Southerners on Film

Essays on Hollywood Portrayals Since the 1970s

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About the Book

The representation of Southerners on film has been a topic of enduring interest and debate among scholars of both film and Southern studies. These 15 essays examine the problem of Southern identity in film since the civil rights era. Fresh insights are provided on such familiar topics as the redneck image, transitions to modernity and the prevalence of the Southern gothic. Other essays reflect the reinvigorated and expanding field of new Southern studies and topics include the transnational South, the intersection of ethnicity and environment and the cultural significance of Southern identity outside the South.

About the Author(s)

Andrew B. Leiter teaches English and American studies at Lycoming College. His research focuses on literary and popular representations of the American South.

Bibliographic Details

Edited by Andrew B. Leiter
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 252
Bibliographic Info: 22 photos, notes, bibliographies, index
Copyright Date: 2011
pISBN: 978-0-7864-4960-6
eISBN: 978-0-7864-8702-8
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Introduction (Andrew B. Leiter)      1

I. Multiculturalism and Melodrama: Southern White Heroines of the 1980s

(Amy Corbin)      15

II. You’re Only as Good as Your Last Game: Remember the Titans Remembers Civil Rights

(Oliver Gruner)      32

III. “Every Man Has the Right to Contribute a Verse”: Representin’ Black Masculinity and the South in Three Popular Hip Hop Films

(Courtney George)      47

IV. “That Old-Timey Music”: Nostalgia and the Southern Tradition in O Brother, Where Art Thou?

(Andrew B. Leiter)      62

V. American Dreams and Country Music: Nashville and Payday

(Hugh Ruppersburg)      76

VI. Gender, Regional Identity, and the Civil War: Politics of the North and South in Sweet Home Alabama and Junebug

(Landon Palmer)      89

VII. The Screen Kallikak: White Trash for White Guilt in Post-Vietnam American Film

(C. Scott Combs)      106

VIII. The Haunting of a Black Southern Past: Considering Conjure in To Sleep with Anger

(Phillip Lamarr Cunningham)      123

IX. Practice in a Cemetery: Ross McElwee’s North Carolina Documentaries

(Stephen Broomer)      134

X. The Junebug Dilemma

(Bryan Giemza)      147

XI. Imagined Realities: Appalachia, Arabia, and Orientalism in Songcatcher and The Sheik

(Thomas R. Britt and Usame Tunagur)      161

XII. Adaptation and Sunshine State: Nature and Nostalgia in Contemporary Florida Films

(Marlisa Santos)      175

XIII. Reel Horror: Louisiana’s Vanishing Wetlands and the Threat of Hollywood (Mis)Representation

(Maria Hebert-Leiter)      187

XIV. An Aesthetic of Play: A Contemporary Cinema of South-Sploitation

(James A. Crank)      204

XV. “You Taste of America”: Talladega Nights, Deliverance, and Southern Studies

(Tara Powell)      217

About the Contributors      231

Index      235