The African American Studies Issue
David A. Davis, editor of the SSSL Newsletter, is Assistant Professor of English and Southern Studies at Mercer University in Macon, Georgia.
All too often, the word “southerners” appears in print referring primarily to white conservatives. During the recent government shutdown, for example, several media outlets blamed southern politicians for resurrecting nullification, the Confederacy, obstructionism, and racism. Even though white conservatives come from all parts of the country and even though many politicians from the South opposed the shutdown, bloggers and reporters blamed “southerners.” In this case, the concerns of a segment of the population stand in as a metonym for the entire region. I worry that the same thing can happen with the phrases “southern literature” and “southern culture”? Even when the writer might mean to refer to a diverse and heterogeneous region with a complicated history, could the reader misinterpret and assume that the term refers primarily to whites? When the media conflates southerners with white conservatives, such confusions are probable, if not inevitable. These semantic confusions in American media often obscure the presence of black southerners.
Are African Americans present in southern studies? The majority of African Americans live in the South, and African Americans have made crucial contributions to southern history, literature, and culture. The South cannot be studied without incorporating the African American experience, but many institutions compartmentalize African American studies in separate academic silos, and much of the work of African American studies focuses on the urban North. Black southern studies, thus, remains a sometimes nebulous field, caught between misperceptions of the South in the media and the rigid structures of discipline in the academy. This issue of the newsletter examines intersections of African American studies and southern studies with a state of the field column by Terrence T. Tucker and an interview with Trudier Harris and Riché Richardson.
This issue also includes a remembrance of Louis D. Rubin, Jr., the founder of the Society for the Study of Southern Literature. Our society’s vitality is his legacy. We will remember him, exchange ideas, and enjoy each other’s’ company at our upcoming conference in Arlington, Virginia, which I hope you will all attend. Please see the call for papers page for details about the conference and other opportunities.
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.
Always one of the best things about living and working in northern Virginia, autumn has been even more dazzling than usual this year and even more beyond the descriptive powers of ordinary language. My photographs on Facebook do a better job of demonstrating just how spectacular my home campus and neighborhood have been for the past several weeks. It’s been pretty much impossible to go out for a walk without stopping, again and again, to soak it all in.
Of course, spring is also really, really nice here—like our autumns, our springs are long, colorful, rich, and temperate. I’ll be sharing the Washington Post’s annual Cherry Blossom Forecast before too much longer, but for now, I’m delighted to report that paper and panel proposals for our 2014 spring biennial conference continue to roll in. We’re impressed and excited by your robust, dazzling, colorful, and really, really nice response to our Call for Proposals. And we very much look forward to all the proposals still in the works!
I’m happy to announce that registration for our 2014 SSSL conference in Arlington is now open: http://275.70c.myftpupload.com/conference/
On this page of our website, you can also find a link to our hotel’s online room reservation page. And the “Panel CFPs” link will take you to an archive of all known cfps composed by people interested in organizing a panel for SSSL 2014.
A few more logistical details: the conference will open on Thursday, March 27, 2014, at 1:30 and will close on Saturday, March 29, at approximately 6:00 p.m. Special events include an opening-night plenary panel—manifestos!!—chaired by Michael Bibler and featuring panelists Keith Cartwright, Sharon Holland, Pippa Holloway, and Jay Watson. A reception will follow; we’ll feed you manifestos, then give you food and drink. We’ll also have keynotes by Native Studies scholar Jace Weaver and novelist Monique Truong. And we’ll memorialize absent colleagues and friends Noel Polk and Louis Rubin. Lastly, we’re organizing a second plenary panel, in which graduate students and tenure-track faculty offer responses to the manifestos panel and help guide us toward the futures of southern literary studies.
All sessions at the Arlington conference will run for 80 minutes. As our sense of the conference schedule grid continues to evolve, we’d like to amend (slightly) and clarify what we announced earlier about participation: each person who comes to the conference can give one paper presentation and one roundtable presentation, OR two roundtable presentations—but not two full-conference-length papers. Please don’t hesitate to contact me if you have any questions.
Lastly, as a gentle reminder, you can also renew your SSSL membership, or join SSSL, at our full-service website: http://275.70c.myftpupload.com/contact/
Thanks, everyone, and all best wishes from northern Virginia, where it’s still autumn and where spring, and SSSL 2014, beckon!
C. Hugh Holman Award
Established by The Society for the Study of Southern Literature in 1985 and first presented in 1986, the C. Hugh Holman Award honors the best book of literary scholarship or literary criticism in the field of southern literature published during a given calendar year. This award is named for the late highly-esteemed scholar of southern literature, C. Hugh Holman, who taught at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
The winner of the 2013 Holman Award is Tim Armstrong for The Logic of Slavery: Debt, Technology, and Pain in American Literature (Cambridge University Press, 2012).
A Holman Honorable Mention has been awarded to Jay Watson for Reading for the Body: The Recalcitrant Materiality of Southern Fiction, 1893-1985 (University of Georgia Press, 2012).
Congratulations to the winners and thanks to the members of the 2013 Holman Committee—Keith Cartwright, Sarah Gleeson-White, and chair Sharon Monteith.
Louis D. Rubin, Jr. (November 19, 1923 – November 16, 2013)
Barbara Ladd is Professor of English at Emory University
When I arrived in Chapel Hill in 1985, it was a return for me. I had been there for a couple of years as an undergraduate in the mid-1970s and did not have enough sense at the time to take a course with Louis Rubin, but this time I knew what I was doing, enough anyway to walk into his office not long after he announced his retirement in order to tell him that working with him was THE reason I had returned to UNC and that I would be devastated if he were unable to direct my dissertation. “I guess I can do that,” he said, “Now here’s what you do.” He went on to advise me to read everything ever written on my subject and then to begin writing. Simple enough. So I did.
I recall the short walk from Greenlaw to his home on Gimghoul Road just beyond the tennis courts and not far from the Forest Theatre where I thought I could still, in 1985, sense the presence of Thomas Wolfe. The others and I stood outside the door. At exactly 4 p.m., we were admitted. The room in which our class met was just off the entrance hall to the right. It was filled with books, and it was easy to pass the time studying the spines and book jackets, the stacks of papers, the old typewriter, and Rubin himself—and thinking about what a marvel the literary life was, and would be. After a couple of hours, his wife Eva, a political science professor at North Carolina State University, would come home, and we could hear her in the kitchen and the hallway. I think Louis’s expression always lightened a bit at that point.
Louis Decimus Rubin, Jr., died on Saturday, November 16, 2013, just short of his 90th birthday. He leaves behind his wife, Eva Redfield Rubin, and his two sons, but he also leaves behind a much larger family of students, colleagues, and friends.
A lot has been said over the past couple of days about his work with young writers, about Algonquin Books, and his own wide-ranging literary output. He was a novelist and essayist, as well as a scholar. Less has been said about his scholarship and criticism and about the scholars, critics, and teachers he educated during his thirty-plus years in the business. I want to say something about this side of his career and his legacy, and to give some others the chance to remember him as a scholar, teacher, and mentor—no one who knew him has declined my request for a comment, and over the past few days I have heard many stories about him, some of which I have included here.
Louis sometimes told the story of his efforts to find a director for his dissertation at Johns Hopkins in the early 1950s. When he approached “an American literature scholar of some reputation, who liked very much to think of himself as a southern gentleman,” and proposed a dissertation on Thomas Wolfe, the professor responded that Thomas Wolfe was not a southern writer, that he belonged “among the Midwestern writers.” Why? Because he was not a “gentleman,” and southern literature, like the South itself, was defined, according to the professor, by its “aristocratic ideal.” Louis, not to be dissuaded, found someone else to direct his dissertation and went on to define the field of southern literary studies in terms somewhat different from those of the Johns Hopkins professor when it comes to matters of class. In the next decade, in a very famous essay, “Southern Literature: A Piedmont Art,” Rubin wrote that the major southern writers of the twentieth century were “outsiders” to the “aristocratic ideal,” not poor, but not rich either, and tended to have been born and raised “above the fall line,” more like Thomas Wolfe, whose mother ran a boarding house in Asheville.
The “outsider” idea, as applied to southern literature and culture, “had legs,” as journalists like to say—it opened a field, it made way for debate and difference, it challenged a status quo. The title of the first major collection of essays in the field, Southern Renascence: The Literature of the Modern South (Johns Hopkins, 1953; co-edited by Rubin and Robert D. Jacobs) established two more of the terms (Renascence and modernity) on which Rubin and others of what has been called the “Rubin Generation” would create and sustain a field of academic study. Surely it is no coincidence that the vitality of this field between the early 1950s and the 1990s arose with the prosperity and spirit of the post-World War II era, the growth of the middle class, the expansion of colleges and universities in response to the G.I. Bill, and the expansion of civil rights—but it was Louis himself, with his imagination, his energy, and his ability to inspire those around him who harnessed that vitality.
- It’s an understatement to say that Louis Rubin was the most prominent figure in southern literary studies over the past half century. He touched almost every area of southern literature—from his influence as teacher and scholar to his founding and editorship of the Southern Literary Journal and the LSU Press’s Southern Literary Studies series and his founding of Algonquin Books. His influence on an entire generation of southern writers and literary scholars—more than one generation in fact—was immense.
Fred Hobson, Lineberger Distinguished Professor of Humanities, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
- I was never a student of Louis D. Rubin, nor his colleague in the formal sense of being a member of the same faculty. But I learned southern literature mostly from him by reading his books and essays. And, probably inevitably, by disagreeing with him. It would be slightly inaccurate to say that Louis Rubin “shaped” or “designed” the field of southern literature. Better to say he “made” it because it has his peculiar toolmarks, his likes and dislikes, insights and opacity. As Whitman might have said if he were writing about Louis Rubin: I am the southern literary critic, I saw it, I was there. And because he was, we have a place to work.
