Loose Leaf

Loose Leaf takes Southern Cultures from print to multimedia. Stay tuned for regular features that expand conversations started in our pages.

Summer 2014

Elisabeth Haviland James: Constructing the Story We Want Other People to Hear

Loose Leaf recently caught up with Elisabeth Haviland James, director of 2013’s “In So Many Words.” The film follows Lucy Daniels, daughter of a prominent Raleigh family who was hospitalized for anorexia in her early life before becoming a lauded writer and psychologist. Here, James talks about portraying Daniels’s story—or any story—in film, observing that blurring the line between fiction and documentary is “just fine with me, because I think that distinction is a little outdated anyway. We’re all …

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The Help

Azie Dungey: George Washington Is In the Background, Literally

To complement our Spring 2014 issue on the controversial bestselling book and film The Help, we caught up with Azie Dungey, creator and star of “Ask A Slave.” The web series is based on real interactions Dungey had while portraying a slave character at George Washington’s Mount Vernon. In our second conversation with Dungey, she discusses the value of telling one’s own story.

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The Help

Azie Dungey: Portraying That History

To complement our Spring 2014 issue on the controversial bestselling book and film The Help, we caught up with Azie Dungey, creator and star of “Ask A Slave.” The web series is based on real interactions Dungey had while portraying a slave character at George Washington’s Mount Vernon. Here, Dungey discusses what it is like to engage with historic narratives.

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The Help

The Help, A Supercut

Our Spring 2014 issue examined the controversial bestselling book and film The Help. Now for Loose Leaf, we take a look back at representations of “the help” in popular media.

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Winter 2013

Julian Bond: Have Syllabus, Will Travel

For our January feature, civil rights pioneer and legislator Julian Bond recalls his career in teaching and the role of ordinary people in carrying a movement: “Young people need to know that people like themselves did this. It wasn’t always these magical figures like Dr. King. So that’s the way I developed my lectures, and that’s the way I teach my lectures now.”

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Winter 2013

John Shelton Reed: That’s One Deconstructed Goat

Our January installment features founding editor emeritus John Shelton Reed. The co-author of Holy Smoke recently barbecued a halal goat under the (delicious) guise of research for his forthcoming book from UNC Press.

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Winter 2013

John W. Coffey & Bill Brown: What Story Do We Privilege?

Our Winter 2013 issue features an essay by NCMA curator John W. Coffey on the curious provenance of a bust of John C. Calhoun. Marred during the Civil War, the bust was originally covered with cosmetics before being displayed at the North Carolina Museum of Art. Here, Coffey and NCMA conservator Bill Brown discuss their decision to remove the make-up for display and privilege one aspect of the bust’s story.

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Civil War

Blain Roberts: Nostalgia Is Not About the Past

For our Fall 2013 issue, Remembering the Civil War, historian Blain Roberts wrote about attending Charleston’s secession gala and NAACP protest of it in 2010. Here, she discusses how the events of 150 years ago are not merely relegated to history—they resonate in a contemporary political climate. As Roberts observes, “Nostalgia is not about the past.”

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Civil War

Brent Feito: Finding Meaning in Each Other’s Experiences

To complement our Fall 2013 issue Remembering the Civil War, we caught up with film producer and researcher Brent Feito, who began participating in Civil War reenactments at age 9. Here, Brent describes how reenacting accelerated his appreciation for history and for the sacrifices that make history so compelling, those “stories of [ordinary people] interacting . . .  and finding meaning in each other’s experiences.”

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Civil War

Matthew Shelton: Making a Book Look the Way It Feels

Our Fall 2013 issue Remembering the Civil War presents photos by Matthew P. Shelton. To create them, Shelton deconstructed Bell Irvin Wiley’s Embattled Confederates: An Illustrated History of Southerners at War (Harper & Row, 1964). “Like a failing dam, what began as one spontaneous hole gave way to a compulsive perforation,” writes Shelton. “I drilled until the book was lace.” Take a look at Shelton’s process here.

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