The SSSL 2014 program committee—Michael Bibler, Lisa Hinrichsen, Kirstin Squint, and Eric Gary Anderson—invites paper and panel proposals on “Other Souths: Approaches, Alliances, Antagonisms.” All approaches are welcome, including papers that explore alliances and antagonisms in broader cultural and theoretical contexts, including circum-Atlantic, circum-Mississippian, and diasporic connections; literary canons, intertextualities, and networks or anxieties of influence; diverse approaches to power and knowledge; evolving notions of race, gender, sexuality, and/or the body; historical, social, cultural, or political tensions within and/or about “the South”; constructions and deployments of southern cultures through “non-literary” forms of film, music, visual art, popular culture, and performance; and work more specifically focused on particular writers and/or texts.

Please e-mail session or individual paper proposals to southernlit2014@gmail.com.

Deadline: December 15, 2013

Announcements

Former students, friends, and colleagues of former SSSL President Martha Cook established a scholarship in her name upon her recent retirement from Longwood University. The Dr. Martha Cook Scholarship will support first-generation students majoring in English. Contributions can be made by contacting Longwood University Advancement at gifts@longwood.edu or 1-800-281-4677.

  • An Opportunity to Work on the Staff of the Award-Winning North Carolina Literary Review

The graduate programs at East Carolina University includes the opportunity to apply for an editorial assistantship with the award-winning North Carolina Literary Review (NCLR).

NCLR editorial assistants help with editing the current issue, website development, grant applications, promotional activities, and/or developing a marketing plan. Candidates should have strong writing and proofreading skills and be proficient at using Macintosh computers and Microsoft Word. Desirable additional skills (or interest in learning) include Excel, Indesign (or other desktop publishing program), web publishing, and grant-writing.

For information about ECU’s graduate program, go to:http://www.ecu.edu/cs-cas/engl/graduate/index.cfm. For more information about this award-winning journal, go to: http://www.nclr.ecu.edu. Students interested in working with NCLR should contact the editor, Dr. Margaret Bauer, via email (BauerM@ecu.edu) for more information.

  • Call for Submissions for the 2014 issue of the NORTH CAROLINA LITERARY REVIEW (NCLR; see www.nclr.ecu.edu)

NCLR’s 2014 issue special feature topic is War in North Carolina Literature, particularly wars other than the Civil War (interviews and essays welcome).

Queries and proposals for the special feature section may be emailed to the editor, Margaret Bauer (BauerM@ecu.edu). Submissions due by August 31, 2013. For formatting manuscripts for submission and online submission instructions, please consult our website: www.nclr.ecu.edu/submissions.

NCLR is also always looking for book reviewers and recommendations of books to review. Read more about our book reviews at: http://www.nclr.ecu.edu/submissions/book-reviews.html

Suzanne Jones has been appointed Tucker-Boatwright Professor of the Humanities at the University of Richmond.

Recent Publications

Editorial Assistant Zackary Vernon is a Ph.D. candidate in English at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he is currently completing a dissertation entitled “Haunted by Waters: The Hydropolitics of American Literature and Film, 1960-1980.” 

Journal Articles

American Literary History
• Beal, Wesley. “The Form and Politics of Networks in Jean Toomer’s Cane.” American Literary History 24.4 (Winter 2012): 658-679.
• Goudie, Sean X. “Carribean American Regionalism at the End(s) of Empire(s).” American Literary History 25.1 (Spring 2013): 85-102.
• Hsu, Hsuan L. “Sitting in Darkness: Mark Twain and America’s Asia.” American Literary History 25.1 (Spring 2013): 69-84.

American Literature
• Smith, Caleb. “Harriet Jacobs among the Militants: Transformations in Abolition’s Public Sphere, 1859-61.” American Literature 84.4 (2012): 743-768.
• Wong, Edlie. “Comparative Racialization, Immigration Law, and James Williams’s Life and Adventure.” American Literature 84.4 (2012): 797-826.

