College of Liberal Arts

- University of Mississippi

New Journal Examines Culture of American South

Civil rights activist Ella Baker, 1976—Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, New York Public Library

Civil rights activist Ella Baker, 1976 | Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, New York Public Library

The Center for the Study of Southern Culture (CSSC) at the University of Mississippi has launched Study the South, a new peer-reviewed, multimedia, online journal.

The journal, which is published and managed by the center, 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.

The title of Study the South itself is unusual, since it takes the form of a command.

“The commands are to take both the subject matter and the methods of study seriously, to conduct the study as part of a community of scholars and to study in ways that address topics of lasting importance,” said Ted Ownby, director of the CSSC.

James G. Thomas Jr. and Ownby serve as senior editors, and an editorial board composed of CSSC faculty and staff is in place.

Study the SouthStudy the South also offers an invitation to join the effort to expand the questions, methods and topics of Southern studies.

“It encourages innovative approaches or, as Eudora Welty wrote, ‘all serious daring,'” Ownby said. “In encouraging interdisciplinary scholarship, it encourages work that not only tells about the South, to paraphrase William Faulkner, or documents the South or interprets the South, but work that uses all the tools available to good scholars.”

The first article published in the journal is “How to Eat to Live: Black Nationalism and the Post-1964 Culinary Turn,” written by Jennifer Jensen Wallach, associate professor history at the University of North Texas. She explores the alternative foodways of various black nationalist groups in the wake of the civil rights movement. Wallach’s piece goes alongside the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which outlawed segregation at spaces of public accommodation such as restaurants.

Wallach’s article is available via the center’s new website at http://southernstudies.olemiss.edu/study-the-south/how-to-eat-to-live.

Future issues of the journal will include calls for papers on topics the Center for the Study of Southern Culture has defined, and others will come from submissions from authors.