In the 1993 inaugural issue of Southern Cultures Harry Watson and John Shelton Reed claimed in “The Front Porch” that “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” (1993). The American South has never been a homogenous concept. Yet, up until the late nineteenth century Southern writers tried to evoke an image of their region based on “slavery, mocking birds, hominy grits and Bourbon whisky” (Lawson, Following Percy 47). By eliminating any experience (e.g. of poor whites or African Americans) which contradicted their own, white Southern writers tried to create a monolithic image of the patriarchal South. Such a partial projected image was of course reductive in nature, as the South has always been a union of opposites – such as “calm grace and raw hatred, polished manners and violence, individualism and conformism” (Holman, The Roots 1). Indeed, such opposites inspired various twentieth-century writers to reflect on differing dimensions of the region. Writers such as Flannery O’Connor, William Faulkner, Carson McCullers and Barry Hannah employed alternative modes of representation (Southern gothic, grotesque, irony, black humor, to name a few). Harry Crews and Dorothy Allison visualized the poor white existence in Southern letters. Racial struggles and the issue of passing were memorably depicted by Charles Chesnutt. Tennessee Williams’, Reynolds Price’, and Charles Nelson’s texts show how the South perceived and dealt with masculinity and homosexuality. Tom Wolfe’s A Man in Full depicted immigrants as the Other. The younger generation of Southern writers, such as Larry Brown, Charles Frazier, Dori Sanders, Josephine Humphreys, Kaye Gibbons, demonstrate that “today’s southern writers are not homogenized mainstreamers and are certainly not immune to the great changes in their region” (Gretlund, Heads on Fire). Writers seek the Caribbean connection through re-positioning the South in the global discourse. The Asian diaspora in the South becomes more visible and vocal. The Southern landscape has also lured television producers and viewers (True Blood, Treme, American Horror Story, and True Detective).
THE OBJECTIVE OF THE THEMED ISSUE: The proposed themed issue of Polish Journal for American Studies does not seek a holistic image of the South, because “[e]ach of these monistic concepts is true within its own limits, and each is false as a picture of the entire region. For each of these concepts has been an attempt to bind together a heterogeneous land and a varied people through the application of a Procrustean model made of monistic and simplistic – although often highly sophisticated – generalizations” (Holman, The Roots 97). Keeping in mind the inexhaustibility and complexity of the South as a region, the special issue of Polish Journal for American Studies aims to reexamine and reassess the image of Other Souths presented in literature, cinematography and popular culture. Offering different renderings of the region, the contributions may include, but not necessarily be limited to, the following themes:
- the poor white South
- Appalachia and its cultural specificity
- Native Americans of the American South
- “interstitial” racial/ethnic identities (especially Asian and Hispanic)
- multiethnic identities
- immigration into the Dixie
- the Caribbean connection – the South resituated in the Global South (the American South as part of the larger plantation region of the Caribbean)
- the Southernness of Texas and Florida
- the South as the Northern projection versus Southern self-image (fading) masculinity, tomboys, and the Queer South
- silence / silencing – as mode of representation
- Southern gothic, grotesque, black humorSUBMISSION PROCEDURE: Authors are cordially invited to submit a 200 word abstract and short bio via email to firstname.lastname@example.org The email should bear the subject line “(surname): abstract for PJAS.”Abstract submission deadline: March 31, 2018 All abstracts will be subject to review. Authors will be notified by 15 May, 2018 Accepted articles are due by August 31, 2018Formal condition of acceptance: Manuscripts of accepted articles should not have been pulished or be under consideration for publication elsewhere. All papers undergo a review process, and the editors reserve the right to refuse papers or to make suggestions and/or modifications before publication.
Research articles should generally not exceed 8,000 words (inclusive of notes, references, and illustrations). Citations should follow MLA. In addition to endnotes, a list of works cited at the end of the article is requested.
Please address questions and submissions to the guest editor: Urszula Niewiadomska-Flis email@example.com
More about Polish Journal for American Studies, its review procedure and past issues: http://www.paas.org.pl/pjas/