Michael Kreyling, Gertrude Conaway Vanderbilt Professor of English, Vanderbilt University
- Louis Rubin was my teacher in graduate school, a sometime advisor after I finished my Ph.D., and one of the rare few I’ve ever encountered in more than 40 years in this profession who would tell me, in no uncertain terms, when he thought I was dead wrong. The best professional advice I ever received in my career came from Louis, although what he told me, when I was just a year or two into my first job, was definitely not what I wanted to hear. Which is why he told me, and which is why I needed to hear it. I’ll always be grateful to him for it and for caring enough about my future to put it to me straight, with no chaser. I was always in awe of him, and still am.
William L. Andrews, E. Maynard Adams Professor, Department of English and Comparative Literature, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
- I was not one of Louis Rubin’s students, and I was a student of Louis Rubin. I could remark his abiding generosity and his intellectual acumen, because he did indeed teach by his own unique and caring example. When I arrived at UNC-Chapel Hill in 1979, an untenured associate professor, Louis with Hugh Holman and Blyden Jackson, who had been my undergraduate mentor, included me in their “talks,” which meant that they regaled one another with all kinds of stories and that I listened without much to add, except when I railed against some terrible injustice or another. There were, according to my mind, too many terrible injustices happening and always involving race and gender, and always showing the awful abuses of privilege. Once when I was railing on about privilege and discrimination after, oddly enough, my frustrating struggle to get the first undergraduate course in southern literature on the books, Louis launched into the story of how he was not hired at UNC the first time around. Why? Because he was Jewish, though there was some excuse made about his degree. His story stopped everything, because it made absolute sense: the whys of his crusades, the whats of his initiations, the hows of his teaching. Louis, white, southern, male, was also Jewish, and the combination though not uppermost in any social or academic conversation or any lecture or book was necessarily there, present and attuned to so much of the blatant and subtle injustices that for him the correctives came in his enormous work ethic across academic cultures and his powerful attention to students, colleagues, and friends across race, gender, and class divides. He gave me then a life lesson, a perspective on privilege—it’s all relative, unstable, and perhaps ultimately untenable. Now, with his transition, I look back at his “lesson” with gratitude, love, and humility.
Thadious M. Davis, Geraldine R. Segal Professor of American Social Thought and Professor of English, University of Pennsylvania
- We published many of Louis’s books, yes, but he was also founder of our influential and award-winning Southern Literary Studies series and its editor for nearly 30 years, and beyond that, he put us in touch with countless fiction writers and poets, scholars and nonfiction writers, many of whom became authors of books we published or helped the Press in other ways. His contributions to the Press and to southern literature have been enormous.
John Easterly, Former Executive Editor, Louisiana State University Press
- Louis Rubin will always be remembered as a monumental figure in the history of LSU Press.
MaryKatherine Callaway, Director, Louisiana State University Press
- I was a student at UNC-CH in 1967-68 and came back as an Instructor in 1970. But it wasn’t until 1972, by which time I had become department chairman, that I got to know Louis, but from then on we were colleagues, collaborators, and, best of all, friends. What a blessing it was to be at UNC CH in those years, when you could take a few steps down the hall and talk with Louis, Hugh Holman, Blyden Jackson, Lewis Leary, Richard Fogle, and other world-class teachers, scholars, and critics in American Literature. At one point in the mid-1970s I mentioned to Louis that, while there were two Oxford Books of American Verse and one Oxford Book of Light Verse, there ought to be an Oxford Book of American Light Verse. Louis said, “Write to them.” I demurred, protesting that I was not qualified. He said, “Let them decide.” So I did, and so they did, and the book, edited by me, appeared in 1979. From then on until his death in 2013 Louis and I corresponded and conspired, so to speak, on various projects, and just had fun in general. Within weeks of his death my wife and I visited him and Eva a few times, and one of the first things he said to me was “What are you writing?” He was a consummate professional right to the end and for decades one of the best of friends.
William Harmon, James Gordon Hanes Professor Emeritus in the Humanities, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
- As I recall, I was happy to be starting work on my PhD in the autumn of 1981, but I was also a little lost: Louis met me and in a few minutes he had me sorted. As time went on, he gave me the clear advice that any number of former students will recognize (delivered in short sentences, punctuated with incisive marginal comments made in black felt-tip pen). He listened to me and heard what I loved and wanted to do, steering me straight into my best work—for me, a blend of southern and Irish studies. For a young and relatively insecure woman entering a profession full of men, being taken seriously by someone who had no interest in treating me with less respect than my male peers was nearly shocking and tremendously liberating. That was thirty years ago. Since, Louis has remained a mentor in the strongest sense of the word and a friend who made one of the deep marks on my life. To say I’ll miss him is nearly absurd in its understatement.
Meg Harper, Glucksman Chair of Contemporary Irish Writing, University of Limerick
Going Back South: African American Studies and the Possibilities of Return
Terrence Tucker is an assistant professor in the Department of English at the University of Memphis, where his research centers on African American literature from 1945 to the present, and he has published on topics ranging from race and pedagogy to Walter Mosley to African-American superheroes. His work on southern literature includes “(Re)Claiming Legacy in the Post-Civil Rights South” which was recently published in Southern Literary Journal.
“‘You going North?” I asked him. ‘No, I’m where I’m going right now,’ he said. “South.” I quit eating. ‘You got to be crazy,’ I said” (44-5). – Ernest Gaines, The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman
“And [The Souls of Black Folks] a hundred year later, still serves us memorably well in imagining, planning, and scholastically forecasting work yet to be done in and on America’s twenty-first century South” (50). – Houston Baker, I Don’t Hate the South
The traditional relationship between southern and African American studies has often placed the two at odds. One branch of southern studies, the Southern Agrarians, deeply longed for the Old South of the antebellum period, and one branch of African American studies heavily invested in the formation of a distinct Afrocentric critical tradition fueled by the Black Arts and Black Power Movements of the late 1960s and 1970s. One memorable collision between the two approaches concerned the reception of William Styron’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel The Confessions of Nat Turner (1967). A collective uproar erupted from black intellectuals, famously articulated in the John Henrik Clarke-edited William Styron’s Nat Turner: Ten Black Writers Respond (1968), and also led to a host of novels from Ishmael Reed’s Flight to Canada (1976) to Sherley Anne Williams’s Dessa Rose (1987) to, most famously, Toni Morrison’s Beloved (1988) that we frequently refer to as the neo-slave narrative tradition. Even when neither field could give up an obsession with Faulkner, it was often for completely different reasons: the one could not give up their fascination with him, the other could not give up their disgust. Both groups were unable to see his work as it is. When southern critics finally began to include works by African American writers as part of a literary and critical tradition, often Zora Neale Hurston’s Their Eyes Were Watching God (1937), Richard Wright’s Black Boy (1945), or Alice Walker’s The Color Purple (1983), African American critics derided the effort as mere tokenism that removed the works from the context of black literary tradition while ignoring cultural influence black expressive culture has had on southern culture. Meanwhile African American studies abandoned its interest in the rural South (and sometimes the South itself) in favor of the urban North, assuming the North to be a site that offered a more sophisticated, radical, and unyielding blackness as opposed to the seemingly passive image of southern blacks nobly surviving under the thumb of white southern oppression.
As both fields have evolved, their commitment to interdisciplinary study, their willingness to balance critical theory and the lived experiences of its subjects, and the continued resonances between the fields that have been reawakened, have made clear the potential a relationship offers. As new southern studies examines “other souths,” African American studies provides a crucial model that encourages critics to ground their study in the language and traditions of a specific community. Recently, both fields have been on parallel courses, as the questions about a southern studies that eschews southern exceptionalism mirror charges that African American studies has outlived its political and intellectual usefulness. Here I believe that new southern and African American studies share a flexibility that allows them to move across multiple boundaries with their other academic “allies” while continuing to return to and build on the obvious and complex relationship between the two subjects. In a South wrestling with the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, voter ID laws, and the remigration of African Americans, we must seize the opportunity as the starting point for a larger examination of twenty-first century American culture.
I remain persuaded by Trudier Harris’s contention in The Scary Mason-Dixon Line (2009) that African American writers continue to be “compelled to confront the American South and all its bloody history in [their] writings” (1-2). The sense of being compelled echoes throughout Ernest Gaines’s novel, A Lesson Before Dying (1993), in which the protagonist Grant Wiggins struggles in his small Louisiana hometown of Bayonne after he returns to become the schoolteacher at the black school on the plantation. Grant’s desire to leave the state informs a deep alienation exacerbated by his open defiance of racist southern customs and traditions of the 1940s. His inability to permanently leave the South forces him to face the opportunity he possesses to interrupt the cycle of labor, alienation, and imprisonment, an opportunity that emerges when his Tante Lou and her friend Miss Emma volunteer him to visit Miss Emma’s godson, the newly (and wrongly) condemned Jefferson. Their relationship, what Keith Clark calls an attempt to “reconstruct and re-envision themselves as subjects” (77), has the potential not just to impact the individual lives of both men but also to realign the assumptions about the presence and roles of the black community in the segregation-era South. Grant’s return to the South offers a unique perspective to his students and to Jefferson and mirrors the potential that emerges from the remigration of millions of African Americans to the South over the last twenty years. Remigration provides the opportunity to reject static definitions of African Americans and their relationship to the South.
