Tell About the South: Erich Nunn on Popular Music & Gentrification
May 7 @ 12:30 pm - 1:30 pm
“Popular Music, Gentrification, and the Future of Atlanta’s Cabbagetown”
Atlanta’s Cabbagetown neighborhood grew up around the Fulton Bag and Cotton Mill, which opened in 1881 and operated for nearly a century. It was home to Fiddlin’ John Carson, whose 1923 recording of “The Little Old Log Cabin in the Lane” helped inaugurate “hillbilly music” as a commercial genre. After the mill closed and the neighborhood underwent a dramatic decline in the 1980s and 90s, its cheap rents and plentiful drugs helped it become an indie rock haven. Now Cabbagetown is experiencing rapid and unprecedented gentrification. Using “Don’t Get Captured,” a 2016 track by hip-hop duo Run the Jewels as a point of entry, this talk will explore the legacy and future of music in Cabbagetown.
Erich Nunn is an associate professor of English at Auburn University. He teaches American Studies, with an emphasis on the literature and culture of the U.S. South. He is the author of Sounding the Color Line: Music and Race in the Southern Imagination (University of Georgia Press, 2015), as well as articles on Willie Nelson and Jimmie Rodgers. He is currently working on a book about popular music and the politics of interracial friendship.