The aim of these blogs on my university course are mainly for me! I was encouraged by a lecturer to start a blog to put down my summaries of lecture notes, seminar discussions and ideas that I had got from books. This I hope will allow me to reflect on what I have heard or discussed in lectures and allow the information to sink in… well it’s worth a try! Of course, you dear reader, are welcome to read them too and comment on them with your opinion on what has been written- there is always more than one right answer and I would like to know of them and even where you have gained your ideas from!
The first lecture notes I am going to summarise are my American South Lectures- this one being the introductory lectures. I am going to divide them into sub headings.
Images of the South
Some of the ideas that are conjured up in peoples heads or how the South is portrayed would be things like Dixie, the land of cotton and cavaliers, the No. 1 economic problem in America, the Gothic underbelly of America- where all the seedy stuff happens and the nation’s inferiority complex.
What is the American South? Is it a geographical area? a political area? and where is it situated precisely- what are it’s boundaries? What defines it’s identity- what sets it apart?
It’s an area whose people are known to be Ultra- patriotic but has an identity in it’s un-Americaness or even more precisely it’s un-Northerness. In other words it longs to part of America but yet be seen to have different ideals- how does this work?
During the 19th Century there was a battle over it’s national identity.
But What Sense Of The South?
Is it in it’s geography? Is it in it’s views on slavery? It’s decisions it made leading up to the civil war? Is it made in it’s time of reconstruction? It’s decisions on implementing segregation.
Finally, what defines regional identity? Is it religion, the accent, diet, music, land or customs?