The presence of African Americans who have deep ties to the South but who also have experiences outside of the grip of slavery and segregation has appeared without much fanfare throughout African American literature. So in works such as Harriet Jacobs’s Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl (1861) and Toni Morrison’s A Mercy (2008), we see a figure rarely seen and almost never discussed: the southern black free person. Here we view a figure that not only disrupts the white subject/black object during slavery, but also further collapses the notion of northern promised land vs. southern hell, and demands we confront a distinct black reality in the South. The life of free African Americans surely differs from black free life in Philadelphia or Washington D.C., and it acts as a threatening presence in the proslavery South. In African American studies, we have begun to see a contemporary manifestation of this distinct black reality: the world of the black elite, the black middle and upper class Michael Eric Dyson has referred to as the “Afristocracy.” Their emergence in black southern centers like Atlanta, Memphis, and Charlotte adds complexity to simplistic notions of white flight to the suburbs and impoverished blacks trapped in poverty. In particular, the presence of the Afristocracy encourages us to view the intersections of race and class that move beyond the black poor, which while necessary, have often been used to cast blacks as pathological and lazy. The potential of remigrating blacks and the growing black elite to fashion a dynamic black community along with the South’s generational and demographic changes promise to transform the traditions and assumptions that have governed mainstream southern cultural and political logic since the end of Reconstruction.
The relationship between southern and African American studies must, then, be dynamic and cannot rely on our traditional notions of the other fields. Thus, Gaines’s multiethnic world of African Americans, whites, Creoles, and Cajuns reveals the complex racial universe that moves beyond the dichotomy of black and white that contrast the imposition of traditional racial hierarchies enforced after the Louisiana Purchase in 1803. I am reminded of Houston Baker’s wife’s contention that the South acts as his “muse” and remains, for him and for many other African Americans returning to the South, a stubborn and seductive presence. According to Baker, understanding the dynamic relationships between African Americans and South allows us to view suspiciously those “‘Negroes’ who have damned their black, southern ancestral ‘family’ as ignorant or misguided provinces. They have traditionally done so in a bid to have their own productions accepted as, well, universal. In such bids, I think universal signals white acknowledgement and praise which in my view, is nothing but slave ships all over again for the black majority” (xvii). I am only slightly amused when northerners move to the South only to comment about southern blacks who “just accept” racist treatment from whites. Is that, I sometimes wonder, an opinion I should merely forgive? Or would that confirm their assumptions. More importantly, part of forming a dynamic community that transforms our critical discourse on race and the South must include dismantling the monolithic notions of southern black life and resistance. As a result, we see an important interest in southern black militancy often ignored in favor of the mainstream narrative of southern black nobility displayed during the nonviolent sit-ins, marches, and boycotts of the Civil Rights Movement. However, Timothy B. Tyson’s Radio Free Dixie: Robert F. Williams and the Roots of Black Power (1999) and Lance Hill’s The Deacons for Defense: Armed Resistance and the Civil Rights Movement (2006) reveal a militant ideology that complicates our popular (and critical) understanding of black life and resistance in the South. Tyson’s book, for example, situates Williams, author of Negroes With Guns (1962), as a direct influence on Huey Newton and locates Williams and the South as a central site for the onset of Black Power.
Armed with such new information about black militancy, pedagogically we might turn to Alice Walker’s Meridian (1976) instead of her more celebrated The Color Purple for insights on the post-Civil Rights South. Set in Mississippi during the Civil Rights and Black Power Movements, Walker’s “crazy quilt” finds its title character navigating the racial and gendered politics that inform her progression towards black female subjectivity while chronicling the region’s attempt to wrestle with the new realities that the changing social, historical, and political landscape has wrought. The return of Truman, Meridian’s ex-lover and Civil Rights worker, to the South reminds us of the critical, imaginative, and emotional interest the South possesses. The collapse of the dichotomy of the passive black southerner and the radical black northerner that Meridian initiates and Baker extends realigns our understanding of the black presence in the South and demands that we – as the novel does – reconsider our previous conceptions of history and begin to imagine how the changing notions of the South are influencing our shifting conceptions of gender, class, and sexuality within African America. When the North Carolina legislature passed a series of laws that many criticized would roll back the gains of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and disenfranchise minorities, it contrasted the contemporary narrative, since 2008, of North Carolina as an increasingly “blue” state and the hub of a transformation of the South. Buoyed by generational shifts and the casualness with which they often see race, growing economic opportunities in Charlotte, and the remigration of African Americans to the state, Barack Obama won the state during his first presidential run and revealed the material impact of the changing demographics of the nation generally and the South specifically. The anxiety over Obama’s election resulted in a 2008 accelerated and radicalized the South’s gradual shift toward the Republican party. In The Politics of Rage: George Wallace, the Origins of the New Conservatism, and the Transformation of American Politics (1995), Dan T. Carter, contrary to popular conservative rhetoric, locates contemporary conservatism not with Ronald Reagan, but with the notorious segregationist George Wallace, whose multiple presidential runs formed the template to modern conservatism with its hostility to federal intervention, its privileging of states’ rights, and its recasting of whites as alienated and aggrieved at the hands of undeserving and unpatriotic minorities. The tensions currently playing out in North Carolina, and even Virginia, reveal that for all the talk of the increasingly global, digital, and postmodern dynamism of twenty first-century America, there are times when we still return to the contemporary South as a marker of the competing and contradictory forces of black racial progress and white racial backlash. Works like Meridian and Gaines’s own A Gathering of Old Men (1983) depict the aftermath of the Civil Rights Movement that finds a South not radically changed from the pre-Civil Rights era, but one filled with white anxiety over both the legal and political changes and, more importantly, the open challenges by African Americans to the rituals and hierarchies that have defined the region since Reconstruction.
Part of the effort made by African American studies to encourage challenges to the sources and byproducts of white supremacist hegemony has been to cast an anxious and urgent eye on the construction of black masculinity. The community’s concern over the frightening statistics surrounding black men have led many to situate “saving black men” as primary to contemporary racial uplift. New southern studies could play a primary role here, because, I would contend, that we can – and must – view the South as the primary mediating site for concepts of black masculinity, a point which Riché Richardson explores to great effect in Black Masculinity and the U.S. South: From Uncle Tom to Gangsta (2007). The onset of the Black Power Movement and the influx of the black middle and upper class, the material examples of black militancy and the remigration of African Americans, demand a reconsideration of our conceptions of black masculinity, especially since, as Richardson points out, the creation of southern pimps/gangsta personas by black southern rappers reinforces the notion of black criminality in the mainstream imagination. Similarly E. Patrick Johnson’s Sweet Tea: Gay Men of the South (2008) reveals the intersection of race, sexuality, and gender by rejecting the simplistic notion of black homosexuals as a silenced and virtually invisible minority in the South. Instead, Johnson argues, “Despite the South’s history of racial segregation and religious fundamentalism, black gay men have carved out a space in which to live productive fulfilling lives” (2). Johnson makes a compelling case that if we accept the reality that African American culture plays a central role in the culture and identity of the American South even as they were the objects of violence and ostracizing, then black gay (male) culture must also be considered an important piece of southern life despite the religious fundamentalism and violent homophobia. Johnson’s oral histories and critical commentary is a vital companion to Gary Richards’s book Lovers and Beloveds: Sexual Otherness in Southern Fiction, 1936-1961(2005) and Michael P. Bibler’s Cotton’s Queer Relations: Same-Sex Intimacy and the Literature of the Southern Plantation, 1936-1968 (2009).
While I use black masculinity as an example of the evolving nature of African American studies, some of the most dynamic work involving the richness to be gained from intersections of African American and southern studies continues to be done by black women writers, including Olympia Vernon, Tayari Jones, and Jesmyn Ward. In Contemporary African American Fiction: New Critical Essays (2009), Dana Williams uses the novels of Olympia Vernon to argue “how African American writers initiate discourse-altering processes that move beyond repetition and ‘tropological revision’ to redirect rather than simply revise American literary tropes and traditions” (101). Williams’s interest in redirection amplifies a distinct and vibrant African American literature in the twenty-first century. Despite Kenneth Warren’s claims in What Was African American Literature? (2011) that African American literature might be at an end, his work assumes a static feature in African American literature and criticism, a feature that it has never had and that Williams, in moving beyond Henry Louis Gates’ theory of signifying and revision, avoids through her analysis of Vernon’s interest in the physical, emotional, and cultural significance of African Americans to southern identity. Yet Warren’s book does not appear in a vacuum, and instead sits within the larger claims of a “post-racial” moment that ignores the hegemonic forces of which segregation was a byproduct. One of the great products of the work in southern and African American studies has been a willingness to question fundamental assumptions and ultimately the rejection of assimilationist tendencies embedded in the rhetoric of universalism, integration, and colorblindness. Warren’s book reminds us, perhaps unintentionally, that in the pursuit of universalism, conceptions of African American and southern literature can replicate the narrowness of the mainstream they bemoan. This should not signal an end to a tradition, but a renewed pursuit of an inclusive, dynamic one. So, the protagonist in Vernon’s first novel Eden (2003) “recreates Eden as something greater than a reimagined South interested primarily in protecting its limited idea of innocence and purity. By the end of her narrative, she has renegotiated the representation of Eden to accommodate a broader definition of womanhood” (107). Like Vernon’s novel, new southern and African American studies have made persuasive cases that African American and southern culture sit at the center of concepts of American identity and culture and have posited expansive notions of nationhood that include their cultural distinctiveness and dynamism.
Like women’s studies and feminist theory, African American studies has prided itself on generating its critical and theoretical foci from the events and traditions found in the lives of African Americans and on avoiding the frequent criticism of an academic world too abstract to connect to people’s lived realities. So, Houston Baker’s contention that “the South is home to the largest expanse of the private prison industrial complex in the United States” makes Michelle Alexander’s masterful book The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness (2010) a necessary presence in the discourse between new southern and African American studies. Perhaps just as urgent, Hurricane Katrina exposed for us the absolute necessity of the shared interest between African American and southern studies because of all the critical work to be done in unpacking the multiple elements and forces involved in the comparative study of pre-Katrina New Orleans, the harrowing events during and immediately after the storm, and assessing the racial, class, economic, and political realities currently shaping contemporary New Orleans. In Jesmyn Ward’s novel Salvage the Bones (2011), she captures the twelve days before, during, and after Hurricane Katrina and depicts a southern landscape on the verge of fundamental change that will threaten the deep communal, historical, and cultural roots that have been built over multiple generations. In place of the connections potentially lost for Ward’s characters, many believe external political and economic forces will fashion a twenty-first-century city imposing ideological and political agenda on its citizens that will appropriate the multi-racial, multi-ethnic culture of the city’s past in favor of the installation of a homogeneity masking as postracialism.
