Give the Gift of Music: Listen and Support Wayfaring Strangers

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We are happy to announce that we reached our first fundraising goal for Wayfaring Strangers! Today we’re kicking off phase 2 of our Power2Give campaign.

About the project

Wayfaring Strangers: The Musical Voyage from Scotland and Ulster to Appalachia, by Fiona Ritchie and Doug OrrIn September 2014, The University of North Carolina Press will publish Wayfaring Strangers: The Musical Voyage from Scotland and Ulster to Appalachia, co-authored by Fiona Ritchie, host of National Public Radio’s award-winning The Thistle & Shamrock Celtic music program, and Doug Orr, President Emeritus of Warren Wilson College. Ritchie and Orr conducted amazing interviews with tradition-bearers on both sides of the Atlantic, whose voices convey the whimsy, humor, sadness, and joy of the migration story from the British Isles and Ireland to Appalachia.

To bring these stories to life, we’d like to include a CD of wonderful music in every book. We need your help to make this a reality. We need to raise $3000 more to fully fund this endeavor.

Listen to a sample

Wayfaring Strangers CDWhat will be on the CD? Great music from folks such as Dougie MacLean, Dolly Parton, John Doyle, Pete Seeger, Jean Ritchie, Sheila Kay Adams, Doc Watson, and David Holt.

Take a listen to this sampler we’ve put together to get a taste of what’s in store:
Listen to the Wayfaring Strangers sampler 

The sampler features clips from:

1) “It Was a’ for Our Rightfu’ King” by Dougie MacLean (traditional, arranged by Dougie MacLean), from Craigie Dhu, courtesy of Dunkeld Records ℗ ©1983. Used by permission.

2) “The Rambling Irishman” by Len Graham and Brían ÓhAirt (traditional), from In Two Minds, courtesy of Graham & ÓhAirt © 2012. Used by permission.

3) “Gypsy Davy” by Julee Glaub (traditional, arranged by Julee Glaub), from Blue Waltz, courtesy of Julee Glaub © 2004. Used by permission.

4)  “Wayfaring Stranger/British Field March” by Timothy Cummings (traditional, adapted and arranged by Timothy Cummings, Caleb Elder, and Pete Sutherland), from The Piper in the Holler, courtesy of Birchen Music/Timothy Cummings ℗ © 2012. Used by permission.

5)  “Young Hunting/Elzig’s Farewell” by Sheila Kay Adams (traditional, arranged by Sheila Kay Adams), from All the Other Fine Things, courtesy of Granny Dell Records © 2004 Sheila Kay Adams. Used by permission.

Support the campaign

Make a contribution by clicking on this link to Fiona Ritchie, Doug Orr, and Scots-Irish Music Part 2 on power2give.org.

Here’s what donors will receive for making this project a reality:

  • Donate $25 to produce and insert 21 CDs and receive a thank-you note from UNC Press.
  • Donate $75 to produce and insert 63 CDs and receive a handwritten thank-you note from UNC Press plus an invitation to meet Fiona and Doug during their book tour.
  • Donate $250 to produce and insert 210 CDs and receive an invitation to meet Fiona and Doug during their book tour plus a hand-signed thank-you note from Fiona and Doug on a souvenir notecard featuring the Wayfaring Strangers book cover.

power2give

Thank you for helping us make this extraordinary project possible!

Angie Maxwell: The Long Shadow of Scopes

The Indicted South: Public Criticism, Southern Inferiority, and the Politics of WhitenessToday we welcome a guest post from Angie Maxwell, author of The Indicted South: Public Criticism, Southern Inferiority, and the Politics of Whiteness. By the 1920s, the sectional reconciliation that had seemed achievable after Reconstruction was foundering, and the South was increasingly perceived and portrayed as impoverished, uneducated, and backward. In this interdisciplinary study, Maxwell examines and connects three key twentieth-century moments in which the South was exposed to intense public criticism, identifying in white southerners’ responses a pattern of defensiveness that shaped the region’s political and cultural conservatism.

In today’ s post, Maxwell discusses the origins of the evolution and creationism debate in the 1925 Scopes Trial, and how that argument is still being processed today.

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On the second floor of the library at what was originally named William Jennings Bryan College (shortened to Bryan College in 1993), there is a locked door, behind which rests the ghosts of Dayton, Tennessee’s infamous past.

