The Mythic South: Mythology and Materialism of the American South
Program arranged by the Society for the Study of Southern Literature
This guaranteed affiliated session seeks papers that explore the mythopoetic impulse in the poetry, prose, film, comics, etc. of the American South. Southern culture has persistently borrowed images from mythological sources, often in order to imbue itself with a greater sense of depth, even timelessness. What other uses do Southern texts make of mythic allusions—classical to contemporary, Greco-Roman to Afro-Caribbean, religious or archetypal to the symbolic mythmaking of science, politics, media, and consumerism? Can visions of the mythologized South shed light on contemporaneous historical pressures and transitions within and across the region? Do mythic materials express forms of cultural materialism, elucidating the social and economic underpinnings of such invocations in Southern literature and culture? Do they construct essentialist and/or exceptionalist accounts of the South, or do mythological intertextualities gesture toward multi-ethnic, transnational histories for the region? Are these samplings and rehashings cause for critique or parody? What is the relation of the mythic to the sociological, political, economic “realness” of the South?
Please email (as an attachment and copied into the text of your message) an abstract (250-500 words), along with any requests for a-v support, to Daniel Cross Turner at firstname.lastname@example.org by March 1, 2011. All panel participants must be members of MLA before April 1, 2011.
Dr. Daniel Cross Turner
Department of English
Coastal Carolina University
Phone: (843) 349-2432
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