Callaloo
• Fawaz, Ramzi. “Space, that Bottomless Pit: Planetary Exile and Metaphors of Belonging in American Afrofuturist Cinema.” Callaloo 35.4 (Fall 2012): 1103-1122.
• Heard, Danielle C. “‘Don’t Be Misunderstood’: Nina Simone’s Theatre of Invisibility.” Callaloo 35.4 (Fall 2012): 1056-1084.

Early American Literature
• Bross, Kristina. “Florens in Salem.” Early American Literature 48.1 (2013): 183-188.
• Cillerai, Chiara. “”One Question Is Who Is Responsible? Another Is Can You Read?’ Reading and Responding to Seventeenth-Century Texts Using Toni Morrison’s Historical Reconstructions in A Mercy.” Early American Literature 48.1 (2013): 178-183.
• Curtis, Susan. “History, Fiction, Imagination, and A Mercy.” Early American Literature 48.1 (2013): 188-193.
• Finseth, Ian. “Irony and Modernity in the Early Slave Narrative: Bonds of Duty, Contracts of Meaning.” Early American Literature 48.1 (2013): 29-60.
• Funchion, John. “Reading Less Littorally: Kentucky and the Translocal Imagination in the Atlantic World.” Early American Literature 48.1 (2013): 61-91.
• Logan, Lisa M. “Thinking with Toni Morrison’s A Mercy (A Response to “Remembering the Past: Toni Morrison’s Seventeenth Century in Today’s Classroom”).” Early American Literature 48.1 (2013): 193-199.

Edgar Allan Poe Review
• Brickey, Russell. “The Trouble With Fairyland: Two Versions of Poe’s Sarcastic Sublime.” Edgar Allan Poe Review 13.1 (Spring2012): 18-40.
• Haspel, Paul. “Bells of Freedom and Foreboding: Liberty Bell Ideology and the Clock Motif in Edgar Allan Poe’s ‘The Masque of the Red Death.’” Edgar Allan Poe Review 13.1 (Spring2012): 46-70.
• Kopley, Richard. “The Quest for Tsalal: Mat Johnson’s Pym: A Novel.” Edgar Allan Poe Review 13.1 (Spring2012): 41-45.

Firsts
• Bonner, Jr., Thomas and Robert E. Skinner. “Rebel in Life and in Fiction: Kate Chopin and Her Writings.” Firsts 23.2 (Febuary 2013): 14-23.

James Dickey Review
• Waitinas, Catherine. “Gay and Godly: Coming to Jesus in James Baldwin’s Go Tell It on the Mountain.James Dickey Review 29.1 (Fall/Winter2012): 22-34.

Journal of American Culture
• Piacentino, Ed. “Two Views of Niagara: Doesticks and Mark Twain.” Journal of American Culture 35.4 (December 2012): 345-357.

Journal of American Studies
• Schermerhorn, Calvin. “Arguing Slavery’s Narrative: Southern Regionalists, Ex-Slave Autobiographers, and the Contested Literary Representations of the Peculiar Institution, 1824-1849.” Journal of American Studies 46.4 (November 2012): 1009-1033.
• Atkinson, Ted. “‘Blood Petroleum’: True Blood, the BP Oil Spill, and Fictions of Energy/Culture.” Journal of American Studies 47.1 (February 2013): 213-229.

MELUS
• Harrison-Kahan, Lori and Josh Lambert. “Teaching Jewish Literature in the South: A Conversation.” MELUS 37.2 (Summer 2012): 187-200.
• Toth, Margaret. “Staged Bodies: Passing, Performance, and Masquerade in Charles W. Chesnutt’s The House Behind the Cedars.” MELUS 37.4 (Winter 2012): 69-91.