On one side of the room, custom-built bookcases overflow, predictably, with memorabilia and writings of and by the college namesake, the “Great Commoner,” Secretary of State, and three-time presidential hopeful. According to Professor Emeritus and Scopes Archivist Richard Cornelius, who granted me access—not only to this private collection, but also to unarchived documents detailing the founding of the college—the materials were donated from alumni and friends in the wake of a fire that damaged the old library. Campaign buttons, speeches, and weathered copies of Bryan’s polemics comprise an impressive monument on a campus that was built in the wake of Bryan’s untimely death by dime-a-day subscriptions under the Memorial Association’s slogan, “Fifty-Thousand Fundamentalists for the Faith of our Fathers.”

As an archive junkie, I was consumed by the relics until my left peripheral vision landed on a familiar and distinct shade of what Charles Fecher once called “arsenic green” floating on the other side of the room. There stood countless stacks, perhaps a near complete holding, of the American Mercury, as well as countless first editions of editor and journalist’s H. L. Mencken’s biting and brilliant work. “We like to represent both sides,” whispered Professor Cornelius.

Therein lies the problem.
Continue reading ‘Angie Maxwell: The Long Shadow of Scopes’ »

Zandria F. Robinson: OutKast Reunion Tour: After Twenty Years, the South Still Got Something to Say

This Ain't ChicagoToday we welcome a guest blog post from Zandria Robinson, author of This Ain’t Chicago: Race, Class, and Regional Identity in the Post-Soul South. When Robinson returned home to interview African Americans in Memphis, she was often greeted with some version of the caution “I hope you know this ain’t Chicago.” In her new book, Robinson critiques ideas of black identity constructed through a northern lens and situates African Americans as central shapers of contemporary southern culture. Analytically separating black southerners from their migrating cousins, fictive kin, and white counterparts, Robinson demonstrates how place intersects with race, class, gender, and regional identities and differences.

In today’s post, Robinson discusses the significance of the OutKast reunion at Coachella this year and the southern hip-hop landscape that the group helped build.

[UPDATE] Watch the video below to see OutKast’s performance at this year’s Coachella. – (4/14/14)

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News that legendary Atlanta rap-duo OutKast will launch a reunion tour this year, including headliner performances at hipster music haven Coachella this month, inspired both confusion and rejoicing on social and news media outlets earlier this year. The expected confusion was captured by the clueless texts and tweets of a young hipster public, temporarily archived on a satirical “Who Is OutKast?” Tumblr. The rejoicing, as everyone else might have anticipated, was especially necessary and a long time coming.

The duo’s 1994 debut studio album, Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik, is widely recognized as a seminal work in southern hip-hop. The album announced unequivocally, as OutKast member André 3000 declared at the 1995 Source Awards, that “the South got something to say.” Twenty years later, the duo’s impending on-stage reunion, and potential studio reunion, is more than just proof that fervent prayer works. OutKast, along with a host of other southern hip-hop artists, re-wrote rap history and the history of the region, making a place for southerners at the hip-hop table and African Americans at the southern culture table.

I grew up watching OutKast videos on the now-defunct Video Jukebox Network, affectionately known as “The Box.” Although OutKast received some play on MTV and BET in the early 1990s, it was on The Box, which featured a range of underground southern hip-hop artists, where I could be sure to see André “André 3000” Benjamin, Antwan “Big Boi” Patton, and other southern rappers in regular rotation. Although initially record labels largely ignored southern artists, through homegrown ingenuity, southern rappers soon emerged as a formidable force in the global music industry. By 2005, top spots on music charts were regularly held by southern hip-hop artists, southern R&B singers, or hits produced by southern artists. As Memphis rapper Project Pat noted in 2006: “Now y’all was thinkin’ Dirty South was like, ‘hee-haw, hee-haw’/Is you worth over a hundred mil? We are, we are.” Indeed, the South had something to say.
Continue reading ‘Zandria F. Robinson: OutKast Reunion Tour: After Twenty Years, the South Still Got Something to Say’ »

Interview: Walt Wolfram and Jeffrey Reaser on the Dialects of North Carolina

Walt Wolfram

Walt Wolfram (photo by Daniel Kim)

Walt Wolfram and Jeffrey Reaser, authors of Talkin’ Tar Heel: How Our Voices Tell the Story of North Carolina, discuss why we should listen to how North Carolina voices are speaking.

Q: Walt and Jeffrey, you two have worked together to create a book that is the only one of its kind. How did you decide to begin this project with each other?

