143 episodes

Interviews with scholars of the American South about their new books.
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New Books in the American South Marshall Poe

    • Arts
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Interviews with scholars of the American South about their new books.
Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/american-south

    Todne Thomas, "Kincraft: The Making of Black Evangelical Sociality" (Duke UP, 2021)

    Todne Thomas, "Kincraft: The Making of Black Evangelical Sociality" (Duke UP, 2021)

    Kincraft: The Making of Black Evangelical Sociality (Duke University Press, 2021) by Todne Thomas takes a deep dive into the social and religious lives of two black evangelical churches in the Atlanta metro area. Thomas ethnographically renders the ways in which black evangelicals engage in a process of producing kin or crafting relatedness through bible study, socializing, talking, and forming prayer partnerships. She argues that they produce kincraft or construct themselves as brothers and sisters in Christ. In so doing, they "closed the gap between the presumably 'real' family relationships of biology and those of spiritual kin" (3). Examining the lives and activities of black evangelicals illuminates these communities which are often obscured by evangelicals who are racialized as white and the protestant orientation associated with the black church. Outlining the processes through which black evangelicals make kin, calls into question ideas of fictive kinship, a concept commonly used to characterize kinship ties that are not biological or through marriage. Kincraft locates black evangelicals and their practices of kinship formation at the center of their own story. 
    Todne Thomas is an Assistant Professor of African American Religions in the Harvard Divinity School.
    Reighan Gillam is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Southern California.
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    • 1 hr 1 min
    Joshua D. Rothman, "The Ledger and the Chain: How Domestic Slave Traders Shaped America" (Basic Book, 2021)

    Joshua D. Rothman, "The Ledger and the Chain: How Domestic Slave Traders Shaped America" (Basic Book, 2021)

    Joshua Rothman’s The Ledger and the Chain: How Domestic Slave Traders Shaped America was published by Basic Books in 2021, and tells a sprawling history of slave traders in America. Often presented as outcasts and social pariahs, slave traders were often instead wealthy and respected members of their communities. Rothman explores the lives and careers of Isaac Franklin, John Armfield, and Rice Ballard to show just what the work of a domestic slave trader looked like and the devastating affects their actions had on enslaved people. By weaving together a history the lives of men who created one of the most powerful slave trading operations in America, Rothman is able to show how slavery’s expansion and growth occurred up to the Civil War.
    Joshua Rothman is a professor of history at the University of Alabama.
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    • 47 min
    Justene Hill Edwards, "Unfree Markets: The Slaves' Economy and the Rise of Capitalism in South Carolina" (Columbia UP, 2021)

    Justene Hill Edwards, "Unfree Markets: The Slaves' Economy and the Rise of Capitalism in South Carolina" (Columbia UP, 2021)

    Justene Hill Edwards is the author of Unfree Markets: The Slaves’ Economy and the Rise of Capitalism in South Carolina (Columbia University Press, 2021). Unfree Markets focuses in on an area of slavery’s history that has seldom been explore: the economic lives of enslaved people, and its meaning for them, enslavers, non-enslavers, and the institution of slavery itself. Hill Edwards explores how the complicated history of the slaves’ economy from the colonial period to the Civil War, showing the relationship between it and the development of capitalism in the nation. Through a history of enterprise, cultivation, markets, and people, Hill Edwards shows just how much the tenuous the connection between economic activity and freedom for the enslaved became throughout this time period, and what that meant for everyone involved.
    Justene Hill Edwards is an assistant professor of history at the University of Virginia.
    Derek Litvak is a PhD candidate at the University of Maryland—College Park.
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    • 53 min
    Kathryn Benjamin Golden, "Armed in the Great Swamp': Fear, Maroon Insurrection, and the Insurgent Ecology of the Great Dismal Swamp" (2021)

    Kathryn Benjamin Golden, "Armed in the Great Swamp': Fear, Maroon Insurrection, and the Insurgent Ecology of the Great Dismal Swamp" (2021)

