Studying the South: Approaches and Orientations
A one-day colloquium organised by the Southern Studies in the UK Network (www.ssukn.com)
26th August 2017, University of Hertfordshire
Studies of the U.S. South have radically changed across the last century, and especially so in the twenty-first. As Michael Bibler (2016) has argued recently, southern studies scholars “begin with the assumption that there’s no such thing as a solid South. We are interested in all kinds of Souths, bringing a dazzling range of theoretical approaches” to the region. This one-day colloquium will explore the variety of perspectives or “orientations” (Bibler) that open up discussion of the U.S. South today. Where historically the South has been considered as the “nation’s region” (in Leigh Ann Duck’s words), southern studies scholars see the region in smaller and larger scales and frames. The South can be read in relation to other American regions like the West or Midwest; it can be thought of in circum-Caribbean networks; it can be connected to Black, Red, and Green Atlantics; it can be theorised in transregional, postregional, transnational, hemispheric, global, and planetary terms; and it can also be considered at micro-regional or community-based scales. Souths can be: queer and Native and disabled and Eco and Black and trans, and so on. The plurality and diversity of this region—far from fixed or ossified—will be at the heart of this colloquium.
In addition to developing interdisciplinary approaches and orientations to studying the South, this event will also be the official launch of the Southern Studies in the UK Network. The day will consist of paper presentations and a closing roundtable. The aim of the colloquium is to bring together scholars of the South that are working in the UK and elsewhere, as well as setting an agenda for the future of the SSUKN. Members and non-members of the network are welcome to submit and/or attend.