A: It was something we talked about for years before we actually began writing. Part of the reason for the lag was we were still gathering all the research that would eventually form the basis of the book. It was one of those, “it’ll be great when we are able to write this.” That research, however, is the foundation of the book, though we wouldn’t call it a book about research findings. Instead, the book is about the people we’ve met through our experiences out in the field. I think we encountered enough characters along the way and collected enough amazing stories that in some way we had no choice but to write this book. Neither one of us is from North Carolina, but we’ve fallen in love with the state and its people, and this book felt like something we just had to do to give back to the state we now call home.

Q: Talkin’ Tar Heel is the first in-depth study of a state’s languages and dialects. Why did you choose North Carolina for this study? What makes it so unique for linguists?

A: The honest answer is that we chose North Carolina because that’s where we live. But the fact is we both feel so fortunate to have wound up in this state because it is dialect heaven! We claim that there is more dialect variation in North Carolina than in any other state. On top of that, there are both indigenous languages and immigrant languages to add to the rich linguistic landscape. North Carolina is linguistically rich because of the diverse groups who made up the early European settlers. In addition, the variety of geographical barriers such as islands, swamps, and mountains kept groups isolated from other speech communities and enabled the growth and maintenance of diversity.
Continue reading ‘Interview: Walt Wolfram and Jeffrey Reaser on the Dialects of North Carolina’ »

Anne Balay: Queer Steelworkers and Labor Unions

Steel ClosetsToday we welcome a guest blog post from Anne Balay, author of Steel Closets: Voices of Gay, Lesbian, and Transgender Steelworkers. Even as substantial legal and social victories are being celebrated within the gay rights movement, much of working-class America still exists outside the current narratives of gay liberation. Balay draws on oral history interviews with forty gay, lesbian, and transgender steelworkers, mostly  living in northwestern Indiana, to give voice to this previously silent and invisible population. She presents powerful stories of the intersections of work, class, gender, and sexual identity in the dangerous industrial setting of the steel mill.

In previous posts, Balay has written about the limited expansion of LGBT rights and the consequences of marriage inequality. In today’s post, she shares a conversation she had with union steelworkers that highlights some of the work yet to be done to ensure a safe and open work environment for gay, lesbian, and transgender steelworkers.

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Over dinner recently, I met with three straight male steelworkers to ask why they feel their union is so inhospitable to gay people. I had just given a radio interview about my forthcoming book, Steel Closets, during which I had remarked that the United Steelworkers is not a very progressive union. Organizers and staffers from the USW had heard this, and were pissed off. Several called me to inform me about cutting-edge worker advocacy efforts spearheaded by their union, both nationally and globally. I was glad to hear it, yet this doesn’t change the fact that the queer steelworkers whose stories my book relates are not adequately protected by their union. I had organized the dinner to give union rank and file a chance to respond to my book’s critique.

Paul Kaczocha has worked at the same mill (now owned by Mittal) for over 30 years, and he assured me repeatedly over dinner that his local was very accepting of gay people, and that discrimination or harassment claims from gay workers would be taken seriously. He believes that any mistreatment of gay people would simply not be tolerated at his mill. I asked him to recall all the people he has worked with—all his union brothers and sisters, down through the years—and count the gay ones. Almost surprised, he said there were none. Of course, he knew as well as I do that there have been many, but that they did not identify themselves as such. My task is then to convince him that their silence was not simply a choice, but rather that it was made in fear, and comes with crippling consequences.

Paul and his colleagues had to listen to me because I have the data. Continue reading ‘Anne Balay: Queer Steelworkers and Labor Unions’ »

K. Stephen Prince: Thinking about Reconstruction at 150 Years

Stories of the SouthToday we welcome a guest blog post from K. Stephen Prince, author of Stories of the South: Race and the Reconstruction of Southern Identity, 1865-1915. In the immediate aftermath of the Civil War, the North assumed significant power to redefine the South, imagining a region rebuilt and modeled on northern society. The white South actively resisted these efforts, battling the legal strictures of Reconstruction on the ground. Meanwhile, white southern storytellers worked to recast the South’s image, romanticizing the Lost Cause and heralding the birth of a New South. Prince argues that this cultural production was as important as political competition and economic striving in turning the South and the nation away from the egalitarian promises of Reconstruction and toward Jim Crow.

In today’s guest blog post, Prince discusses the legacy of the Reconstruction and the difficulty of understanding this era in history.