Mississippi Quarterly
• Anderson, Eric Gary. “Red Crosscurrents: Performative Spaces and Indian Cultural Authority in the Florida Atlantic Captivity Narrative of Jonathan Dickinson.” Mississippi Quarterly 65.1 (2012): 17-32.
• Cha, Frank. “Migrating to the ‘Broiler Belt’: Japanese American Labor and the Jim Crow South in Cynthia Kadohata’s Kira-Kira.” Mississippi Quarterly 65.1 (2012): 103-120.
• Donaldson, Susan V. “Southern Roots and Routes: Mobility, Migration, and the Literary Imagination.” Mississippi Quarterly 65.1 (2012): 5-15.
• Godwin, Rebecca L. “Breaking (and Keeping) Silences: Tricksters in Josephine Humphreys’s Nowhere Else on Earth.” Mississippi Quarterly 65.1 (2012): 33-49.
• Hamilton, Kendra. “Mother Tongues and Captive Identities: Celebrating and ‘Disappearing’ the Gullah/Geechee Coast.” Mississippi Quarterly 65.1 (2012): 51-68.
• Jones, Suzanne W. “The Haitian Connection in Connie May Fowler’s Sugar Cage.” Mississippi Quarterly 65.1 (2012): 83-101.
• O’Gorman, Farrell. “A History of the Catholic Church in the American South, 1513-1900.” Mississippi Quarterly 65.1 (2012): 157-164.
• Siebert, Monika. “Historical Realism and Imperialist Nostalgia in Terrence Malick’s The New World.” Mississippi Quarterly 65.1 (2012): 139-155.
• Taylor, Alan C. “Redrawing the Color Line in Flannery O’Connor’s ‘The Displaced Person.’” Mississippi Quarterly 65.1 (2012): 69-81.
• Turner, Daniel Cross. “Dying Routes: Charles Wright’s Remembered Roadscapes of the US South in Transit.” Mississippi Quarterly 65.1 (2012): 121-138.

MFS: Modern Fiction Studies
• Karavanta, Mina. “Toni Morrison’s A Mercy and the Counterwriting of Negative Communities: A Postnational Novel.” MFS: Modern Fiction Studies 58.4 (Winter 2012): 723-746.

North Carolina Literary Review Online
• Conwell, Joan. “Orgullos, Chicanas, and Chilangos, Y’all: Where Are North Carolina’s Latino/a Writers?” North Carolina Literary Review Online 22 (2013).
• Sidhu, Nicole Nolan. “Reflections of an Accidental Citizen of ‘the New South.’” North Carolina Literary Review Online 22 (2013).

PMLA
• Aching, Gerald. “The Slave’s Work: Reading Slavery through Hegel’s Master-Slave Dialectic.” PMLA 127.4 (2013): 912-918.
• Harris, Donal. “Finding Work: James Agee in the Office.” PMLA 127.4 (2013): 766-780.
• Ronda, Margaret. ““Work and Wait Unwearying”: Dunbar’s Georgics.” PMLA 127.4 (2013): 863-879.
• Gleeson-White, Sarah. “Auditory Exposures: Faulkner, Eisenstein and Film Sound.” PMLA 128.1 (2013): 87-100.

Sewanee Review
• Clark, William Bedford. “The Letterly Life of Robert Penn Warren.” Sewanee Review 120.4 (Fall 2012): 598-607.
• Yoder Jr., Edwin M. “Intestine Shock: A Comparative Study of Civil Wars.” Sewanee Review 121.1 (Winter 2013): 97-117.

