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U.S. Southern Culture - JMM653
Anglický název: U.S. Southern Culture
Zajišťuje: Katedra severoamerických studií (23-KAS)
Fakulta: Fakulta sociálních věd
Platnost: od 2014
Semestr: letní
Body: 5
E-Kredity: 5
Způsob provedení zkoušky: letní s.:
Rozsah, examinace: letní s.:1/1 Zk [hodiny/týden]
Počet míst: neurčen / neurčen (neurčen)
Minimální obsazenost: neomezen
Stav předmětu: nevyučován
Jazyk výuky: angličtina
Způsob výuky: prezenční
Poznámka: předmět je možno zapsat mimo plán
povolen pro zápis po webu
při zápisu přednost, je-li ve stud. plánu
Garant: Jessica Hooten
Sylabus - angličtina
Poslední úprava: Jessica Hooten (07.12.2013)


U.S. Southern Culture

Winter Semester 2014


Professor Jessica Hooten Wilson



"The South is like my favorite pair of blue jeans. It's shrunk some, faded a bit, got a few holes in it. There's always the possibility that it might split at the seams. It doesn't look much like it used to, but it's more comfortable, and there's probably a lot of wear left in it."

--From John Shelton Reed's My Tears Spoiled My Aim

Course Description:

The U.S. South is…well, almost every statement one could make about "The South" is debatable. For the purpose of this course, it is comprised of those states south of the Mason-Dixon line, those states that suffered defeat in the Civil War and never got over it, those states that progressed slowly but surely during the era of the Civil Rights Movement, and those states that still feel nostalgic for front porch chats, that still serve their tea over ice with sugar, and that vote based on the sway of their local preacher. In this course, we will examine all aspects of Southern Culture-from Old to New South-including its history, identity, geography, economy, race and gender issues, myths, religion, political life, music and media, as well as its food. We will use mostly literature as our sources of inquiry but also essays, reviews, and news articles.


Required Texts

Cobb, James C. Away Down South: A History of Southern Identity. Oxford UP, 2007.

The Literature of the American South, Eds. William Andrews, Minrose Gwin and Fred Hobson. Norton, 1997. 

Twain, Mark. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.

Faulkner, William. Absalom, Absalom!


Recommended Texts

Applebome, Peter. Dixie Rising: How the South is Shaping American Values, Politics and Culture

Southern Culture: An Introduction

The New Encyclopedia of Southern Culture (UNC Press)



For each week, one student will:

1.     Present on the assigned prose reading. They should present a reflection on the text that is debatable and argues for a particular perspective on a relevant issue.

2.     Create 10 discussion questions to be used in the class on the assigned literature reading.

Every student will complete each assignment at least once (20%).


Discussion in class will account for a heavy percentage of the student’s grade (30%). To prepare for discussion, students should annotate their texts, create notes on the most significant scenes or lines in the text, and make a list of their own questions to ask in class.


There will be a Final Exam (20%) at the end of the course that will include a section of Identification and Short Answer Questions.


Also, you will be required to submit an Essay (30%) of 3000 words that presents a persuasive argument examining one of our course topics.


1. Introduction

"The Southernization of America" Dixie-Rising by Peter Applebome

Berry, "The Regional Motive" Literature of the American South (LAS 934)

Cobb, "Introduction" Away Down South (ADS)


2. Southern History Overview

ADS: Cavalier and Yankee: The Origins of Southern ‘Otherness’

Cash, From The Mind of the South (LAS 489)


3. Antebellum South

               ADS: The South Becomes a Cause

Twain, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

Recommended extra reading:

Frederick Douglass. "What to a Slave is the Fourth of July?" (July 4, 1852): (Packet)

4. "New South": Post-Civil War

ADS: The New South and the Old Cause

Washington, "Up from Slavery" (LAS 327)

Tate, "Ode to the Confederate Dead" (LAS 478)

George Henry White. "Defense of the Negro Race" (1901): (Packet)


5. Turn of the Century

ADS: The Southern Renaissance and the Revolt against the New South Creed

Mencken, "The Sahara of the Bozart" (LAS 368)

The Southern Agrarians, "I’ll Take My Stand" (LAS 391)


6. Southern Writers and the Past

               ADS:  Southern Writers and ‘The Impossible Load of the Past’

Faulkner, Absalom, Absalom!


7. Black and White South

ADS: The South of Guilt and Shame

Hurston, "How it Feels to be Colored Me" (LAS 416)

Wright, "The Ethics of Living Jim Crow" (LAS 548)

Smith, "Customs and Conscience" (Packet)

Recommended extra reading:

"Brown v. Board of Education" (1954): (Packet)

Martin Luther King, Jr. "Letter from a Birmingham Jail." (1963): (Packet)

8. Blackness and Southernness

ADS: African Americans Look South toward Home

Gaines, "The Sky is Gray" (LAS 887)

Ellison, "Chapter 2" from Invisible Man (LAS 700)

Angelou, "Color Consciousness" from Caged Bird (LAS 853)


9. Contemporary South

ADS: Divided by a Common Past: History and Identity in the Contemporary South

Percy, The Last Gentleman (LAS 731)

O’Connor, "Revelation" (LAS 818)

Walker, "In Search of Our Mother’s Gardens" (LAS 1024)


10. "We lost the war": Politics in the South

ADS: The South and the Politics of Identity

EXCERPT, All the Kings Men (Packet)

Recommended extra reading:

"Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address, 150 Years Later": (Packet)

"Southern Discomfort" by George Packer: (Packet)

11. Christ-Haunted South

"Canaan’s Language" (Packet)

O’Connor, Lucette Carmody preaching, The Violent Bear It Away

O’Connor, "In the Protestant South" Mystery and Manners (Packet)

Recommended extra reading:

Harry S. Stout. "Religion in the Civil War: The Southern Perspective." (Packet)

"Bible Belt in a Changing South" (Packet)

12. What is the South-Kitsch vs. Real World

Mark Twain. "Corn-Pone Opinions" (1901; 1923): (Packet)

"The Old South Myth" (Packet)

Recommended extra reading:

Southernisms (Packet)

"Southern Manners on Decline" NY Times (2011): (Packet)

Depiction of South on TV, NY Times (2011) (Packet)

Linda R. Monk. "A Plague of Cornbread." (Packet)

"Trying to Put Nutrition in the Lunchroom" (Packet)

               "100 Southern Foods" (Packet)

"Survey on the ‘Real’ South": (Packet)

Review of "The New Mind of the South" (Packet)


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