Category: southern studies

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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”

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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”

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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

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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