Southern Heritage on Display: Public Ritual and Ethnic Diversity within Southern Regionalism

Southern Heritage on Display: Public Ritual and Ethnic Diversity within Southern Regionalism

Southern Heritage on Display: Public Ritual and Ethnic Diversity within Southern Regionalism

Southern Heritage on Display: Public Ritual and Ethnic Diversity within Southern Regionalism

Synopsis

A PROVOCATIVE COLLECTION THAT DRAWS ON EXTENSIVE ETHNOGRAPHIC FIELDWORK TO SHED LIGHT ON THE ROLE THAT PUBLIC CEREMONIES PLAY IN AFFIRMING OR DEBUNKING CULTURAL IDENTITIES ASSOCIATED WITH THE SOUTH.

Excerpt

Tell about the South. What's it like there. What do they do there.
Why do they live there.

Why do they live at all.

William Faulkner, Absalom, Absalom!
Although it may be said that there is one South, there are also
many Souths, and many cultural traditions among them….
There is one South spawned by its many cultures.

Watson and Reed (1993, 2)

Southern Studies

Much of the ink spilt defining, explaining, or explaining away the South has examined successive myths of the region. Charles Reagan Wilson summarizes the sequence as follows: “The mythic perspective on Southern history would begin with the idea of a Colonial Eden, then portray the romantic Old South and the crusading Lost Cause, followed by the materialistic New South, and the twentieth century, with repeated expressions of a Savage South, but culminating seemingly in the idea of a Sun Belt” (1999, 4). Drawing from titles of books and articles published on the region in the second half of the twentieth century, Fred Hobson (1983) would also add mythic descriptions of the Emerging South, the Disappearing South, the Enduring South, the Conservative South, the Progressive South, the Agrarian South, the Solid South, the Divided South, the Provincial South, the Embarrassing New South, the South as Counterculture, the Romantic South, the Militant South, and the Benighted South. Accounts of the South contradict or affirm perceptions of a singular South based on a seemingly immutable list of . . .

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