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With the sesquicentennial of the U.S. Civil War nearly three-quarters gone, it may be time to think about the way we remember Reconstruction. It seems unlikely that the 150th anniversary of Reconstruction will receive the sort of attention that has been lavished on the war itself. This is unfortunate. If the April 2015 sesquicentenary of the Confederate surrender at Appomattox is treated as an endpoint, rather than a transition, an important opportunity will have been lost. Reconstruction is not the stuff of which easy commemoration is made. It is for precisely this reason, however, that we should pay attention to its memory.

Reconstruction remains one of the most widely misunderstood eras in United States history. Though historians have largely discredited the white supremacist interpretations of William A. Dunning and his students, the Dunning School lives on in the public at large. Otherwise informed and well-meaning individuals unthinkingly parrot early-twentieth-century critiques of Reconstruction, casually dismissing it as an era of federal overreach, northern cruelty, and cynical corruption. My own experience bears out this observation: a friend who claims that Reconstruction failed because it was “too harsh,” or a student who labels the period a “tragedy” without being able to provide a single reason for this characterization. I expect other scholars of the period have had similar experiences. It seems that on an instinctive, knee-jerk level, many Americans respond negatively to Reconstruction, though most could not explain why. The 150th anniversary of Reconstruction offers a perfect opportunity to set the record straight, or at least to give the public a fair accounting of the period’s challenges, its successes, and its failures.
Continue reading ‘K. Stephen Prince: Thinking about Reconstruction at 150 Years’ »

NC Literary Festival Featuring Appearances from UNC Press Authors

NC Literary Festival

The North Carolina Literary Festival is a free public event presented on a rotating basis by the Duke University Libraries, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Libraries, and N.C. State University Libraries. This year, the festival will be hosted at the James B. Hunt Jr. Library at NCSU in Raleigh. The festival is for people of all ages from all over the state and beyond. Every year the festival includes author readings and discussions, performances, book signings, children’s activities, book sales, and much more.

Among the varied participants, several UNC Press authors will be at this year’s NC Literary Festival. Check out the schedule for UNC Press authors below:

Friday, April 4

  • Bourbon tasting event with Kathleen Purvis: 8:00 PM at The Oxford, Raleigh
    Chef Christopher Hill is creating a custom appetizer “flight” menu that pairs well with a bourbon flight

Saturday, April 5

  • “Future of Storytelling” panel including UNC Press director John Sherer: 12:30 PM in the Skyline Reading Room
  • SAVOR THE SOUTH panel with Kathleen Purvis, Debbie Moose, Andrea Weigl, and Belinda Ellis: 4:30 PM in the Teaching and Visualization room at the Hunt Library

Sunday, April 6

  • Talkin’ Tar Heel with Walt Wolfram and Jeffrey Reaser : 11:00 AM in the IEI Auditorium

Want to see the UNC Press authors and what they will be discussing at the North Carolina Literary Festival? Click on a thumbnail below to start the slideshow:

Help Bring the Scots-Irish Music of Appalachia to Life

http://www.power2give.org/NorthCarolina/Project/Detail?projectId=5062

power2give

In September 2014, The University of North Carolina Press will publish Wayfaring Strangers: The Musical Voyage from Scotland and Ulster to Appalachia, co-authored by Fiona Ritchie, host of National Public Radio’s award-winning The Thistle & Shamrock Celtic music program, and Doug Orr, President Emeritus of Warren Wilson College. Through stories, songs, anecdotes, and illustrations, this book tells the story of the Scots who migrated from their homeland to Ulster in Northern Ireland and then crossed the Atlantic to settle in Appalachia.

Ritchie and Orr conducted amazing interviews with tradition-bearers on both sides of the Atlantic, whose voices convey the whimsy, humor, sadness, and joy of the migration story from the British Isles and Ireland to Appalachia. Wayfaring Strangers brings their story to life by including a CD of 20 songs that tell the migration story with ballads, laments, sea-faring songs, airs, and adaptions of the old ballads in today’s context.

Featured musicians include Appalachian singer, dulcimer player, and Fulbright scholar Jean Ritchie; North Carolina flat picking master Doc Watson; legendary folk singer-songwriter Pete Seeger; Appalachian balladeer, storyteller, and author Sheila Kay Adams; Grammy award-winning storyteller and musician David Holt; Scottish singer and folklorist Dougie MacLean; and singer-songwriter Dolly Parton, who also wrote the foreword for the book.

Wayfaring Strangers CDUNC Press has a wonderful opportunity to help fund the production and inclusion of the CD into all copies of Wayfaring Strangers thanks to the North Carolina Arts Council, who will match $1 for every $2 we raise.

