Category: southern studies

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“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

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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

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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

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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"