The Simms Review
• Brown, Ras Michael. “Original Claims and Haunted Forests: American Indians, African Americans, and Southern Spiritual Landscapes in the Writings of Williams Gilmore Simms.” The Simms Review 20.1-2 (Summer/Winter 2012): 28-49.
• Collins, Kevin. “‘Desired Facts’: The Development of African American Characters in Simms’s Colonial Romances.” The Simms Review 20.1-2 (Summer/Winter 2012): 67-76.
• Deming, David D. “The Power of Cotton: A Paper Read […] in the City of New-York.” The Simms Review 20.1-2 (Summer/Winter 2012): 95-103.
• Foley, Ehren. “William Gilmore Simms and the Unconquered Frontier of Race.” The Simms Review 20.1-2 (Summer/Winter 2012): 77-88.
• Furman, Felicia DeSaussure. “The Nimmons and Simms Legacy: An Introduction to ‘The Woodlands Summit.’” The Simms Review 20.1-2 (Summer/Winter 2012): 105-107.
• Kelly, Joseph. “The Evolution of Slave Ideology in Simms’s The Yemassee and Woodcraft.” The Simms Review 20.1-2 (Summer/Winter 2012): 51-66.
• Kibler, James Everett and Michael Odom. “The Power of Cotton: A Putative Simms Title Disproved.” The Simms Review 20.1-2 (Summer/Winter 2012): 89-94.
• Lackey, Sam. “‘Into the Shadows of that Forest Land’: The Ghostly Regionalism of William Gilmore Simms.” The Simms Review 20.1-2 (Summer/Winter 2012): 19-27.
• Upton, Katherine E. “Nativeness and Sympathy in W. G. Simms’s ‘Logoochie’ and ‘The Two Camps: Legend of the Old North State’ and Walter Scott’s ‘The Highland Widow’ and ‘The Two Drovers.’” The Simms Review 20.1-2 (Summer/Winter 2012): 7-18.

South Carolina Review
• Eckard, Paula Gallant. “Crossing Racial Boundaries in The Secret Life of Bees.” South Carolina Review 45.2 (2013): 120-34.

Southern Cultures
• Thompson, Ashley B. and Melissa M. Sloan. “Race as Region, Region as Race: How Black and White Southerners Understand Their Regional Identities.” Southern Cultures 18.4 (Winter 2012): 72-95.
• Cummings, Alex Sayf. “The Bootleg South: The Geography of Music Piracy in the 1970s.” Southern Cultures 19.1 (Spring 2013): 82-97.
• Ferris, William R. “Trading Verses: James ‘Son Ford’ Thomas and Allen Ginsberg.” Southern Cultures 19.1 (Spring 2013): 53-60.
• Hackett, Thomas. “Rufus Thomas, Man of the House of Happiness.” Southern Cultures 19.1 (Spring 2013): 112-116.
• Neff, Ali Colleen. “The New Masters of Eloquence: Southernness, Senegal, and Transatlantic Hip-Hop Mobilities.” Southern Cultures 19.1 (Spring 2013): 7-25.
• O’Connell, Christian. “The Color of the Blues: Considering Revisionist Blues Scholarship.” Southern Cultures 19.1 (Spring 2013): 61-81.
• Troutman, John W. “Steelin’ the Slide: Hawai’i and the Birth of the Blues Guitar.” Southern Cultures 19.1 (Spring 2013): 26-52.
• Wood, Gretchen. “Outback Elvis: Riding with the King in Parkes, Australia.” Southern Cultures 19.1 (Spring 2013): 98-110.

Southern Literary Journal
• Armstrong, Rhonda Jenkins. “Transformational Spectacle in Bobbie Ann Mason’s Feather Crowns.” Southern Literary Journal 45.1 (Fall 2012): 39-55.
• Burnett, Katharine A. “Moving Toward a ‘No South’: George Washington Cable’s Global Vision in The Grandissimes.” Southern Literary Journal 45.1 (Fall 2012):
• Cash, Jean W., Rhoda Sirlin, and David R. Young. “William Styron’s Posthumous Publications: Reaffirmation of an American Man of Letters.” Southern Literary Journal 45.1 (Fall 2012): 56-77.
• Jewett, Chad M. “‘Somehow Caught’: Race and Deferred Sexuality in McCullers’s The Member of the Wedding.” Southern Literary Journal 45.1 (Fall 2012): 95-110.
• Plasa, Carl. “‘Tangled Skeins’: Henry Timrod’s ‘The Cotton Boll’ and the Slave Narratives.” Southern Literary Journal 45.1 (Fall 2012): 1-20.
• Schuhriemen, Mary. “The Need to Re-evaluate: Identity in Robert Penn Warren’s Or Else: Poem/Poems 1968-1974.” Southern Literary Journal 45.1 (Fall 2012): 78-94.
• Shafferr Jr., Donald M. “‘When the Sun Goes Down’: The Ghetto Pastoral Mode in Jean Toomer’s Cane.” Southern Literary Journal 45.1 (Fall 2012): 111-128.

