Category: american literature


Fears of Change and A More Equitable Society

Last October, Jennine Capó Crucet gave a talk at Georgia Southern University in Statesboro, GA. The university chose her novel Make Your Home Among Strangers (2015) as the campus-wide first year experience book. Crucet’s novel chronicles a Cuban American woman’s experiences at an elite college as a first-gen student and daughter of Cuban immigrants. After her talk, some students went out to a grill … Read More Fears of Change and A More Equitable Society


Lillian E. Smith Studies Course

This semester, I am teaching the Lillian E. Smith Studies course for the first time. It is part of the LES Scholars’ program, and it is a course that focuses on Lillian Smith and social justice. The course looks historically at Smith and her work, but it also looks at the ways that her work and legacy resonate today. As such, I included works … Read More Lillian E. Smith Studies Course


The “historical self” and the “self self”: Part I

Last post, I wrote about the ways that racism, subjugation, and history imprisons everyone, the oppressed and the oppressor alike. Today, I want to continue that discussion by looking at Lillian Smith’s Killers of the Dream and connected her discussion with a couple of the vignettes in Claudia Rankine’s Citizen: An American Lyric. While Smith focuses, predominately, on the white psyche, Rankine focuses on … Read More The “historical self” and the “self self”: Part I

Art and Creation

In “Going Empty,” Dessa writes about filming the music video for her song “Sound the Bells.” She talks about learning to control her breathing to dive underwater amidst Jason deCaires Taylor’s submerged sculptures off the coast of Mexico. She ruminates about her career, writing about the fears that time is rapidly running out on commercial success. She thinks, Yet all my life I’ve been … Read More Art and Creation


American History and Harper Lee’s “To Kill a Mockingbird”

Last post, I wrote about the Southern paradoxes in Harper Lee’s To Kill A Mockingbird. Today, I want to look at the opening of the novel because Scout traces the events of the novel deep into our nation’s history, before Jem, Scout, or Atticus arrived on the scene. This is important because for all of the missed moments of reflection in the novel, the … Read More American History and Harper Lee’s “To Kill a Mockingbird”