|Debby Holcombe, Cover of booklet for "Georgia Harmonies: Celebrating Georgia Roots Music," 2012. Image courtesy of the Center for Public History, University of West Georgia.|
On April 14, the exhibition “Georgia Harmonies: Celebrating Georgia Roots Music” opened at the Harris Arts Center in Calhoun, Georgia. The first of a dozen stops in Georgia of “New Harmonies” (a project of the Smithsonian’s Museum on Main Street program), the exhibit focuses on the connections between musical cultures and place. Events and performances at each of the small towns at which the exhibit stops feature musics with historical ties to the town and region, and present-day roots in the area.
In Laurie K. Sommers’ Southern Spaces article, “Hoboken Style: Meaning and Change in Okefenokee Sacred Harp Singing,” the author describes the “Hoboken style” of Sacred Harp singing in south Georgia’s Okefenokee region, where “Georgia Harmonies” will stop (and feature Sacred Harp singing) in the summer and fall of 2013. Sommers details how some Okefenokee residents understood Sacred Harp singing as a regional, rather than religious denominational practice. This way of thinking about the style rendered broader participation possible and facilitated increased exchange with singers from other regions of the United States, a process which in turn precipitated changes to regional singing practices.
|James Robert Chambless, Michael Thompson and Joyce Walton lead a song at a Sacred Harp singing, Holly Springs Primitive Baptist Church, Bremen, Georgia, June 2, 2012.|
Sommers’ account demonstrates how associating a community-based music with place (rather than solely with family, religious denomination, race, ethnicity, or another cultural marker) creates openings for individuals who fall outside the group previously associated with the music to participate. By connecting varied forms of “roots music” otherwise identified with racial or religious groups with the towns and regions where they occur, the “New Harmonies” exhibition likewise has the potential to introduce such music to new people, and to bring practitioners of different musical styles together. This certainly happened in my case.
|Ann McCleary, Members of the United Note Singers sing shape-note music, Sweet Home Baptist Church, Hiram, Georgia, February, 2011. Image courtesy of the Center for Public History, University of West Georgia.|
I traveled to Calhoun on Saturday, May 5 to participate in a Sacred Harp singing held in conjunction with the traveling exhibition. The event attracted a group of perhaps a dozen long-time white Sacred Harp singers like myself, thirty or so listeners from the Calhoun area, and three participants in a related predominantly-black shape-note singing community who had long heard of Sacred Harp singers but had a scheduling conflict with the annual Sacred Harp singing in Calhoun and had never had an opportunity to attend. Over lunch I and a couple of other Sacred Harp singers shared histories and information with these visiting singers, who were members of an association of black shape-note singers called the United Note Singers. The next day, four other white Sacred Harp singers and I traveled to Marietta to participate in a shape-note singing under the group’s umbrella at Zion Baptist Church. Members of both groups were grateful for the opportunity—precipitated by the Smithsonian exhibition’s association of our respective musical styles with place—to meet, share histories, and compare and contrast our musical practices.
“Georgia Harmonies: Celebrating Georgia Roots Music” was held in Calhoun from April 14–May 24 and will stop in eleven other locations across Georgia through November 26, 2013.
The Bulletin compiles news from in and around the U.S. South. We hope these posts will provide space for lively discussion and debate regarding issues of importance to those living in and intellectually engaging with the U.S. South.
- On Thursday, the New Orleans Times-Picayune announced that it "will significantly increase its online news-gathering efforts 24 hours a day, seven days a week, while offering enhanced printed newspapers on a schedule of three days a week." Residents of greater New Orleans will only be able to read the 175-year old paper via the print edition on Wednesdays, Saturdays, and Sundays or in its online form at www.NOLA.com. Three Alabama newspapers (The Birmingham News, Mobile's Press-Register, and The Huntsville Times) also announced that they would be publishing three days per week and focusing on online news; all four papers are owned by the media company Advance Publications.
- The Alabama Legislature passed Senator Gerald Dial's (R-Lineville) plan for redistricting the state's thirty-five Senate districts in the wee hours of Thursday morning. State Democrats—none of whom voted for the bill—have suggested that the Department of Justice will not approve the plan because it reduces the influence of African American voters across the state. The Alabama Legislative Reapportionment Office details the changes, which reduce the number of majority-white districts in which African Americans make up at least 25% from eleven to six, in this helpful interactive map.
- The U.S. Department of Labor is investigating Florida's implementation of strict new rules for unemployment insurance eligibility after the National Unemployment Law Project and Florida Legal Services jointly filed a detailed complaint which argues that the new rules violate Section 303(a)(1) of the Social Security Act, which requires states to “establish methods of administration reasonably calculated to insure payment of benefits when due.” The rules in question are a part of a series of changes to the state's Unemployment Insurance law enacted in December of 2011 (HB7005).
The Bulletin—May 29, 2012»
|AJ Cann, Peer Review, 2008.|
We get a lot of inquiries from potential authors about the submission and review process here at Southern Spaces. In addition to special series, we accept submissions on a rolling basis. We look for pieces that engage with our mission of critically interrogating the real and imagined spaces of the U.S. South and their global connections.
Southern Spaces has an online submission process that helps us keep submissions and media organized and streamlines review. Once an author has submitted, our editorial staff begins the process of internal review. The staff looks at several criteria:
- Quality: Does the piece do critical/analytical work, or is it only illustrative/descriptive? Does the content meet our standards in terms of research and quality of writing? Would the piece require a substantial amount of editing/reworking?