Southern Spaces
• Auslander, Mark. “Slave Labor and Building the Smithsonian: Reading the Stones.” Southern Spaces (December 2012).
• Freeman, Jesse. “Telling the Raymond Andrews Story: The Making of Somebody Else, Somewhere Else.” Southern Spaces (June 2012).
• Goldstein, Holly Markovitz. “St. Augustine’s ‘Slave Market’: A Visual History.” Southern Spaces (September 2012).
• Hill, Sarah H. “Cherokee Removal Scenes: Ellijay, Georgia, 1838.” Southern Spaces (August 2012).
• Lane, John. “Still Under the Influence: The Bioregional Origins of the Hub City Writers Project.” Southern Spaces (February 2012).
• Nunn, Erich. “Hillbilly Records, Zulu Yodels, and the Sounds of a Global South.” Southern Spaces (March 2013).
• Pandey, Gyanendra. “Vernacular and Universal Prejudice.” Southern Spaces (January 2013).
• Patterson, Daniel W. “Backcountry Legends of a Minister’s Death.” Southern Spaces (October 2012).
• Quigley, Sarah. “‘Looking Back and Moving Forward’: The Records of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference at Emory University’s Manuscript, Archives, and Rare Book Library.” Southern Spaces (June 2012).
• Reynolds, Aaron. “Inside the Jackson Tract: The Battle Over Peonage Labor Camps in Southern Alabama, 1906.” Southern Spaces (January 2013).
• Smith, Barbara Ellen and Stephen L. Fisher. “The Place of Appalachia.” Southern Spaces (January 2013).
• Spears, Ellen Griffith. “Landscapes and Ecologies of the U.S. South: Essays in Eco-Cultural History.” Southern Spaces (February 2013).
• Weber, Lynn. “No Place To Be Displaced: Katrina Response and the Deep South’s Political Economy.” Southern Spaces (August 2012).
• Yaeger, Patricia. “Beasts of the Southern Wild and Dirty Ecology.” Southern Spaces (February 2013).
• Yow, Ruthie. “‘It’s Being Black and Poor’: Race, Class, and Desegregation at Pebblebrook High.” Southern Spaces (February 2012).