The outrage many New Orleanians expressed demonstrated one of the rare moments in the public imagination when African Americans demanded to return to the South and revealed a sense of belonging and ownership not often associated with the relationship between blacks and the South. Similarly, the characters in Tayari Jones’s characters in Leaving Atlanta (2001) do not flee the South as a result of the Atlanta child murders in which over two dozen African American children were kidnapped from 1979-1981. Instead, the family of the one of the children Jones creates to tell the story of rampant fear, racial anger, and adolescent confusion moves to South Carolina, a decision that confirms for Trudier Harris that escape from the South is a secondary issue in the novel. For Harris, “the issue is trying to find a way to live in [the South] in spite of the insanity and the constant threats to life and limb” (173). Gaines’s characters rarely leave the South, even, as in The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman (1977), when Miss Jane and Ned attempt to leave Louisiana for Ohio after the massacre of group of African Americans that includes Ned’s mother. Indeed, they encounter characters, like the hunter whose quote begins this piece and, in searching for his father, finds himself “going back South” (45). Crazy as Miss Jane and others might think it, new southern and African American studies must go back South together, to return to the places that we think we know and explore more deeply the connections between African Americans and the South as both fields evolve and as the spaces and people we study attempt to find a way to live in the midst of fundamental and volatile change.
• Alexander, Michelle. The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness. New York: The New Press, 2010.
• Baker, Houston. I Don’t Hate the South: Reflections on Faulkner, Family, and the South. Oxford: Oxford UP, 2007.
• Bibler, Michael P. Cotton’s Queer Relations: Same-Sex Intimacy and the Literature of the Southern Plantation, 1936-1968. Charlottesville: U of Virginia P, 2009.
• Carter, Dan T. The Politics of Rage: George Wallace, the Origins of the New Conservatism, and the Transformation of American Politics. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1995.
• Harris, Trudier. The Scary Mason-Dixon Line: African American Writers and the South. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State UP, 2009.
• Hill, Lance. The Deacons for Defense: Armed Resistance and the Civil Rights Movement. Chapel Hill: U of North Carolina P, 2004.
• Johnson, E. Patrick. Sweet Tea: Gay Men of the South. Chapel Hill: U of North Carolina P, 2008.
• King, Lovalarie and Shirley Moody-Turner, Eds. Contemporary African American Literature: The Living Canon. Bloomington: Indiana UP, 2013.
• Kruse, Kevin M. White Flight: Atlanta and the Making of Modern Conservatism. Princeton: Princeton UP, 2005.
• Richards, Gary. Lovers and Beloveds: Sexual Otherness in Southern Fiction, 1936-1961. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State UP, 2005.
• Richardson, Riché. Black Masculinity and the U.S. South: From Uncle Tom to Gangsta. Athens: U of Georgia P, 2007.
• Tyson, Timothy B. Radio Free Dixie: Robert F. Williams and the Roots of Black Power. Chapel Hill: U of North Carolina P, 1999.
• Warren, Kenneth W. What Was African American Literature? Cambridge: Harvard UP, 2011.
• Williams, Dana Williams, Ed. Contemporary African American Fiction: New Critical Essays. Columbus: Ohio State UP, 2009.
Interview with Trudier Harris and Riché Richardson
Trudier Harris is Professor of English at the University of Alabama—Tuscaloosa. In addition to many essays and articles, she has published nine books, including The Scary Mason-Dixon Line: African American Writers and the South. She has also co-edited several important collections, including The Oxford Companion to African American Literature and The Literature of the American South: A Norton Anthology. Riché Richardson is Associate Professor of Africana Studies at Cornell University. She is the author of Black Masculinity and the U.S. South: From Uncle Tom to Gangsta, and she is co-editor of the New Southern Studies book series from UGA Press.
SSSL: You have both written books about the South and African American literature. What do you think “the South” means to black writers?
Trudier Harris: I would not presume to speak for “black writers” except in a speculative mode. As I argue in The Scary Mason-Dixon Line: African American Writers and the South, many African American writers appear to view the South as a rite of passage. They achieve a kind of authenticity as African American writers by delving into the territory that many view as the more oppressive and aggressively backward in terms of African American physical, social, and political progress. If we parse this out, there would probably be nuances of differences among writers producing works in different time periods, but I believe the overall argument is valid. A component to consider as well is that some African American writers, such as Wallace Thurman writing in The Blacker the Berry (1929), may refer to the South simply to emphasize its backwardness in relation to other parts of the United States. Others, such as Ernest Gaines and Alice Walker, are so saturated with the territory that it is an inseparable part of their identities. Western writers, Sherley Anne Williams and Octavia E. Butler among them, turn to the South to clarify issues about history and identity. In the process, they showcase their allegiances to millions of African Americans born and bred in the South as well as to writers who grew up on that soil.
What the South means, therefore, can be a variety of things: identity, history, authentication, tradition, transformation, eradicating fears, or gothic horror. What seems clear to me is that few writers of African descent on United States soil compose over an entire career without making reference to or depicting characters solidly grounded in the South.
If we extend “black writers” to include scholars in addition to the usually recognized creative writers, then a few other thoughts become apparent. Perhaps the negative reputation of the South has lingered longer in the minds of scholars than it has in the minds of traditional creative writers. The territory that writers embrace so freely is one that many scholars continue to avoid—either in their critical endeavors or in their refusal to traverse physically the territory of the South.
Riché Richardson: In African American literary and cultural history, the U.S. South has been linked to the experience of plantation slavery and various other traumas related to racial violence, terror, oppression and social exclusion. The region is often thought of with ambivalence, simultaneously representing a scene of trauma because of this painful history associated with antebellum slavery, Jim Crow and segregation, and a scene of liberation because of its association with the Civil Rights Movement in the twentieth century. Moreover, because the origins of so many African Americans are traceable to the region, it has also been linked to notions of home, family and ancestry in the cultural imaginary. The feeling about the South, then, is often one of profound ambivalence in the minds of many black writers, and that sensibility can be very evident in African American writing. The region has been a wellspring for African American folklore, which has been generative and foundational in helping to constitute African American writing. If we think of textuality in the broadest sense, in the spirit of cultural studies, it is fascinating that even so many contemporary rappers who have identified with “the dirty South” are reflecting on the region in their lyrics and performances in popular culture.
SSSL: In What Was African American Literature?, Kenneth Warren argues that African American literature ended with the legal demise of Jim Crow. How do you respond to this claim?
Trudier Harris: It’s absurd, and I refuse to give any more energy to a thesis that has received much, much more attention than it legitimately deserves.
Riché Richardson: Professor Warren has made important contributions to African American literature over the years and is one of the field’s most distinguished and respected scholars. His perspective has stirred up useful debates about the continuing relevance of African American literature and its state in the profession, whatever people may feel about his arguments in this book, which I taught last spring in my African American Literary Theory and Criticism graduate course by juxtaposing it with discussion in a forum in the New York Times entitled “Do Black Intellectuals Need to Talk About Race?” (See http://www.nytimes.com/roomfordebate/2013/02/04/do-black-intellectuals-need-to-talk-about-race). I respect and understand his position, but I am not as ready or willing myself to consign the field to obsolescence and think that the temporal correlation of it with Jim Crow fails to encapsulate its unruly parameters. Professor Warren’s position resonates with the contemporary discourses on post-blackness and the post-racial. The 2012 murder of the Florida teen Trayvon Martin, which many have compared to the murder of the teen Emmett Till in 1955, along with the trial and acquittal of Trayvon’s assailant, George Zimmerman, left many African Americans with an anachronistic feeling, reminding them of past histories and traumas from which they have largely imagined themselves removed.
SSSL: Should we imagine the South as biracial or multiracial? How do you think racial pluralization will change the South?
Trudier Harris: The South is clearly multiracial, but we persist in perceiving duality. I’m not sure that will change any time soon. Years ago, I remember reading in John and Dale Reed’s 1001 Things Everyone Should Know About the South and being pleasantly surprised about all the ethnic diversity—from the Chinese in Mississippi (about whom I knew) to the Melungeons (about whom I had heard but knew little about). Similarly, several years ago, I learned about the Lebanese in North Carolina when a student at Chapel Hill completed an honors thesis with me. These, combined with Native American cultures throughout the South; Vietnamese scattered from Fayetteville, North Carolina, to Texas; and Latino populations increasing in most southern states, the South is clearly multiracial, multicultural, and more diverse in political persuasions than the overall “red” and “blue” would suggest.
So, why do we persist with duality in the face of multiple diversities? I think history still weighs heavily on us, and we are still shaped by the shadow of slavery and the Civil War.
While I am confident that pluralization will indeed change the South, I think it will take a longer stretch than we can perhaps imagine. Of course, early evidence in Florida and North Carolina suggests that a middle class Hispanic presence is already being felt politically. Still, I am not aware of coalitions across ethnicities that would indicate immediate and long-term changes. Nonetheless, when we consider what I might call “the Walmart phenomenon,” that is, southern businesses catering to diverse ethnic and racial populations, then perhaps change is occurring on more social levels. Also, even Alabama has driver license test-taking options in Arabic, Chinese, Farsi, French, German, Greek, Japanese, Korean, Russian, Spanish, Thai, and Vietnamese. In part, these are industry-driven developments (Mercedes, Hyundai, and BMW all have huge production sites in South Carolina, Alabama, and other parts of the South). Perhaps this will be an instance in which social, industrial, commercial, and political developments put into place the atmospheres that ultimately can be conducive to literary creation (think of the Harlem Renaissance and the forces that set it into being). We might then have a host of foreign and domestic migrants to the South who will join Jill McCorkle, Dorothy Allison, Randall Kenan, and numerous others in writing about ordinary people as they see them existing in their racial and ethnic groups in the South.
