New Study the South Essay by James Carson

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“The South’s antiquity is here whether we want it or not.” In this contemplative new essay, James Carson claims, “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.”

Read the article here.

About the Author

James Carson is professor of history at Queen’s University in Ontario, Canada. He is the author of The Columbian Covenant: Race and the Writing of American History, Searching for the Bright Path: The Mississippi Choctaws from Prehistory to Removal, and Making an Atlantic World: Circles, Paths, and Stories from the Colonial South. His articles and reviews have appeared in Ethnohistory, Journal of Mississippi History, Agricultural History, Journal of Military History, Southern Cultures, and other publications.

About the Journal

Study the South is a peer-reviewed, multimedia, online journal, published and managed by the Center for the Study of Southern Culture at the University of Mississippi. The journal, founded in 2014, exists to encourage interdisciplinary academic thought and discourse on the culture of the American South, particularly in the fields of history, anthropology, sociology, music, literature, documentary studies, gender studies, religion, geography, media studies, race studies, ethnicity, folklife, and art. Contact Jimmy Thomas at for more information.