Event Title

The Representation of Southern Identity in Fictional Southern Literature

College

College of Arts and Sciences

Department

Department of Political Science

Honors Thesis Committee

Jennifer Disney, Ph.D.; Kelly Richardson, Ph.D.; and Scott Huffmon, Ph.D.

Location

DIGS 222

Start Date

20-4-2018 12:45 PM

Description

This research looks at a cross-section of literary studies and social science when comparing the literature of the South and how it represents the Southern identity as it has evolved through time. This research uses studies and analysis put forth by some of the leading Southern scholars and focuses primarily on the South’s history and evolving Southern identity during three distinct time periods: the 1850s-1900s, the 1900s-1950s, and the 1950s to the present. Representative novels having plots that take place during those time periods were also chosen to use as evidence that fictional novels largely reflect the social science behind Southern identity; those novels are Cold Mountain, All the King’s Men, and Go Set a Watchman. Although there are many types of Southern identities, as the population grows larger and more diverse, this research focuses on the white male Southern identity and its reflection in the aforementioned texts. This work is significant because it illustrates that, at least in the case of Southern identity and Southern literature, the fictional texts are reflective of the Southern identity at the time they represent.

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Apr 20th, 12:45 PM

The Representation of Southern Identity in Fictional Southern Literature

DIGS 222

This research looks at a cross-section of literary studies and social science when comparing the literature of the South and how it represents the Southern identity as it has evolved through time. This research uses studies and analysis put forth by some of the leading Southern scholars and focuses primarily on the South’s history and evolving Southern identity during three distinct time periods: the 1850s-1900s, the 1900s-1950s, and the 1950s to the present. Representative novels having plots that take place during those time periods were also chosen to use as evidence that fictional novels largely reflect the social science behind Southern identity; those novels are Cold Mountain, All the King’s Men, and Go Set a Watchman. Although there are many types of Southern identities, as the population grows larger and more diverse, this research focuses on the white male Southern identity and its reflection in the aforementioned texts. This work is significant because it illustrates that, at least in the case of Southern identity and Southern literature, the fictional texts are reflective of the Southern identity at the time they represent.