Riché Richardson: I prefer the term “multiracial.” I say this in light of critical perspectives on mixed-race identity as articulated by scholars such as Katya Gibel-Mevorach in her study Black, Jewish and Interracial: It’s Not the Color of Your Skin but the Race of Your Kin, so that instead of imagining two bifurcated or fragmented identities, one recognizes a combination of identity categories in a whole sense. Yet, I realize that here you primarily refer to the increasing racial and ethnic diversification of the South. It is definitely crucial to recognize the region as multiracial. It is increasingly composed of a rich tapestry of racial and ethnic identities beyond black and white subjects who have been conventionally associated with the region, in light of the histories related to slavery and Jim Crow. Those histories, and their residual and continuing effects, are still important to grapple with, of course. At the same time, it is significant that the critical and theoretical methodologies of the “new Southern studies” have underscored the importance of moving beyond the conventional binary logic focused on black and white racial categories in thinking about the South to also acknowledge the impact of Native American, Latino and Asian American populations in the region.
SSSL: Relatively few African American scholars attend the Society for the Study of Southern Literature biennial conference, and many African American scholars, even some who may write about southern texts, do not see themselves as part of southern literary discourse. What could or should been done to make southern studies more inclusive?
Trudier Harris: First, I think organizers of these meetings need to coordinate their schedules to avoid possible conflicts. That is certainly one of the reasons I have heard from some scholars about not attending the meetings of the Society for the Study of Southern Literature. We also have to consider, embarrassing though it may be to do so, that many African Americans still perceive such an organization—rightly or wrongly—to be a bastion of white male stodginess. A practical consideration is that scholars only get so many funds to attend meetings each year. Should they then go to a large meeting, which their promotion and tenure committees might perceive to be more prestigious, or should they go to a small regional meeting? Best use of resources is obviously something that comes into play here. Then, too, how widely does SSSL advertise? Does it announce its meetings in venues where African American scholars are most likely to see the announcements? The only time I ever hear about SSSL’s meetings is when someone is commenting on a conflict. Although I attended a few times, I do not recall any time in the past many years that I have received anything in the mail in relation to the Society’s meetings.
As these comments suggest, therefore, additional efforts need to be made to encourage such scholars to come and to convince them that they will feel welcome. Of course, these are just my impressions. Have you considered a survey of African American scholars to get some insights from a larger population?
In addition to getting bodies at the meetings, perhaps inclusivity can come from more journal-sponsored efforts. Journals in the South might make more of an effort to encourage scholars writing on African American topics to submit their work. (Aside: Many, many years ago, I submitted an article to a journal in the South, and it languished for eight (8!) years before I received a response [I had published a book on the topic by then]. The then-editor said he could not explain why the article had not been read; nor did he offer to publish a revised version or invite me to submit a new essay). The Faulkner conference in Oxford seems to have done a decent (I’m only glancing from a distance) job of trying to diversify its topics and attendants; perhaps other gatherings could take a page from there. On the other hand, the Southern Foodways Alliance is too expensive for most folks to join (I presented a paper there once because I was invited to do so, but I could not sustain my affiliation with them financially).
From a different angle, perhaps exchange programs among southern specialist faculty/scholars within institutions in the South might be a possibility. Or, this might work with scholars from the North spending a semester at universities in the South while they are working on projects related to the South. Perhaps inclusivity might mean black and white southern scholars co-editing projects on southern writers or collaborating on critical projects on southern writers (obviously, some of this has already been done—witness The Literature of the American South: A Norton Anthology).
Riché Richardson: I understand the historical reasons and experiences that may make some African American scholars reluctant to engage actively in the field of Southern studies, including organizations such as SSSL. I can only speak for myself and can say that I have been deeply inspired by Southern intellectuals and ways in which my work has been continually supported and encouraged in the field. As an assistant professor living in California and into my associate years, I was tremendously inspired by the intellectual dialogues that were unfolding in southern studies, saw them as being valuable and indispensable to the work I was doing, and literally took the trip cross-country monthly for over a year during one period, attending various conferences and events in the South. In 2005-06, it was an honor to work as program coordinator for the SSSL biennial conference on the theme “Labor, Literature and the U.S. South.” Other colleagues on the committee and I worked hard to integrate concerns related to labor and civil rights history. Yet, even then, not very many African Americans attended. I think that part of it is a lack of awareness about the resources in the field and its rich offerings, including its major transformations and critical innovations in recent years. To this day, the South is seldom recognized or appreciated as a site of intellectual formation, and in the national imaginary, is often associated with unfavorable statistics in areas such as education. Indeed, a recent Business Insider poll identified Alabamians as the “ugliest” people in the U.S., which has no doubt left a good many other Alabamians besides me with a feeling of indignation! (See http://www.businessinsider.com/poll-how-americans-feel-about-the-states-2013-8). In my work, beginning with my dissertation, I have critiqued what I have felt to be a very problematic “urban bias” in areas such as black/African American/Africana studies. I think that this issue also in turn contributes to the marginalization of areas such as Southern studies. It is important to underscore continually the global and transnational reach and relevance of Southern studies.
SSSL: What advice would you give a young scholar interested in southern studies and African American literature?
Trudier Harris: Plunge right in and do your thing.
Riché Richardson: I would tell them that the field of Southern studies welcomes scholars of African American literature and is very supportive. Most recently, these investments have been evident in the 2013 Faulkner & Yoknapatawpha Conference in Oxford, which focused on African American literature. I would describe how exciting and gratifying it has been for me work at that disciplinary intersection over the years and tell them about the wonderful and supportive intellectual community in the field of southern studies that has energized my work, stressing the highly collaborative nature of the field. I definitely feel that the best work on black subjectivity and the U.S. South comes from a more grounded perspective in Southern studies. I have long been inspired by scholars who work in both African American studies and southern studies, such as Houston A. Baker, Jr., Hortense Spillers, Trudier Harris, Thadious Davis, and Jerry Ward, among others. I would underscore the value and example of such trailblazers working in the two fields. I would remind newer scholars of how much the field has grown over the past decade and discuss the institutional inroads that it has made in establishing new journals and book series. I would urge them to consider submitting work in these venues, including the New Southern Studies Series at the University of Georgia Press that I have co-edited with Jon Smith since 2005, which I feel is one of the very best critical “toolboxes” to think with in the field these days.
SSSL: What texts, creative or critical, would you recommend for southernists to read?
Trudier Harris: Such a list would take volumes, so let me try categories and a couple of titles. Clearly, any serious southernist needs to be well-versed about slavery, its causes, its practices, and its aftermath. Legal issues surrounding those would also be relevant, so a text such as Lovalerie King’s Race, Theft, and Ethnics: Property Matters in African American Literature would be relevant here. Racial, racialism, racism—whatever the term—southernists need to be versed in that literature from the convict lease and sharecropping systems established after slavery to the current prison-industrial complex that dominates many areas in the South. Ties between history and literature are thus crucial to southern studies, and southernists need the insights of scholars from the Agrarians to recent and contemporary thinkers such as William L. Andrews, Bertram Wyatt Brown, Thadious M. Davis, Michael Kreyling, Leigh Anne Duck, Andrew Crank, and many, many others. I think especially of Jon Smith’s Finding Purple America: The South and the Future of American Cultural Studies (2013) and the potential it has to encourage some re-evaluations of southern literature and southern territory. Indeed, the entire New Southern Studies series (UGA Press) seems to have re-consideration in the titles it publishes. Readers also need to embrace works from the traditional to the trashy, across races and ethnic groups that populate the South. Openness to places of publication is also necessary, whether publications appear online, in small presses, or off the computers of aspiring writers. Responses to southern literature—and definitions of it—should be as expansive as the growth in diversity of ethnic and racial groups throughout the South.
Riché Richardson: I am excited that a new generation of writers, including friends of mine such as Tayari Jones and Honorée Jeffers, along with Natasha Tretheway, Jesmyn Ward, and Shay Youngblood, are consistently reflecting on the South in their writing. In the process, they are standing at the vanguard of contemporary black writing and helping to chart the course for African American literature in the twenty-first century. I am looking forward to teaching a course on these writers at Cornell in the coming academic year entitled “New Black Women Writers and the Millennial South.” Similarly, it is notable that younger artists such as Kara Walker have consistently foregrounded southern themes in their visual art. As a scholar and artist whose own work also consistently focuses thematically on the South, I find this new black renaissance in southern writing and art to be deeply inspiring. This year, I have valued reading some of the work coming out in southern history related to the black liberation movement and civil rights struggle, such as Jeanne Theoharis’s The Rebellious Life of Rosa Parks and Akinyele Umoja’s We Will Shoot Back. I have also learned from reading Rebecca Swarns’s rich history of First Lady Michelle Obama that goes back to the plantation South in Georgia, American Tapestry. Michelle Alexander’s The New Jim Crow is a useful work, too, for making linkages between antebellum slavery and the contemporary prison industrial complex. Chris Parker is one of the most exciting scholars in political science and I met him recently when he spoke at Cornell. I am about to read his Change They Can’t Believe In, which discusses the Tea Party and has important implications for contemporary politics, not to mention Southern studies. In general, I love the way that Melissa Harris-Perry’s show on MSNBC has helped to advance critical dialogues on the U.S. South in the nation’s public sphere. In recent times, films from The Help to The Butler and Beasts of the Southern Wild to Mud have held important implications for Southernist discourses. Finally, I am very excited about the new television network Soul of the South (SSN), geared toward the viewing interests of black southerners, that Adrianne C. Smith, one of my schoolmates at Spelman and an Alabama native, helped to launch.
“Reconsidering Flannery O’Connor”: An NEH Summer Institute for 2014
For over 50 years, general readers, students, and scholars encountering the fiction of Flannery O’Connor have found thrill and shock, inspiration and mystification, and laughter and horror within her unforgettable short stories and novels, and they have all contributed to the lively debate about her powerful art.
