Join us at the Love House & Hutchins Forum as we celebrate the Southern Cultures fall issue on Southern Things. We’re hosting a pop-up museum of haunted objects (those lived-in, well-worn, maybe nostalgic, maybe loathed things that just keep hanging around) and associated stories. Object owners include Heather & Phil Cook, Jen Wasner, Daniel Wallace, April McGreger, Alice Gerrard, and more.
This special issue was guest edited by Bernie Herman, and features essays on Mississippi’s Rhinestone Cowboy, West Virginia’s last broom maker, Harriet Beecher Stowe’s orange grove, North Carolina’s former mines, Louisiana’s Coushatta tribe, Charleston’s Jewish artifacts of the Confederacy, the Deep South’s penchant for Dutch ovens, and more!
Join us at the Center to celebrate a very special issue of Southern Cultures. We’ll enjoy music by Sam Gleaves, readings by Silas House, and a mountain menu by Sherri Castle. Attendance is free and open to the public, but tickets are required for food and the issue: click here!
Born and raised in Wythe County in southwest Virginia, Sam Gleaves performs innovative mountain music with a sense of history. Sam’s performances combine traditional Appalachian ballads, dance tunes, original songs, and the stories that surround them. His debut album Ain’t We Brothers has been reviewed by National Public Radio, No Depression, and The Bluegrass Situation. Lee Smith has called the album “courageous as hell and country to the bone.”
Silas House is a critically acclaimed novelist and playwright who describes the main goal of his writing as “looking into the lives of rural Americans who so often get overlooked by the media.” He currently serves as the NEH Chair of Appalachian Studies at Berea College. House writes that “Sam and I are passionate about giving voice to rural people, about place, and about the power of art to empower and transform. Both of us are very concerned with the rural Other, people who have a deep love for these rural places yet don’t fit in there, due to orientation, race, or other issues.”
Guest edited by Elizabeth S.D. Engelhardt, the Appalachia Issue includes Harlan County U.S.A. soundscapes, a break-up with Pearl S. Buck, musings on Dollywood & hillbilly consumerism, interviews with Appalachian “Country Queers,” and lost photos of black Asheville. Click here to subscribe or view the issue at Project Muse.
In a Southern Cultures essay published in 2000, Jerry Leath Mills came up with a “single, simple, litmus-like test [to gauge] the quality of southerness in literature . . . Is there a dead mule in it?” We were curious if Mills’s hypothesis held up, so we brought the question to some of our favorite authors. Join Jill McCorkle, Megan Mayhew Bergman, Jamie Quatro, and others as they continue the conversation started in our pages. Toast that talk and the new 21c Fiction Issue with the Deader Mule, a special cocktail from 21C Museum Hotel.
This issue launch in downtown Durham–one of several events planned for the month of October to honor southern writers and stories, past and present–is free and open to the public.