Month: April 2016

Mold, Spores, and The Planetary South: Further Comments on "Adjust Your Maps: Manifestos from, for, and about United States Southern Studies"

Last post, I wrote about a couple of the manifestos on Southern Studies that appear in the current issue of PMLA. Today, I want to continue this discussion by exploring a couple more manifestos, most notably Katharine Burnett’s and R. Scott Heath’s pieces. These essays reach back, to a period typically overlooked, and forward, from a new, interplanetary viewpoint. Here, I want to comment … Read More Mold, Spores, and The Planetary South: Further Comments on "Adjust Your Maps: Manifestos from, for, and about United States Southern Studies"

Some Thoughts on PMLA’s "Adjust Your Maps: Manifestos from, for, and about United States Southern Studies"

At the 2016 MLA conference in Austin, TX, I attended a panel on the future of Southern Studies. During the panel, various scholars presented their manifestos on where Southern Studies is and where it should ultimately go. A couple of months after that panel, the latest issue of PMLA arrived in my mailbox with the manifestos in print. Appearing under the banner “Adjust Your … Read More Some Thoughts on PMLA’s "Adjust Your Maps: Manifestos from, for, and about United States Southern Studies"

Tim Gautreaux’s "Dancing with the One-Armed Gal" and Education

In the past, I have written about education in Tim Gautreaux’s “Welding With Children” and “Misuse of Light.” Today, I want to briefly write about the way he explores ideas of identity in relation to the academy in  “Dancing with the One-Armed Gal,” the concluding story of Gautreaux’s short story collection Welding With Children (1999). In the story, Iry Boudreaux gets laid off from … Read More Tim Gautreaux’s "Dancing with the One-Armed Gal" and Education

Interracial Relationships in Toomer’s "Bona and Paul"

Thinking about the idea of white womanhood in Toomer’s “Becky” and African American womanhood in “Blood Burning-Moon,” I commented that the concluding vignette of the Northern section, “Bona and Paul,” contains some similarities to the two Southern vignettes. “Bona and Paul” focuses on two Southerners, Paul, a phenotypically white male who tentatively starts a relationship with a white co-ed Bona. Looking at “Bona and … Read More Interracial Relationships in Toomer’s "Bona and Paul"

Representation of Womanhood in Jean Toomer’s "Becky" and "Blood-Burning Moon"

While white womanhood gets held up as a representation of the “idyllic” and “virginal” South, African American womanhood becomes something tainted and only seen as a product rather than as a human being. This image appears throughout literature fro Harriett Jacobs’s account of her life in Incidents of the Life of a Slave Girl to the way that Jimmy Caya tells Tee Bob he … Read More Representation of Womanhood in Jean Toomer’s "Becky" and "Blood-Burning Moon"