Southern Comforts: Drinking and the U.S. South
Published by: LSU Press
Imprint: LSU Press
Sales Date: 2020-03-11
Published: March 2020
304 Pages, 152.00 x 228.00 x 28.50 mm, 3 halftones
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Moving beyond familiar myths about moonshiners, bootleggers, and hard-drinking writers, Southern Comforts explores how alcohol and drinking helped shape the literature and culture of the U.S. South.
Edited by Conor Picken and Matthew Dischinger, this collection of seventeen thought-provoking essays proposes that discussions about drinking in southern culture often orbit around familiar figures and mythologies that obscure what alcohol consumption has meant over time. Complexities of race, class, and gender remain hidden amid familiar images, catchy slogans, and convenient stories.
As the first collection of scholarship that investigates the relationship between drinking and the South, Southern Comforts challenges popular assumptions by examining evocative topics drawn from literature, music, film, city life, and cocktail culture. Taken together, the essays collected here illustrate that exaggerated representations of drinking oversimplify the South?s relationship to alcohol, in effect absorbing it into narratives of southern exceptionalism that persist to this day.
From Edgar Allan Poe to Richard Wright, Bessie Smith to Johnny Cash, Bourbon Street tourism to post-Katrina disaster capitalism and more, Southern Comforts: Drinking and the U.S. South uncovers the reciprocal relationship between mythologies of drinking and mythologies of region.
Introduction: A Glass Half Full (Conor Picken and Matthew Dischinger)
Section One: Alcoholism, Temperance, and the South
1. Alison Arant (Wagner College), Mama Likes Her Gin: Black Blues Women, Freedom, and Alcohol in the Prohibition South
2. John Stromski (Independent Scholar), The Spirits of Tradition: Calhoun Cocktails, Douglass Temperance, and Charles Chesnutt
3. Susan Zieger (University of California, Riverside), The Last Black Temperance Activist: Frances Harper and the Black Public Sphere
4. Cara Koehler (University of Bamberg, Germany), ?It?s either the candy or the hooch?: Unlawful Appetites and Abject Bodies in Orson Welles? Border Film Touch of Evil
5. Matthew Sutton (East Tennessee State University), The Tennessee Two-Step: Narrating Recovery in Country-Music Autobiography
Section Two: Revising Narrative through Intoxication
6. Caleb Doan (Louisiana State University) and J. Gerald Kennedy (Louisiana State University), Drink, Doubling, and Perverseness in Poe?s Fiction
7. Katharine A. Burnett (Fisk University), The Methodical Drinker: Alcohol, Economics, and Regional Identity in Early Virginian Literature
8. Zackary Vernon (Appalachian State University), The Inebriation and Adaptation of Larry Brown?s Big Bad Love
9. Monica C. Miller (Middle Georgia State University), Flannery O?Connor, ?Interleckchuls,? and Cocktail Culture
10. Ellen Lansky (Inver Hills Community College), Trashed: Women Under the Influence of Alcohol in Wright?s Native Son
11. David A. Davis (Mercer University), Miss Amelia?s Liquor: ?The Ballad of the Sad Café? and Surregionalism
Section Three: Alcohol?s Production, Commodification, and Circulation in the South
12. Jenna Sciuto (Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts), Racial Ambiguity, Bootlegging, and the Subversion of Plantation Hierarchies in Faulkner?s South
13. Christopher Rieger (Southeast Missouri State University), Moonshine in the Sunshine State: Alcohol?s Roots and Routes in Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings?s South Moon Under and Ernest Hemingway?s To Have and Have Not
14. Jerod Ra?Del Hollyfield (Carson-Newman University), Granny Fees for Apple Pie: Gender and the Settler South in Moonshine Cinema
15. Robert Rea (University of Mississippi), The Bourbon Street Hustle: Midcentury Tourism in John Kennedy Toole?s A Confederacy of Dunces
16. Hannah C. Griggs (Emory University), Jim Crow, Mardi Gras, and the Ojen Cocktail
17. Jennie Lightweis-Goff (University of Mississippi), W?s Good Time
As attentive to the nuances of literary form as it is to the intricate circulations of commodity culture, Dischinger and Pickens? illuminating, capacious volume presents an impressive array of vital and persuasive new perspectives on drinking and southern culture. Brannon Costello, author of Plantation Airs: Racial Paternalism and the Transformations of Class in Southern Fiction
Can I buy you a drink? Calhoun or Ojen cocktail? Julip or Gin? Sour Mash or Moonshine? If you?re dry, we can look into temperance and prohibition or explore fiction and movies, tough women and good old boys, blues and country. Pick your poison or pleasure ? or both. With its innovative regional approach to American drinking, in an array of essays on the imaginary and material South, this book adds a top-shelf label to alcohol and addiction studies. John W. Crowley, author of The White Logic: Alcoholism and Gender in American Modernist Fiction
With this volume, Picken and Dischinger offer a compelling intervention in southern studies. Together, the assembled essays provide a necessary corrective to popular narratives that regard the U.S. South as either a homogenous landscape of dry counties or awash in the honorifics of a noble cocktail culture. Southern Comforts demonstrates the profound problems with both of those assumptions and allows readers to understand that where and why one imbibes is often as important as what one drinks. Gina Caison, author of "Red States: Indigeneity, Settler Colonialism, and Southern Studies"