Category: southern studies

+

Lillian Smith’s “Memory of a Large Christmas”

Lillian E. Smith published Memory of Large Christmas in 1962. The book, essentially, is a collection of humorous and memorable anecdotes about the large, bountiful Smith family Christmases. In the back of the book, Smith includes recopies for turkey dressing, pork salad, ambrosia, and more. Today, I want to look at one of the scenes that Smith relates in the book. The scene occurs … Read More Lillian Smith’s “Memory of a Large Christmas”

+

The Official Record in Van Jensen and Nate Powell’s “Two Dead”

The back matter of Van Jensen and Nate Powell’s new book, Two Dead, describes it as, “at once a white-knuckled and unputdownable thriller, a roman à clef inspired by true events, and a book about post-traumatic stress disorder and the underlying social traumas of how war and segregation affect their survivors on all fronts.” Today, I want to look at a brief section from … Read More The Official Record in Van Jensen and Nate Powell’s “Two Dead”

+

Southern Paradoxes in Harper Lee’s “To Kill A Mockingbird”

Every time I read Harper Lee’s To Kill A Mockingbird (1960), I’m reminded of the book’s problematic nature. Why do we continue to put so much stock in Lee’s novel, teaching it in high schools across the nation? Alice Randall points out the problems within Lee’s novel and states, “Let’s be clear: “To Kill a Mockingbird” is not a children’s book. It is an … Read More Southern Paradoxes in Harper Lee’s “To Kill A Mockingbird”

“The Plantation System in Southern Life” and Plantation Tourism

In his documentary, Lillian Smith: Breaking the Silence, Hal Jacobs uses numerous historical clips. One that stood out to me, though, was a clip, which he showed three sections of, from a ten minute Coronet film entitled “The Plantation System in Southern Life” from 1950. The film presents the South as an idyllic destination, one full of nostalgia and agrarianism, a soothing balm against … Read More “The Plantation System in Southern Life” and Plantation Tourism

+

The Same Old Same Old: Rogue and Representations of the South

Chris Claremont and Michael Golden created Rogue in 1981, and she made her debut in Avengers Annual #10. What makes Rogue interesting to me is her place of origin, the fictional Caldecott County in Mississippi. Speaking with the Clarion Ledger in 2016, Claremont told Jacob Threadgill, “I felt, why should Louisiana get all the fun? … (Mississippi) was a place where the racial divisions … Read More The Same Old Same Old: Rogue and Representations of the South

+

What to Expect in 2018!

Welcome to 2018! Back in August 2015, I started Interminable Rambling as a space for me to flesh out thoughts I had concerning texts I was reading, pedagogy, and culture. Since that first post, I have published 236 posts for this site on a myriad of topics such as Mary Rowlandson and Sarah Kemble Knight to Star Wars: The Force Awakens and court cases such … Read More What to Expect in 2018!

+

“African American Literature and the American South” Syllabus

Occasionally, I post syllabi ideas here on the blog. Today, I want to share a syllabus I have been thinking about recently entitled “African American Literature and the American South.” The South, as a geographic and imaginary space, looms large in the works of not just African American authors but in writers of all ethnic backgrounds from the United States. Maryemma Graham discusses the … Read More “African American Literature and the American South” Syllabus

+

Frank Yerby’s Benton’s Row and Southern Womanhood

In its review (above) of Frank Yerby's Benton's Row (1954), Jet Magazine mentions the novel's early narrative arc that follows Tom Benton's arrival in the Louisiana community and his relationship with Sarah. The reviewer comments that Tom "is not at all unlike all the other Yerby heroes" and that "in the typical Yerby mold [Tom] emerges as a thoroughgoing rascal, an opportunist who seizes what … Read More Frank Yerby’s Benton’s Row and Southern Womanhood

+

The Smoldering Embers in Our Presence

Today, I want to conclude the discussion from the previous two posts over the ways that we create memorials and remember the past, particularly in the South. In an interview with Ezra Klein, executive director of the Equal Justice Commission Bryan Stevenson commented, “What we do in the memorial spaces says a lot about who we are.” There is a lot of truth in … Read More The Smoldering Embers in Our Presence

+

What do these “monuments” say about our history?

Last Thursday, I shared a guest post by Jennifer Morrison where she spoke about her own experiences last month at Festival Internationle when a white woman began speaking with her about the statue of Confederate General Alfred Mouton that stands on the corner of Jefferson Street and Lee Avenue in Lafayette, LA. Her interaction with the woman comes at a time when the city … Read More What do these “monuments” say about our history?

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"