Next month, discussions on the H-Amstdy Twitter feed, @H_AMSDTY, will be about a subject near and dear to many of us: higher education. If you haven't checked them out, H-Amstdy Twitter discussions follow a theme for a month and include profiles and interviews of featured scholars. Recent topics have included June Brides and UnFreedom. Right now, we're looking for suggestions: what scholars and activists (and dare I add administrators?) should we talk to regarding the theme of higher education?
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I've never seen scholarship, but Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds' plantation wedding got a lot of press, not all of it negative. The bad press was exacerbated, however, by her following move: to romanticize the Antebellum era on her now-defunct website, Preserve. Might make an interesting case study at least. Apparently this plantation was/is a popular site in SC for weddings. http://www.boonehallplantation.com/. Also, The Notebook was filmed there. So you're on to something; there's a link between the slave era and white romance.
Yes, there are a lot of articles on it, in particular after the Paula Deen scandal.
I re-read my posting and I realize I should have used the word "contemporary."
I think the topic involves, race, place, religion, architecture, identity, and historical memory and would be a topic to explore.
I must admit I assumed you were talking about weddings on plantations during slavery. Interesting. I had no idea there was a current practice of plantation weddings. A little google search informs that apparently this is a thing. For those as unaware as I, here's a 2014 article in Salon and A 2017 article on attn.com. Startling stuff.
I am bringing a course back to life this fall after a multi-year hiatus. It is called "American Lives" and it uses autobiographies of individuals who are somehow marginalized as a starting place to find cultural commonalities between Americans. The basic premise is that by starting at the margins and looking to the center we can see patterns that would be otherwise invisible. As a result I use all texts by women and minorities. The class is geared to sophomores, a mix of majors, minors and general interest.
You could start with my book, Creating American Civilization: A Genealogy of American Literature as an Academic Discipline (Minnesota, 1994), especially chapter 6, "American Literature in the Curriculum."
I am interested in knowing what/how (primarily American) literature was taught in American universities in the 1940s and 1950s. What works would have been included on a typical undergraduate syllabus/reading list? Does anyone have access to digital records of such things at their institution (or is there anything online? I am in the UK)?