Front Porch: Winter 2019

Mt. Zion at Sunset, Rodney, Mississippi, 2018, by Ashleigh Coleman.

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Front Porch: Winter 2019

by Marcie Cohen Ferris
Southern Cultures, Vol. 25, No. 4 (Here/Away)

“Generations of southerners have considered whether to stay, go, escape, flee, hold fast, resist, embrace, remember, lionize, celebrate, denigrate, document, memorialize, even destroy the American South.”

This special issue marks the closing of a year-long celebration of the twenty-fifth year of publication for Southern Cultures. Over that year, we turned to the themes that have animated the study of the South—Backward/Forward, Inside/Outside, Left/Right, and, for this issue, Here/Away—and the talent of four distinguished guest editors and scholars—Charles Reagan Wilson, William Sturkey, Joseph Crespino, and Karida L. Brown—to help us contemplate the complex South(s) this journal has pondered for a quarter of a century. Southerners have long grappled with the realities and struggles of their many experiences of being here, as well as the pull, pressures, and promises of going away. Generations of southerners have considered whether to stay, go, escape, flee, hold fast, resist, embrace, remember, lionize, celebrate, denigrate, document, memorialize, even destroy the American South. Moments of tension between the experience of being here and away are often critical turning points in southerners’ lives. Much of the region’s prized spoken and written word, art, music, film, and foodways grow from a turbulent intersection of paths. To stay or to go? Or to claim an in-between space?