Elective Course: "Mind (of) the South. Dixie’s Cultural Codes in the 21st Century"  

(2 MA, summer term 2020/2021, "konwersatorium", 30 hours)

This elective course looks at the major themes constitutive of the culture of the U.S.South. It addresses such diverse topics as e.g. southern music, gender, food, race, history and memory, morals and manners, environment or media which, when taken together, will offer a clear sense of the contours of the "southern identity." The course aims at the exploration of the South as the "dis/reputed region" i.e. cultural space with local (and seemingly well defined) provenience whose actual tenor is not only transcultural but also transartistic.

The course has been designed as a combination of short lectures, screenings, and discussions of selected literary texts, cinematic productions, and artistic practices. Their analysis seeks to help students understand how the South came into being, how it developed overtime, how its categories intersect, and how it continues to develop in this day and age. 

 

Course Outline (selected topics):

  1. Introduction: South as Text and Context
  2. Romancing the South: Tour of the Legacy of the Southern Gender/Class Politics
  3. Feeling Southern: Limits and Transformations of White Identity
  4. South as an American Problem: Fact or Fiction?
  5. Song/s of the South: Southern Music as Liminal Space
  6. Cooking Dixie: Foodways as "Southern Comfort"  
  7. Identity Market: South as Tourist Bait
  8. Staged Authenticity: The Southern as a Transartistic Genre