Academic journal article Southern Quarterly

Editor's Introduction

Academic journal article Southern Quarterly

Editor's Introduction

Article excerpt

Just west of Mobile, Alabama, near the Mississippi line, there is a self-consciously "country" store and gas station, called the Snuffy Smith Stop and Go, on U.S 98. Modeled on the notorious southern comic strip, it is a tourist trap hold-over from the pre-Interstate era. One imagines that today most travelers pass by laughing "at" this countrified stereotype, overlooking the irony of evoking mountain folk to draw in tourists in a coastal Gulf South locale. One also imagines that those who actually do stop there choose to do so because they are laughing "with" this humorous depiction of the rural South, not just at it.

This special issue on "Humor and the South" is derived from the 20 1 0 Natchez Literary and Cinema Celebration, and continues our collaboration with that remarkable annual public conference. The issue features a major essay on the South in American comic strips, focusing on "Li'l Abner," by the preeminent scholar on the subject, M. Thomas Inge. In the other contributions, including examples of Southern humor - historical (George Washington Harris's "Sut Lovingood"), contemporary (Diane Williams on ethnic humor, and Clyde Ray Webber on southern whites, from their presentations at the NLCC), and literary (Jerry Ward Jr. …

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