The American South and the Atlantic World

Edited by Brian Ward, Martyn Bone and William A. Link

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"A refreshing and intriguing interdisciplinary examination of the ways in which the history and cultures of the American South have been largely shaped by forces beyond the geographical boundaries of the United States." --Allison Graham, author of Framing the South

"This is an impressive collection of essays, reflective of the latest theoretical interpretations that illuminate how scholars are looking anew at local stories within a global context." --Glenn T. Eskew, author of But for Birmingham

While much research on the American South considers the region in terms of its relationship with the North, emphasizing black and white racial binaries and outdated geographical boundaries, The American South and the Atlantic World seeks larger thematic and spatial contexts. This is the first book to focus explicitly on how contacts with the peoples, cultures, ideas, and economies of the Atlantic World have decisively shaped the history and culture of the American South from colonial times to the modern era.

The essays in this interdisciplinary volume examine a wide range of topics, including race, migration, religion, law, slavery, emancipation, literature, memoir, popular culture, and ethnography. At a time when there is growing emphasis on globalizing southern studies the collection both demonstrates and critiques the value of Atlantic World perspectives on the region.

Equally important, the mix of case studies and state-of-the field essays combines the latest historical thinking on the South’s myriad Atlantic World connections with the kinds of innovative cultural and literary scholarship associated with developments in the New Southern Studies.

Ultimately, the volume reveals that there is still much to be learned about both the Atlantic World and the American South by considering them in tandem and from a variety of disciplinary perspectives. Moreover, by probing the Atlantic coordinates of the material, historical, emotional, intellectual, cultural, and symbolic South, these essays provide an important framework for better understanding the region and the succession of Atlantic Worlds to which it has long been intimately and distinctively connected.

Brian Ward, professor in American studies at Northumbria University, is the author of Radio and the Struggle for Civil Rights in the South. Martyn Bone, associate professor of American literature at the University of Copenhagen, is the author of The Postsouthern Sense of Place in Contemporary Fiction. William A. Link, Richard J. Milbauer Professor of History at the University of Florida, is the author of Links: My Family in American History.
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“Providing much food for thought for scholars in many disciplines, the contributors have made a very strong case for the importance of placing the study of the American South in its Atlantic World context from the eighteenth to the twentieth century.” North Carolina Historical Review

“The editors and contributors [chart] their respective subjects down from the national to the regional history of the American South and outward to the rich and expanding literature on Atlantic studies, particularly to the southern regions of the Caribbean and Africa” H-Net Reviews in the Humanities & Social Sciences

“A much needed exploration of a conceptual paradigm that offers stimulating challenges for the boundaries of the American South as defined by past scholarship.” Register of the Kentucky Historical Society

“The essays… are all admirably detailed and specific, closely argued analyses of particular people, events and themes, and while eschewing easy notions of typicality, all of them unpack what lies beneath, the internationalist cross-currents that shaped distorted and disrupted the moments, men and women they explore.” Journal of Transatlantic Studies

“These essays are substantive, concise, well written, and intellectually generous. They are necessary reading for southern historians, will reward Atlanticists interested in their beachhead in the South, and offer telling stories for U.S. history classrooms.” The Journal of American History

The editors of this volume draw upon recent research and scholarship to remedy the relative neglect of the American South in the historiography of the Atlantic world. [Their] comparative approach, which situates the South in this larger context, offers an important counterpoint to several dominant strains of recent Southern history The Historian

A worthwhile volume on the South in an Atlantic world context. . . .[and] a welcome addition to a growing field of newly minted approached to southern history in an Atlantic perspective.-- Journal of Southern History

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