Now, thanks to funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities, July of 2014 will offer the opportunity for 22 college-level teachers and three graduate students to dive into the culture and environment that inspired O’Connor as part of an NEH Summer Institute, “Reconsidering Flannery O’Connor,” http://www.gcsu.edu/nehoconnor/.
The institute, running from July 1 to 30, 2014, will lead these 25 selected NEH Summer Scholars to reconsider thorny (and teachable) issues of religion, race, violence and human consciousness, and cultural conflicts, with the help of distinguished scholars including Robert H. Brinkmeyer, Jr. (University of South Carolina), Gary M. Ciuba (Kent State-Trumbull University), Doreen Fowler (University of Kansas), O’Connor biographer Brad Gooch (William Paterson University), Christina Bieber Lake (Wheaton College), and Virginia Wray (Lyon College). In addition, these NEH Summer Scholars will also have the opportunity to enrich the discussion of published works by examining O’Connor’s manuscripts and other sources housed in Special Collections of the Georgia College Library and Instructional Technology Center. And this will be supplemented by special lectures from such scholars as O’Connor’s friend and biographer W. A. Sessions, long-time editor of The Flannery O’Connor Bulletin Sarah Gordon, president of the Flannery O’Connor Society Avis Hewitt, African- American scholar Nagueyalti Warren, and Georgia historian Robert Wilson.
Each NEH Summer Scholar will spend two weeks in seminars (working closely with 2 of the 6 seminar leaders each week) and will spend another week in the O’Connor Collection. In addition, each Summer Scholar will work with seminar leaders matched to that Summer Scholar’s interests as well as have time for reading, research, and writing. Nights will include opportunities to attend readings by creative writers, and housed as a group in Georgia College’s Sanford Hall, Summer Scholars will have time to exchange ideas and discoveries with their fellow Summer Scholars. To financially aid each Summer Scholar, the NEH provides a stipend of $3,300.00.
Under the co-direction of Marshall Bruce Gentry (Professor of English and Editor of the Flannery O’Connor Review) and Robert Donahoo (Professor of English and past-president of the Flannery O’Connor Society), this institute builds on a highly successful one in 2007—an institute that has resulted to date in 3 books, 24 peer-reviewed articles, and 63 conference presentations.
Anyone with questions about the Institute should send them to Gentry and Donahoo at email@example.com. Applications for attending the institute will be due March 4, 2014.
M. Thomas Inge, Blackwell Professor of Humanities at Randolph-Macon College, has donated his William Faulkner collection to the U. S. Military Academy at West Point. The 800 volume research library, composed primarily of biographical and critical works, will be housed in the Department of English and Philosophy and will form the basis for a major research center for Faulkner studies in the Northeast. Faulkner made a rare public appearance and reading at West Point in 1962. Dr. Inge spoke at the Military Academy last year in commemoration of the fiftieth anniversary of that event. He has published seven books, including a biography, and over forty essays and articles about Faulkner and his fiction. As an undergraduate at Randolph-Macon, Inge met Faulkner when he was writer in residence at the University of Virginia in 1958 and interviewed him for the Yellow Jacket student newspaper. An eighth book, The Dixie Limited: Writers on Faulkner and his Influence, is scheduled for publication next year by the University Press of Mississippi.
SSSL bibliographer, Zackary Vernon, is currently a Ph.D. Candidate in English at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Under the direction of Dr. Fred Hobson, his dissertation is entitled “Haunted by Waters: The Hydropolitics of American Literature and Film, 1960-1980.”
American Literary History
• Dickson-Carr, Darryl. “African Americans and the Making of Modernity.” American Literary History 25.3 (Fall 2013):672-682.
• Finseth, Ian. “The Civil War Dead: Realism and the Problem of Anonymity.” American Literary History 25.3 (Fall 2013):535-562.
American Literary Realism
• Hubbs, Jolene. “Goophering Jim Crow: Charles Chesnutt’s 1890s America.” American Literary Realism 46.1 (Fall 2013): 12-26.
• Clukey, Amy. “Plantation Modernity: Gone with the Wind and Irish-Southern Culture.” American Literature 85.3 (2013): 505-530.
• Hole, Jeffrey. “Enforcement on a Grand Scale: Fugitive Intelligence and the Literary Tactics of Douglass and Melville.” American Literature 85.2 (2013): 217-246.
• Hyde, Carrie. “The Climates of Liberty: Natural Rights in the Creole Case and ‘The Heroic Slave.’” American Literature 85.3 (2013): 475-504.
• Mars, Cody. “Frederick Douglass in 1848.” American Literature 85.3 (2013): 447-473.
• Morrison, Spencer. “Requiem’s Ruins: Unmaking and Making in Cold War Faulkner.” American Literature 85.2 (2013): 303-331.
• Pratt, Lloyd. “’I Am a Stranger with Thee’: Frederick Douglass and Recognition after 1845.” American Literature 85.2 (2013): 247-272.
• Roberts, Brian Russell. “Archipelagic Diaspora, Geographical Form, and Hurston’s Their Eyes Were Watching God.” American Literature 85.1 (2013): 121-149.
• Ulin, Julieann Veronica. “Talking to Bessie: Richard Wright’s Domestic Servants.” American Literature 85.1 (2013): 151-176.
• Blumenthal, Rachel A. “Canonicity, Genre, and the Politics of Editing: How We Read Frederick Douglass.” Callaloo 36.1 (Winter 2013): 178-190.
• Brown, Matthew D. “Olaudah Equiano and the Sailor’s Telegraph: The Interesting Narrative and the Source of Black Abolitionism.” Callaloo 36.1 (Winter 2013): 191-201
• Daniels, Melissa Asher. “The Limits of Literary Realism: Of One Blood‘s Post-Racial Fantasy by Pauline Hopkins.” Callaloo 36.1 (Winter 2013): 158-177
• Gould, Rebecca. “Jim Crow in the Soviet Union.” Callaloo 36.1 (Winter 2013): 125-141.
• Oliver, Valerie Cassel. “Alvin Baltrop: Dreams into Glass.” Callaloo 36.1 (Winter 2013): 65-69.
• Reyes-Santos, Irmary. “On Pan-Antillean Politics: Ramón Emeterio Betances and Gregorio Luperón Speak to the Present.” Callaloo 36.1 (Winter 2013): 142-157.
• Stanton, Brandi. “AIDS, Race, and the Invasion of the Body in Sonia Sanchez’s Does Your House Have Lions?” Callaloo 36.1 (Winter 2013): 90-105.
• Aldana, Ligia S. “’Somos Afro’: Champeta Music as a Means for Cultural/(Political) Organization for Afrodescendants in Colombia.” Callaloo 36.2 (Spring 2013): 391-402.
• Banner, Rachel. “Surface and Stasis: Re-reading Slave Narrative via The History of Mary Prince.” Callaloo 36.2 (Spring 2013): 298-311.
• Barron, Briaan L. “Ballads Behind Bars: The Music of Lyfe Jennings as Art, Critique, and Healing Remedy.” Callaloo 36.2 (Spring 2013): 403-413.
• Bennett, Michael Y. “Dominance and the Triumph of the White Trickster Over the Black Picaro in Amiri Baraka’s Great Goodness of Life: A Coon Show.” Callaloo 36.2 (Spring 2013): 312-321.
• Chaney, Michael A. “Slave Memory Without Words in Kyle Baker’s Nat Turner.” Callaloo 36.2 (Spring 2013): 279-297.
• Church, Emily Musil. “In Search of Seven Sisters: A Biography of the Nardal Sisters of Martinique.” Callaloo 36.2 (Spring 2013): 375-390.
• Landry, H. Jordan. “Bringing Down the House: The Trickster’s Signifying on Victimization in Harriet E. Wilson’s Our Nig.” Callaloo 36.2 (Spring 2013): 440-460.
• Mirmotahari, Emad. “Harlemite, Detective, African?: The Many Selves of Rudolph Fisher’s Conjure-Man Dies.” Callaloo 36.2 (Spring 2013): 268-278.
• Nielsen, Cynthia R. “Frantz Fanon and the Négritude Movement: How Strategic Essentialism Subverts Manichean Binaries.” Callaloo 36.2 (Spring 2013): 342-352.
• Raine, Anne. “Du Bois’s Ambient Poetics: Rethinking Environmental Imagination in The Souls of Black Folk.” Callaloo 36.2 (Spring 2013): 322-341.
• Shlensky, Lincoln. “Édouard Glissant: Creolization and the Event.” Callaloo 36.2 (Spring 2013): 353-374.
• Yenika-Agbaw, Vivian. “‘Rumpelstiltskin’: A Picture Book Multicultural Retelling.” Callaloo 36.2 (Spring 2013): 430-439.
• Youngblood, Stephanie. “A Writing of Nothing: Intercession and the Autobiographical Subject in Olaudah Equiano’s Interesting Narrative.” Callaloo 36.2 (Spring 2013): 414-429.
• Frederick, Marla F. “For the Love of Money?: Distributing the Go$pel beyond the United States.” Callaloo 36.3 (Summer 2013): 609-617.
• Holland, Sharon P. “(Black) (Queer) Love.” Callaloo 36.3 (Summer 2013): 658-668.
• Kemp, Mellisa Prunty. “African American Women Poets, the Harlem Renaissance, and Modernism: An Apology.” Callaloo 36.3 (Summer 2013): 789-801.
• Leonard, Keith D. “Love in the Black Arts Movement: The Other American Exceptionalism. Callaloo 36.3 (Summer 2013): 618-624.
• Mitchell, Korita. “Love in Action: Noting Similarities between Lynching Then and Anti-LGBT Violence Now.” Callaloo 36.3 (Summer 2013): 688-717.
• Nanda, Aparajita. “Power, Politics, and Domestic Desire in Octavia Butler’s Lilith’s Brood.” Callaloo 36.3 (Summer 2013): 773-788.
