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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"

Reflections on the 2016 College Language Association Conference

Last week, I attended the College Language Association’s (CLA) 2016 conference in Houston, TX. While there, I presented on Paul Laurence Dunbar’s Dayton Tattler and the role of the press in Dunbar’s writing. While that, in and of itself, made the conference something worthwhile for me professionally, I experienced things that I have only encountered at a few other academic gatherings. Yes, I heard … Read More Reflections on the 2016 College Language Association Conference

Suffocation and Concealment through Dust in Faulkner’s "Dry September"

After writing about Ellen Glasgow’s “Jordan’s End,” I picked up William Faulkner’s “Dry September” (1931). While not necessarily in the exact same narrative vein, Faulkner’s story, as with his other works, highlight the ideas of the Southern Gothic, specifically a place of suffocating oppression that does not resemble the idyllic region that authors sought to “recapture” after Reconstruction during the latter part of the … Read More Suffocation and Concealment through Dust in Faulkner’s "Dry September"

Reconstructing and Learning from the Past in Attica Locke’s "The Cutting Season"

Attica Locke At the beginning of Ernest J. Gaines’s The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman (1971), Mary asks the unnamed history teacher why he wants to interview Miss Jane. He tells her that he teaches history and that his students would benefit from Jane’s story because “Miss Jane is not in [their history books]” (v). Because of this omission, like the missing pages in … Read More Reconstructing and Learning from the Past in Attica Locke’s "The Cutting Season"