Southern Quarterly
• Brannock, Jennifer. “‘Gotten Snakebite’: Letters from a Confederate Soldier–The Granville W. and Mary Caroline Belcher Collection.” Southern Quarterly 49.4 (Summer 2012): 109-130.
• Foster-Singletary, Tikenya. “Dirty South: The Help and the Problem of Black Bodies.” Southern Quarterly 49.4 (Summer 2012):95-108.
• Hagood, Thomas Chase. “”Oh, what a slanderous book”: Reading Uncle Tom’s Cabin in the Antebellum South.” Southern Quarterly 49.4 (Summer 2012): 71-93.
• Miller, Wendy Pearce. “”[B]etween promise and hard pan”: Environment and History in The Beulah Quintet.” Southern Quarterly 49.4 (Summer 2012): 45-69.
• Tullos, Allen. “Woman on the Run, White Panic Down Home: George Wallace and Other Specters in Mark Childress’s Crazy in Alabama.” Southern Quarterly 49.4 (Summer 2012): 9-26.
• Wall, Carey. “Eudora Welty’s ‘The Whole World Knows’: Sacrificing a Maiden–and an Obedient Man.” Southern Quarterly 49.4 (Summer 2012): 27-44.
• Daniels, Chad. “Military Pastimes: Entertaining the Troops at Camp Shelby, 1918-1945.” Southern Quarterly 50.1 (Fall 2012): 131-151.
• Ferris, William. “Seven Southern Authors: A Photo Essay.” Southern Quarterly 50.1 (Fall 2012): 104-109.
• Foster, Verna A. “Ridiculous Fraud and The Jacksonian–Beth Henley’s New Plays about the South: An Interview.” Southern Quarterly 50.1 (Fall 2012): 42-60.
• Kolin, Philip C. “The Legacy of the Southern Quarterly.” Southern Quarterly 50.1 (Fall 2012): 11-23.
• Kuhn, Francis X. “Performing Mississippi in Central Park.” Southern Quarterly 50.1 (Fall 2012): 110-126.
• Pinson, Patricia. “Ways of Knowing in Walter Anderson.” Southern Quarterly 50.1 (Fall 2012): 167-195.
• Thomas, Rhondda Robinson. “The First Negro Priest on Southern Soil: George Freeman Bragg, Jr. and the Struggle of Black Episcopalians in the South, 1824-1909.” Southern Quarterly 50.1 (Fall 2012): 79-103.
• Wolter, Jürgen C. “Southern Hesters: Hawthorne’s Influence on Kate Chopin, Toni Morrison, William Faulkner, and Tennessee Williams.” Southern Quarterly 50.1 (Fall 2012): 24-41.

Studies in American Culture
• McGehee, Margaret T. “Dynamiting the Levees: The South in Dave Egger’s Zeitoun.” Studies in American Culture 35.1 (October 2012).
• McHaney, Pearl Amelia. “Sensing Eudora Welty’s New Orleans.” Studies in American Culture 35.1 (October 2012).

Twentieth-Century Literature
• Obourn, Megan. “Early Civil Rights ‘Voice Work’ in Richard Wright and Zora Neale Hurston.” Twentieth-Century Literature 58.2 (Summer 2012): 238-266.

Recent Books

Cambridge University Press
• Armstrong, Tim. The Logic of Slavery: Debt, Technology, and Pain in American Literature. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2012.
• Frye, Steven. The Cambridge Companion to Cormac McCarthy. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2013.
• Hayes, Kevin J., ed. Edgar Allan Poe in Context. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2012.
• Monteith, Sharon, ed. The Cambridge Companion to the Literature of the American South. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2013.
• Samuels, Shirley. The Cambridge Companion to Abraham Lincoln. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2012.

Cormac McCarthy Society
• Wallach, Rick, ed. You Would Not Believe What Watches: Suttree and McCarthy’s Knoxville. The Cormac McCarthy Society (2012).

Duke University Press
• Coleman, Jeffrey Lamar. Words of Protest, Words of Freedom: Poetry of the American Civil Rights Movement and Era. Durham: Duke UP, 2012.
• Tillet, Salamishah. Sites of Slavery: Citizenship and Racial Democracy in the Post-Civil Rights Imagination. Durham: Duke UP, 2012.
• Wallace, Maurice O. and Shawn Michelle Smith, eds. Pictures and Progress: Early Photography and the Making of African American Identity. Durham: Duke UP, 2012.