• Reed, Anthony. “‘A Woman Is a Conjunction’: The Ends of Improvisation in Claude McKay’s Banjo: A Story without a Plot.” Callaloo 36.3 (Summer 2013): 758-772.
• Ross, Marlon B. “‘What’s Love But a Second Hand Emotion?”: Man-on-Man Passion in the Contemporary Black Gay Romance Novel.” Callaloo 36.3 (Summer 2013): 669-687.
• Ryder, Andrew. “Baudelaire, Rimbaud, Toomer: The Urban Stranger and “Bad Blood” in French and African American Modernism.” Callaloo 36.3 (Summer 2013): 802-810.
• Stecher, Lucia, and Elsa Maxwell. “Michelle Cliff’s Into the Interior and the Trope of the Solitary Female Immigrant.” Callaloo 36.3 (Summer 2013): 811-821.
• Stone-Richards, Michael. “Love between Separation and Continuity: The Poetics of Natality in Ralph Ellison.” Callaloo 36.3 (Summer 2013): 625-633.
• Bojsen, Heidi. “Taking Glissant’s Philosophy into Social Sciences?: A Discussion of the Place of Aesthetics in Critical Development Discourse.” Callaloo 36.4 (Fall 2013): 995-1013.
• Corio, Alessandro. “The Living and the Poetic Intention: Glissant’s Biopolitics of Literature.” Callaloo 36.4 (Fall 2013): 916-931.
• Forsdick, Charles. ““Focal Point of the Caribbean”: Haiti in the Work of Édouard Glissant.” Callaloo 36.4 (Fall 2013): 949-967.
• Kullberg, Christina. “Crossroads Poetics: Glissant and Ethnography.” Callaloo 36.4 (Fall 2013): 968-982.
• Leupin, Alexandre. “The Slave’s Jouissance.” Callaloo 36.4 (Fall 2013): 891-901.
• Loichot, Valérie. “Édouard Glissant’s Graves.” Callaloo 36.4 (Fall 2013): 1014-1032.
• Mardorossian, Carine M. ““Poetics of Landscape”: Édouard Glissant’s Creolized Ecologies.” Callaloo 36.4 (Fall 2013): 983-994.
• Murdoch, H. Adlai. “Édouard Glissant’s Creolized World Vision: From Resistance and Relation to Opacité.” Callaloo 36.4 (Fall 2013): 875-890.
• Nesbitt, Nick. “Early Glissant: From the Destitution of the Political to Antillean Ultra-Leftism.” Callaloo 36.4 (Fall 2013): 932-948.
• Noudelmann, François, and Celia Britton. “Édouard Glissant’s Legacy: Transmitting without Universals?.” Callaloo 36.4 (Fall 2013): 869-874.
• Wiedorn, Michael. “Glissant’s Philosophie de la Relation : “I have spoken the chaos of writing in the ardor of the poem”.” Callaloo 36.4 (Fall 2013): 902-915.
Early American Literature
• Ben-ZVI, Yael. “Equiano’s Nativity: Negative Birthright, Indigenous Ethic, and Universal Human Rights.” Early American Literature 48.2 (2013): 399-423.
• Donegan, Kathleen. “What Happened in Roanoke: Ralph Lane’s Narrative Incursion.” Early American Literature 48.2 (2013): 285-314.
Edgar Allan Poe Review
• Kopley, Richard. “Adventures with Poe and Hawthorne.” Edgar Allan Poe Review 14.1 (2013): 16-35.
• Meyer, Joseph Matthew. “The Marian Aesthetics of Edgar Allan Poe.” Edgar Allan Poe Review 14.1 (2013): 1-15.
• McGhee, J. Alexandra. “Morbid Conditions.” Edgar Allan Poe Review 14.1 (2013): 55-70.
• Stephanou, Aspasia. “Lovely Apparitions and Spiritualized Corpses.” Edgar Allan Poe Review 14.1 (2013): 36-54.
Eudora Welty Review
• Agner, Jacob. “A Collision of Visions: Montage and the Concept of Collision in Eudora Welty’s ‘June Recital.’” Eudora Welty Review 5 (Spring 2013): 55-73.
• Claxton, Mae Miller. “Writing The Help: The Oblique and Not-So-Oblique Narratives of Eudora Welty, Ellen Douglas, Norma Watkins, and Kathryn Stockett.” Eudora Welty Review 5 (Spring 2013): 145-165.
• Frye, Mitch. “Astonishing Stories: Eudora Welty and the Weird Tale Mitch.” Eudora Welty Review 5 (Spring 2013): 75-93.
• Graham-Bertolini, Alison. “Searching for the Garnet Pin: Confluence as Narrative Technique in Eudora Welty’s Delta Wedding.” Eudora Welty Review 5 (Spring 2013): 95-108.
• McDonald, Rob. “1119 Pinehurst Street: Selections from Native Ground.” Eudora Welty Review 5 (Spring 2013): 129-143.
• Tipton, Nathan G. ““He doesn’t strike me as a family man”: Uncloseting George Fairchild’s Queerness in Eudora Welty’s Delta Wedding.” Eudora Welty Review 5 (Spring 2013): 109-127.
• Sullivan, Nell. “The Good Guys: McCarthy’s The Road as Post-9/11 Male Sentimental Novel.”Genre: Forms of Discourse and Culture 46.1 (Spring 2013): 79-101.
James Dickey Review
• Lee, Joshua. “The Pembertons and Corporate Greed: An Ecocritical Look at Ron Rash’s Serena.” James Dickey Review 29.2 (Spring/Summer 2013): 44-60.
• Willis, Rachel. “Masculinities and Murder: George Pemberton in Ron Rash’s Serena.” James Dickey Review 29.2 (Spring/Summer 2013): 13-34.
Journal of American Studies
• Lewis, George. “’An Amorphous Code’: The Ku Klux Klan and Un-Americanism, 1915-1965.” Journal of American Studies 47.4 (2013): 971-992.
• Robertson, Sarah. The Memorialization of Southern Poor White Men’s Labor in Rick Bragg’s Memoir Trilogy.” Journal of American Studies 47.2 (2013): 459-474.
Journal of the Short Story in English
• “The First Fruits of Literary Rebellion: Flannery O’Connor’s ‘The Crop.’” Journal of the Short Story in English 60 (Spring 2013): 73-81.
• Karcher, Carolyn L. “Albion W. Tourgée and Louis A. Martinet: The Cross-Racial Friendship behind Plessy v. Ferguson.” MELUS 38.1 (2013): 9-29.
• Artuso, Kathryn Stelmach. “Irish Maternalism and Motherland in Gone with the Wind.” Mississippi Quarterly 65.2 (Spring 2012): 199-230.
• Klotz, Sarah. “Black, White, and Yellow Fever: Contagious Race in The Mysteries of New Orleans.” Mississippi Quarterly 65.2 (Spring 2012): 231-260.
• McGuire, Ian. “‘The Abandonment of… Precious Things’: Richard Ford and the Limits of Pragmatism.” Mississippi Quarterly 65.2 (Spring 2012): 261-282.
• Osborne, Virginia Nickles. “My Son, You Must Remember: Hiroshima and Nagasaki in William Styron’s Lie Down in Darkness.” Mississippi Quarterly 65.2 (Spring 2012): 283-297.
• Wehner, David Z. “Pulverizing the Idols: Flannery O’Connor’s Battle with Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung.” Mississippi Quarterly 65.2 (Spring 2012): 299-319.
• Wooley, Christina A. “The Necessary Fictions of Charles Chesnutt’s The Colonel’s Dream.” Mississippi Quarterly 65.2 (Spring 2012): 173-198.
MFS: Modern Fiction Studies
• Valente, Joseph. “Other Possibilities, Other Drives: Queer, Counterfactual ‘Life’ in Truman Capote’s Other Voices, Other Rooms.” MFS: Modern Fiction Studies 59.3 (Fall 2013): 526-546.
• Hume, Beverley A. “Mark Twain’s Mysterious Duplicate in Puddn’head Wilson.” Nineteenth-Century Literature 68.1 (2013): 90-112.
North Carolina Literary Review
• Locklear, Erica Abrams. “Finding the Forsaken: Lumbee Identity in Charles Chesnutt’s Mandy Oxendine.” North Carolina Literary Review 22 (2013): 108-121.
South Central Review
• Cook, Alexandra. “Critical Medievalism and the New South: Red Rock and Gone with the Wind.” South Central Review 30.2 (Summer 2013): 32-52.
• Green-Barteet, Miranda A. “’The Loophole of Retreat’: Interstitial Spaces in Harriet Jacob’s Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl.” South Central Review 30.2 (Summer 2013): 53-72.
• Morrow, Christopher L. “Acknowledgment, Adaptation and Shakespeare in Ron Rash’s Serena.” South Central Review 30.2 (Summer 2013): 135-161.
• Roberts, Blain. “Uncovering the Confederacy of the Mind; Or, How I Became a Belle of the Ball in Denmark Vessey’s Church.” Southern Cultures 19.3 (Fall 2013): 6-25.
• Sodergren, Steven E. “’The Great Weight of Responsibility’: The Struggle over History and Memory in Confederate Veteran Magazine.” Southern Cultures 19.3 (Fall 2013): 26-45.
Southern Literary Journal
• Dumas, Jacky, and Jessica Hooten Wilson. “The Unrevealed in Flannery O’Connor’s ‘Revelation.’” Southern Literary Journal 45.2 (Spring 2013): 72-89.
• Hagood, Taylor. “Disability, Reactionary Appropriation, and Strategies of Manipulation in Simms’s Woodcraft.” Southern Literary Journal 45.2 (Spring 2013): 39-56.
• Hall, Joshua M. “Syncopated Communities: Dancing with Ellison.” Southern Literary Journal 45.2 (Spring 2013): 57-71.