- Fit for the journal: Does the piece use a spatial approach to its subject? Does it focus on the role of space, place, or region within its main arguments? Does it deal with the U.S. South in some way? How might this piece work in terms of formatting/layout? Does it come with practical, usable media or media ideas?
- Originality: Has the piece been published elsewhere? Do the arguments seem fresh, or have you heard them before? Does the piece traffic in new and progressive ideas about U.S. Souths or southern distinctiveness and nostalgia?
- Permissions: Would using the content or suggested media require extensive, expensive, or impossible permissions?
If the piece meets our criteria, the staff either returns the work back to the author for edits or sends the piece to peer review. Southern Spaces has a double-blind peer review process—neither the author nor the reviewer knows the other’s identity. We have over one hundred editorial reviewers, and we’re constantly adding new specialists. The majority of authors are asked to revise and resubmit work in the internal review stage; it’s fairly rare that a piece is sent straight to peer review. Revise and resubmit isn’t a rejection; it’s how Southern Spaces makes sure that we’re sending the highest quality work to peer reviewers.
Once authors have received their peer review feedback, we begin the final round of revision and copyedits. Southern Spaces generally has a fairly short turnaround time—depending on the amount of revision necessary, we can generally publish articles in three to six months from the initial submission.
|This photograph from the Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division, FSA/OWI Black and White Negatives collection, taken in September 1938 by Marion Post Wolcott, carried the following caption: "Boarded-up homes in abandoned mining town. Twin Branch, West Virginia. Once very nice, owned by Ford. About four years ago when an attempt to organize it was made, Ford closed it down completely rather than have it unionized. Around 1000 men used to work there. They won't sell it, rent or let 'squatters' live in the deserted homes that are rotting away." LC-USF34-050274-E.|
Today’s post is the first in an ongoing series compiling links related to news from in and around the U.S. South. We hope these posts will provide space for lively discussion and debate regarding issues of importance to those living in and intellectually engaging with the U.S. South. Without further ado, The Bulletin.
The recently passed amendment to North Carolina’s state constitution which defines marriage as "between one man and one woman" has brought the issue of equal rights for same-sex couples into the center of the national political arena over the last couple of weeks.
Adam Bink of The Huffington Post offers "A Look at What Happened on Amendment 1 in North Carolina," from the perspective of someone involved in the campaign against the amendment.
Ballotopedia offers a helpful overview of the amendment and the groups campaigning on both sides of the issue.
The North Carolina Board of Elections maps the official election results.
The New Orleans Times-Picayune is three weeks into a powerful eight-part series entitled "Louisiana Incarcerated: How We Built the World’s Prison Capital."
Cindy Chang offers an overview of how legislators and lobbyists have encouraged the growth of the state’s prison population through financial incentives over the last two decades, causing Louisiana to become the world leader in incarceration.
Statistics from The Sentencing Project demonstrate the racial disparities documented by Chang.
A case being heard in Charlotte, North Carolina’s Immigration Court today will demonstrate the limits of recent policy changes regarding prosecutorial discretion for deportation cases involving illegal immigrants which pose no threat to national security or public safety.
The Charlotte Observer and the Latin American Herald-Tribune offer overviews of the case and how local groups and United States Representative Luis Gutierrez (D-Illinois) have rallied around Gabino Sanchez, a 27-year-old construction and landscape worker from rural Ridgeland, South Carolina.
The Bulletin—May 15, 2012»
Southern Spaces is excited to announce a collaboration with the Southern Labor Studies Association. We will publish selected pieces from their 2013 conference in a special series, growing our labor studies offerings and presenting significant new scholarship. We encourage scholars to submit panels that engage with ideas of space and place. Below is the SLSA's call for panels.
The Many Souths
Southern Labor Studies Association, New Orleans
March 7–9, 2013
The Southern Labor Studies Association is soliciting panels for its 2013 conference in New Orleans, Louisiana. The conference theme, the “Many Souths,” invites a broad range of panels on southern working-class history, while at the same time it asks participants to examine how we have conceptualized the region: as rural and/or urban; as a single region, or as multiple regions, e.g. the Mountain South, Deep South; as part of the Caribbean, Gulf Coast, and/or Atlantic World; and as a region defined by particular sets of race, class, and gender relations.
New Orleans is an ideal place to do this, as it is often set apart as somehow “exceptional” or outside the South in popular culture and historical accounts. For some, it is a city distinct from the rest of the South, even as for others, it is very much part of the South’s economic and racial framework. Others see New Orleans as a Caribbean capital. In fact, New Orleans, like much of the South, is often “exemplary” of larger historical trends related to migration, de-industrialization, the rise of the service economy, the importance of tourism, race relations, violence, and working-class struggles.
To this end, we welcome full panels on a broad range of southern labor themes, including panels related to slavery and unfree labor; prisons and labor; oil, fishing, and the Gulf Coast; work and disaster capitalism; tourism and the service economy; music and cultural workers; sex workers; the Global South; African American labor history; Latino and migrant workers; gender and labor activism; and migration throughout the South.
Please submit panels by September 14, 2012. Panel submissions must include a brief synopsis of the panel (250 words), abstracts for each paper (250 words), a 2 page CV of each participant, contact information for each participant, and contact information for panel organizer. Please submit panels to both Jana Lipman at email@example.com and Steve Striffler at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Southern Labor Studies Association Collaboration»