Illinois University Press
• Blevins, Brooks. Ghost of the Ozarks: Murder and Memory in the Upland South. Champaign: U of Illinois P, 2012.
• Fisher, Stephen L. and Barbara Ellen Smith, eds. Transforming Places: Lessons from Appalachia. Champaign: U of Illinois P, 2012.
• Harrison, Douglas. Then Sings My Soul: The Culture of Southern Gospel Music. Champaign: U of Illinois P, 2012.
• Pfeifer, Michael J., ed. Lynching Beyond Dixie: American Mob Violence Outside the South. Champaign: U of Illinois P, 2013.
• Stanley, Talmage A. The Poco Field: An American Story of Place. Champaign: U of Illinois P, 2012.
• Wade, Stephen. The Beautiful Music All Around Us: Field Recordings and the American Experience. Champaign: U of Illinois P, 2012.
• Weiner, Marli F. Sex, Sickness, and Slavery: Illness in the Antebellum South. Champaign: : U of Illinois P, 2012.
• Whiteis, David. Southern Soul-Blues. Champaign: U of Illinois P, 2013.

Liverpool University Press.
• Fumagalli, Maria Cristina, Peter Hulme, Owen Robinson, Lesley Wylie, eds. Surveying the American Tropics: A Literary Geography from New York to Rio. Liverpool: Liverpool UP, 2013.

Louisiana State University Press
• Amende, Kathaleen. Desire and the Devine: Feminine Identity in White Southern Women’s Writing. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State UP, 2013.
• Giemza, Bryan. Irish Catholic Writers and the Invention of the American South. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State UP, 2013.
• Phillips, Jason. Storytelling, History, and the Postmodern South. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State UP, 2013.

Oxford University Press
• Roynon, Tessa. Toni Morrison and the Classical Tradition: Transforming American Culture. Oxford: Oxford UP, 2013.
• Storey, Mark. Rural Fictions, Urban Realities: A Geography of Gilded Age American Literature. Oxford: Oxford UP, 2012.
• Hanlon, Christopher. America’s England: Antebellum Literature and Atlantic Sectionalism. Oxford: Oxford UP, 2013.

Palgrave/Macmillan
• Perry, Dennis R. and Carl H. Sederholm, eds. Adapting Poe: Re-Imaginings in Popular Culture. New York: Palgrave/Macmillan, 2012.

Salem Press
• Ellis, Jay, ed. Critical Insights: Southern Gothic Literature. Pasadena, CA: Salem Press, 2013.

Southeast Missouri State University Press
• Hamblin, Robert W. and Christopher Rieger. Faulkner and Morrison. Cape Girardeau, MO: Southeast Missouri State UP, 2013.

Smolarcorp
• Smolar, Ryan and Rachel Potucek, eds. New Orleans by New Orleans. Torrance, CA: Smolarcorp, 2012.

University of Alabama Press
• Spielvogel, J. Christian. Interpreting Sacred Ground: The Rhetoric of National Civil War Parks and Battlefields. Tuscaloosa: U of Alabama P, 2013.
• Stout, Janis P. South by Southwest: Katherine Anne Porter and the Burden of Texas History. Tuscaloosa: U of Alabama P, 2013.

University Press of Florida
• Link, William A., David Brown, Brian Ward, and Martyn Bone. Creating Citizenship in the Nineteenth-Century South. Gainesville: UP of Florida, 2013.
• Ward, Brian, Martyn Bone and William A. Link. The American South and the Atlantic World. Gainesville: UP of Florida, 2013.
University of Georgia Press
• Gwin, Minrose. Remembering Medger Evers: Writing the Long Civil Rights Movement. Athens: U of Georgia P, 2013.
• Milian, Claudia. Latining America: Black-Brown Passages and the Coloring of Latino/a Studies. Athens: U of Georgia P, 2013.
• Pollack, Harriet, ed. Eudora Welty, Whiteness, and Race. Athens: U of Georgia P, 2013.
• Smith, Jon. Finding Purple America: The South and the Future of American Cultural Studies. Athens: U of Georgia P, 2013.
• Waid, Candace. The Signifying Eye: Seeing Faulkner’s Art. Athens: U of Georgia P, 2013.

