Aligning with the tradition of Southern Gothic, Jaime Johnson’s Untamed articulates humankind’s capacity to decay as a marker of our identity. Set in the swamps and woods of Mississippi and Louisiana, natural places where one encounters life and death, growth and decay, Untamed depicts the fictitious story of a feral woman and her companions.
The South’s antiquity is here whether we want it or not. Our predicament is to decide whether or not we want to allow it to be here. To leave this past unseen and unstated is to accept the kind of amputated humanity we have been dealt by what we imagine to be a noble, if fraught, past. In reality, that past is just a story of theft. Legitimacy can’t be found nor can it be contrived. It can only be earned. We need to understand that what happened at Jamestown, and Stono, and Cowpens, and Appomattox, and Selma are in some ways just so many quick breaths taken in a very long life.
New York native Adam Gussow arrived on a hot and humid University of Mississippi campus in August of 2002, harmonica in hand. The Center for Study of Southern Culture was in need of a blues expert at the time, and he was exactly what they were looking for. Gussow said moving from Vassar College in New York state to small-town Mississippi was a big transition, but it was an ideal one.
A Fond Farewell to MARK CAMARIGG of LIving Blues The Center says goodbye this month to our friend Mark Camarigg, who has worked as Publications Manager for Living Blues since 2003. Mark worked with Living Blues editor Brett Bonner on innovative ways to market and distribute the magazine, dealt with subscribers, maintained the website, oversaw… Read More >
Interview with Brown Bag Speaker Cynthia Joyce This fall we, with the help of the Southern Documentary Project, started a series of occasional interviews of the Center’s Brown Bag speakers. In November, University of Mississippi Journalism Professor Cynthia Joyce spoke about her book Please Forward: How Blogging Reconnected New Orleans After Katrina. In the interview,… Read More >
Here, an end of the semester photo wrap-up with second year Southern Studies grad student Sophie Hay, who documents Center events and life as part of her assistantship. Follow the Center on Instagram for more photos by Sophie and others. Snapshots from the Semester Fall semester has been a busy one in Barnard Observatory; the… Read More >
In a cultural climate based on the superficial, one has to wonder how much deeper the annual Elvis Death Day observances go than mere tradition and habit. Can such events be mined for anything worth knowing about the world we live in today? Was there more to be learned from Death Day ten years ago? Twenty years ago? Thirty? Those might be the most interesting questions of all to ask about what happens in Memphis on August 15.
These Southern Studies alums are all documentarians. Whether they are producing a podcast about a beloved home region, filming lectures on the history of fishing, making films for social change, or producing content for StoryCorps, they all help explore the varied nature of the South with their investigations.