• Havird, David. “’Passion Before We Die’: James Dickey and Keats.” Southern Literary Journal 45.2 (Spring 2013): 90-102.
• Christina Henderson. “A Nation of the Continual Present: Timrod, Tennyson, and the Memorialization of the Confederacy.” Southern Literary Journal 45.2 (Spring 2013): 19-38.
• Sheley, Erin. “Gone with the Wind and the Trauma of Lost Sovereignty.” Southern Literary Journal 45.2 (Spring 2013): 1-18.
• Yarbrough, Scott D. “The Intertextual Suttree: Walker Percy, Cummings, and Community.” Southern Literary Journal 45.2 (Spring 2013): 103-120.
• Waid, Candace. “Envisioning Faulkner and Southern Literature.” Southern Spaces (August 2013).
• Knepper, Steven. “Seeing the Countryside: Behind the Pastoral and Progressivist Veils.” Telos 162 (Spring 2013): 131-149.
Texas Studies in Language and Literature
• Arbour, Robert. “Figuring and Reconfiguring the Folk: Women and Metaphor in Part 1 of Jean Toomer’s Cane.” Texas Studies in Language and Literature 55.3 (Fall 2013): 307-327.
• Chandler, Gena E. “Mindfulness and Meaning in Charles Johnson’s ‘Dr. King’s Refrigerator.’” Texas Studies in Language and Literature 55.3 (Fall 2013): 328-347.
• Evans, David H. “True West and Lying Marks: The Englishman’s Boy, Blood Meridian, and the Paradox of the Revisionist Western.” Texas Studies in Language and Literature 55.4 (Winter 2013): 406-433.
• Fortuny, Kim. “James Baldwin’s 1970 Turkish Interviews: ‘The American Way of Life’ and the Rhetoric of War from Vietnam to the Near and Middle East.” Texas Studies in Language and Literature 55.4 (Winter 2013): 434-451.
• Bonner, Jr. Thomas. “Cleanth Brooks Reading Hyatt Waggoner Reading William Faulkner: Notes from the Margins.” Xavier Review 33.1 (2013): 48-55.
Cambridge University Press
• Monteith, Sharon, ed. The Cambridge Companion to the Literature of the American South. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2013.
Cormac McCarthy Society
• Wallach, Rick, ed. Beyond Borders: All the Pretty Horses. Cormac McCarthy Society, 2013.
Fordham University Press
• Christiansë, Yvette. Toni Morrison: An Ethical Poetics. Bronx, NJ: Fordham UP, 2013.
Illinois University Press
• Bell, Shannon Elizabeth. Our Roots Run Deep: Appalachian Women and the Fight for Environmental Justice. Champaign: U of Illinois P, 2013.
• Chakkalakal, Tess. Novel Bondage: Slavery, Marriage, and Freedom in Nineteenth-Century America. Champaign: U of Illinois P, 2013.
• Davies, Carole Boyce. Caribbean Spaces: Escapes from Twilight Zones. Champaign: U of Illinois P, 2013.
• Davis, Kimberly Chabot. Beyond the White Negro: Empathy and Anti-Racist Reading. Champaign: U of Illinois P, 2014.
• Foley, Barbara. Jean Toomer: Race, Repression, and Revolution. Champaign: U of Illinois P, 2014.
• Frederickson, Mary E., and Delores M. Walters, eds. Gendered Resistance: Woman, Slavery, and the Legacy of Margaret Garner. Champaign: U of Illinois P, 2013.
• Henry, Murphy Hicks. Pretty Good for a Girl: Women in Bluegrass. Champaign: U of Illinois P, 2013.
• Smith, Christopher J. The Creolization of America: William Sidney Mount and the Roots of Blackface Minstrelsy. Champaign: U of Illinois P, 2013.
• Whiteis, David. Southern Soul-Blues. Champaign: U of Illinois P, 2013.
Irish Academic Press
• Russell, Richard, ed. Peter Fallon. Co. Kildare: Irish Academic Press, 2013.
• Dixon, Nancy, ed. N.O. Lit: 200 Years of New Orleans Literature. New Orleans: Lavender Ink, 2013.
• Babko, Jane, Ed. Visual Blues. Seattle: Marquand Books, 2013.
Liverpool University Press
• Terry, Jennifer. Shuttles in the Rocking Loom: Mapping the Black Diaspora in African American and Caribbean Fiction. Liverpool: Liverpool UP, 2014.
Louisiana State University Press
• Caffery, Joshua Clegg. Traditional Music in Coastal Louisiana. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State UP, 2013.
• Cologne-Brookes, Gavin. Rereading William Styron. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State UP, 2014.
• Cheathem, Mark R. Andrew Jackson, Southerner. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State UP, 2013.
• Clark, Keith. The Radical Fiction of Ann Petry. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State UP, 2013.
• Lago, Enrico Dal. William Lloyd Garrison and Giuseppe Mazzini: Abolition, Democracy, and Radical Reform. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State UP, 2013.
• Pugh, Tison. Queer Chivalry: Medievalism and the Myth of White Masculinity in Southern Literature. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State UP, 2013.
Ohio University Press
• Burriss, Theresa L., and Patricia M. Gantt, eds. Appalachia in the Classroom: Teaching the Region. Athens, OH: Ohio University Press, 2013.
Oxford University Press
• Chiles, Katy L. Transformable Race: Surprising Metamorphoses in the Literature of Early America. Oxford: Oxford UP, 2014.
• Ernest, John. The Oxford Handbook of the African American Slave Narrative. Oxford: Oxford UP, 2014.
• Roynon, Tessa. Toni Morrison and the Classical Tradition: Transforming American Culture. Oxford: Oxford UP, 2014.
• Artuso, Kathryn, ed. William Faulkner. Pasadena, CA: Salem Press, 2013.
University of Alabama Press
• Lalla, Barbara, Jean D’Costa, and Velma Pollard. Caribbean Literary Discourse: Voice and Cultural Identity in the Anglophone Caribbean. Tuscaloosa: U of Alabama P, 2013.
• Mosby, Dorothy E. Quince Duncan: Writing Afro-Costa Rican Identity. Tuscaloosa: U of Alabama P, 2013.
• Nadel, James. Race and Culture in New Orleans Stories: Kate Chopin, Grace King, Alice Dunbar-Nelson, and George Washington Cable. Tuscaloosa: U of Alabama P, 2013.
• Sonstegard, Adam. Artistic Liberties: American Literary Realism and Graphic Illustration, 1880-1905. Tuscaloosa: U of Alabama P, 2013.
University of Georgia Press
• Cartwright, Keith. Sacral Grooves, Limbo Gateways: Travels in Deep Southern Time, Circum-Caribbean Space, Afro-Creole Authority. Athens: U of Georgia P, 2013.
• Chakkalakal, Tess, and Kenneth W. Warren. Jim Crow, Literature, and the Legacy of Sutton E. Griggs. Athens: U of Georgia P, 2013.
• Edge, John T., Elizabeth Engelhardt, and Ted Ownby, eds. The Larder: Food Studies Methods from the American South. Athens: U of Georgia P, 2013.
• Kreyling, Michael. A Late Encounter with the Civil War. Athens: U of Georgia P, 2013.
University Press of Mississippi
• Brosman, Catharine Savage. Louisiana Creole Literature: A Historical Study. Jackson: UP of Mississippi, 2013.
• Moody-Turner, Shirley. Black Folklore and the Politics of Racial Representations. Jackson: UP of Mississippi, 2013.
• Ownby, Ted, ed. The Civil Rights Movement in Mississippi. Jackson: UP of Mississippi, 2013.
• McHaney, Pearl Amelia. A Tyrannous Eye: Eudora Welty’s Nonfiction and Photographers. Jackson: UP of Mississippi, 2013.
• Piacentino, Ed. Ed. Beyond Southern Frontier Humor: New Approaches. University of Mississippi Press, 2013.
• Prouty, Ken. Knowing Jazz: Community, Pedagogy, and Canon in the Information Age. Jackson: UP of Mississippi, 2013.
• Watson, Veronica T. The Souls of White Folks: African American Writers Theorize Whiteness. Jackson: UP of Mississippi, 2013.
University of North Carolina Press
• Ferris, William. The Storied South: Voices of Writers and Artists. Chapel Hill: U of North Carolina P, 2013.
• Holloway, Jonathan Scott. Jim Crow Wisdom: Memory and Identity in Black America Since 1940. Chapel Hill: U of North Carolina P, 2013.
• Prince, K. Stephen. Stories of the South: Race and Reconstruction of Southern Identity, 1865-1915. Chapel Hill: U of North Carolina P, 2014.
• Robinson, Zandia F. This Ain’t Chicago: Race, Class, and Regional Identity in the Post-Soul South. Chapel Hill: U of North Carolina P, 2014.
• Shaw, Stephanie J. W. E. B. Du Bois and The Souls of Black Folk. Chapel Hill: U of North Carolina P, 2013.
University of Virginia Press
• Binnington, Ian. Confederate Visions: Nationalism, Symbolism, and the Imagined South in the Civil War. Charlottesville: U of Virginia P, 2014.
• Buckley, Thomas E. Establishing Religious Freedom: Jefferson’s Statute in Virginia. Charlottesville: U of Virginia P, 2014.
• Fumagalli, Maria Cristina, Bénédicte Ledent, and Roberto del Valle Alcalá, eds. The Cross-Dressed Caribbean: Writing, Politics, Sexualities. Charlottesville: U of Virginia P, 2014.
• Newman, Simon P., and Peter S. Onuf, eds. Paine and Jefferson in the Age of Revolutions. Charlottesville: U of Virginia P, 2013.
Wien: Oaw Osterreichische Akademie Der Wissenschaften
• Zacharasiewicz, Waldemar, and Christoph Irmscher, eds. Cultural Circulation Dialogues Between Canada And The American South. Wien: Oaw Osterreichische Akademie Der Wissenschaften, 2013.