University Press of Mississippi
• Edenfield, Olivia Carr. Conversations with Audre Dubus. Jackson: UP of Mississippi, 2013.
• Fuller, Stephen M. Eudora Welty and Surrealism. Jackson: UP of Mississippi, 2013.
• Giemza, Bryan Albin, ed. Rethinking the Irish in the American South: Beyond Rounders and Reelers. Jackson: UP of Mississippi, 2013.
• Gray, Jonathan W. Innocence by Association: Civil Rights in the White Literary Imagination. Jackson: UP of Mississippi, 2013.
• Hall, Joan Wylie. Conversations with Natasha Trethewey. Jackson: UP of Mississippi, 2013.
• Piacentino, Edward J. Southern Frontier Humor: New Approaches. Jackson: UP of Mississippi, 2013.

University of North Carolina Press
• Crown, Carol and Cheryl Rivers, eds. The New Encyclopedia of Southern Culture: Folk Art. Volume 23. Gen. Ed. Charles Reagan Wilson. Chapel Hill: U of North Carolina P, 2013.
• Holt, Thomas C. and Laurie B. Green, eds. The New Encyclopedia of Southern Culture: Race. Volume 24. Gen. Ed. Charles Reagan Wilson. Chapel Hill: U of North Carolina P, 2013.

University of South Carolina Press
• Bellis, Patricia and John David Smith. Seeing the New South: Race and Place in the Photographs of Ulrich Bonnell Phillips. Columbia: U of South Carolina P, 2012.
• Dawes, Kawme and Marjory Wentworth, eds. Seeking: Poetry and Prose Inspired by the Art of Jonathan Green. Columbia: U of South Carolina P, 2013.
• Larsen, Jennifer. Understanding Suzan-Lori Parks. Columbia: U of South Carolina P, 2012.
• Rogers, Aida, ed. State of the Heart: South Carolina Writers on the Places They Live. Columbia: U of South Carolina P, 2013.
• Sledge, John S. Southern Bound: A Gulf Coast Journalist on Books, Writers, and Literary Pilgrimages of the Heart. Columbia: U of South Carolina P, 2013.

University of Tennessee Press
• Anderson, Melanie R. Spectrality in the Novels of Toni Morrison. Knoxville: U of Tennessee P, 2013.
• Glazier, Jack. Been Coming through Some Hard Times: Race, History, and Memory in Western Kentucky. Knoxville: U of Tennessee P, 2012.
• Knight, Alisha. Pauline Hopkins and the American Dream: An African American Writer’s (Re)Visionary Gospel of Success. Knoxville: U of Tennessee P, 2013.
• Leder, Priscilla, ed. Seeds of Change: Critical Essays on Barbara Kingsolver. Knoxville: U of Tennessee P, 2012.
• Lefler, Lisa J., ed. Southern Foodways and Culture: Local Considerations and Beyond. Knoxville: U of Tennessee P, 2013.

University of Virginia Press
• Fowler, Doreen. Drawing the Line: The Father Reimagined in Faulkner, Wright, O’Connor, and Morrison. Charlottesville: U of Virginia P, 2013.
• Hardwig, Bill. Upon Provincialism: Southern Literature and National Periodical Culture, 1870–1900. Charlottesville: U of Virginia P, 2013.
• Ragosta, John. Religious Freedom: Jefferson’s Legacy, America’s Creed. Charlottesville: U of Virginia P, 2013.
• Roberts, Brian Russell. Artistic Ambassadors: Literary and International Representation of the New Negro Era. Charlottesville: U of Virginia P, 2013.
• Thorsson, Courtney. Women’s Work: Nationalism and Contemporary African American Women’s Novels. Charlottesville: U of Virginia P, 2013.
• Valsania, Maurizio. Nature’s Man: Thomas Jefferson’s Philosophical Anthropology. Charlottesville: U of Virginia P, 2013.

Waxmann
• Hock, Klaus and Gesa Mackenthun, eds. Entangled Knowledge: Scientific Discourse and Cultural Difference. Muenster, Germany: Waxmann, 2012.