    In 2021, we are inundated with daily images of racial terror, state violence, and technologies of punishment showing pictures of broken down, beleaguered, and deceased Black people’s bodies, especially in Virginia and North Carolina. But state approved terror never gets the last word. In Kathryn Benjamin Golden’s 2021 Journal of African American History article "'Armed in the Great Swamp': Fear, Maroon Insurrection, and the Insurgent Ecology of the Great Dismal Swamp", we learn how enslaved people in Southeast Virginia and Northeast North Carolina utilized the “insurgent ecology” of the Great Dismal Swamp as a critical site to strategize for and enact rebellion. Enjoy the conversation!
    Dr. Kathryn Benjamin Golden is an assistant professor of Africana Studies at the University of Delaware.
    Adam Xavier McNeil is a PhD Candidate in Early African American History at Rutgers University.
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    • 1 hr 48 min
    Susan M. Reverby, "Examining Tuskegee: The Infamous Syphilis Study and Its Legacy" (UNC Press, 2013)

    Susan M. Reverby, "Examining Tuskegee: The Infamous Syphilis Study and Its Legacy" (UNC Press, 2013)

    Some books are new, others are newly relevant – and so worth looking at from a new, contemporary perspective. Such is the case with Susan Reverby’s book Examining Tuskegee: The Infamous Syphilis Study and its Legacy (UNC Press, 2013). When the book was published in 2009, our world was reeling from a global financial crisis that exposed how subprime mortgages disproportionately affected Black homeowners; today we reel from a global pandemic that has starkly exposed how Black Americans and other people of color are disproportionately affected by the virus SARS-CoV-2 and its effects. Another inequity connected to the pandemic relates to vaccine distribution and uptake: they are much lower among Black (and Latinx) than white Americans.
    Examining Tuskegee is a deeply researched work that ranges from the trial’s origins within a public health partnership between the Tuskegee Institute and the Public Health Service, to portraits of its protagonists – the researchers, the men who were its subjects, the complex Nurse Rivers, and the persistent Peter Buxton, whose efforts eventually exposed the full truth of the study after it ran for 40 years – to the ways it was portrayed in popular culture and the media, to matters of bioethics and presidential apologies. In our conversation, Susan Reverby explains what actually happened in the study – no, the men were not injected by the researchers with syphilis – what it meant 50 years ago, and how it pertains, or not, to issues such as vaccine hesitancy among African Americans today.
    Rachel Pagones is chair of the doctoral program in acupuncture and Chinese medicine at Pacific College of Health and Science in San Diego and a licensed acupuncturist. Her third book, an examination of the history of acupuncture as a means of social and political revolution, is under contract with the University of Michigan Press.
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    • 44 min
    Karlos K. Hill, "The 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre: A Photographic History" (U Oklahoma Press, 2021)

    Karlos K. Hill, "The 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre: A Photographic History" (U Oklahoma Press, 2021)

    On the evening of May 31, 1921, thousands of white Oklahomans assaulted the Greenwood District of the city of Tulsa. In what would come to be known as the Tulsa Race Massacre, dozens of Black residents were killed and thousands more displaced as armed whites looted their homes and businesses before burning them to the ground.
    Karlos K. Hill’s The 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre: A Photographic History (University of Oklahoma Press, 2021) provides a visual record of the attack upon the community and the destruction it wrought upon the neighborhood, along with pictures of the aftermath and the testimony of the survivors. 
    As Hill’s images reveal, Greenwood had established itself as the most prosperous Black community in the United States prior to the massacre. This prosperity was a source of resentment for many whites, and fueled much of the anger reflected in the massacre. Yet Hill’s photos also reveal the resilience of a community, as in the aftermath of the devastation the residents of Greenwood rallied to rebuild much of what had been destroyed, serving as a foundation for further prosperity in the decades that followed.
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    • 52 min

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