UNC Press needs your help!

Make a contribution by clicking on this link to Fiona Ritchie, Doug Orr, and Scots-Irish Music of Appalachia on power2give.org.

Donating never felt so good: take a look at the great benefits UNC Press is providing to their donors for this project:

  • Donate $25 to produce and insert 21 CDs and receive a thank-you note from UNC Press.
  • Donate $75 to produce and insert 63 CDs and receive a handwritten thank-you note from UNC Press plus an invitation to meet Fiona and Doug during their book tour.
  • Donate $250 to produce and insert 210 CDs and receive an invitation to meet Fiona and Doug during their book tour plus a hand-signed thank-you note from Fiona and Doug on a souvenir notecard featuring the Wayfaring Strangers book cover.

Thank you for helping us make this extraordinary project possible!

Interview: Blain Roberts on the Intersection of Beauty and Race in the South

 Blain Roberts, author of Pageants, Parlors, and Pretty Women: Race and Beauty in the Twentieth-Century South, discusses the history of southern beauty.

Q: You grew up in a small town in southwest Louisiana—what about your upbringing and background made you interested in the topic of beauty?

Blain Roberts (photo by Jackson Kytle)

Blain Roberts (photo by Jackson Kytle)

A: It’s probably fair to say that I absorbed certain ideas about southern women and beauty growing up in the South, but I don’t think I gave them much thought until I left the region after high school. In New Jersey, where I attended college, I noticed that my female peers from the South presented themselves differently than did my female classmates from other parts of the country. So even though we were all students during the height of the Seattle grunge craze, for example, women from the South were more likely to wear their flannel shirts and jeans with fully made-up faces.

At the same time, I also became aware of the fact that non-southern classmates, male and female, made certain assumptions about southern women, and the South more generally, and I became interested in the origins and consequences of those assumptions. Eventually, this issue—the relationship between the South and the rest of the country in terms of ideas about and practices of beauty—became one of the themes of the book.

Q: To what extent did southerners, both white and black, equate “southern beauty” with the southern belle? Did those perceptions change over the course of the twentieth century, and how?

A: For most of the twentieth century, white southerners thought of the southern belle (or the southern lady, her older counterpart) when they thought of “southern beauty.” This means that white southerners tended to equate southern beauty with whiteness. Most white southerners would not have considered a black woman to be a southern beauty. And yes, there was change over time: the image of the beautiful southern lady was gradually democratized. Though ladies and belles existed during the antebellum era, they were of elite status and relatively few in number. By the post-World War II period, a variety of factors—cosmetics advertising and practices and increased economic prosperity, to name a few—made it possible for more and more white women to claim to be beautiful southern ladies themselves.

The image of the beautiful southern belle/lady was, by definition, racially exclusive, and many black women would have keenly felt its discriminatory power. There were occasions, however, when individuals and institutions attempted to claim the image for black women, to challenge its underlying racial assumptions and reframe its meaning. An interesting example is a photo spread that ran in Ebony magazine in 1971 entitled “Belles of the South” that featured young women from southern historically black colleges. The magazine said very explicitly that it wanted to prove that not all southern beauties were white—that black women were belles of the South, too.
Q: The power of advertising plays a large role in the public perception of beauty. Can you describe some of the potent examples of how beauty products and their advertising favored and encouraged racial standards of beauty?

A: The use of the southern lady in advertising is actually a great example of this phenomenon. One manufacturer of cosmetics in the early twentieth century, the National Toilet Company of Paris, Tennessee, based one of its major marketing campaigns on the southern lady, including images of southern ladies in ads and praising their beauty as every white southern woman’s birthright. This was all the more significant because some of the company’s best-selling products were lightening powders and bleaching creams—products, in other words, designed to make white women’s skin whiter.

Advertising aimed at black southern women promoted racial standards of beauty in ways that might seem shocking to people today. At the turn of the century, one Richmond, Virginia, company marketed a hair straightener and a bleaching cream called “black skin remover” by showing before-and-after images in its ads. The before picture was a woman who was clearly black; the after picture was of a woman who was clearly white. That said, some early black female entrepreneurs like Madam C. J. Walker fought hard to undermine these kinds of images in their own ad campaigns. Walker, for example, argued that her hair products grew, not straightened, hair. She emphasized the importance of healthy hair to personal respectability and race pride.

Q: Readers might be surprised by how beauty was used to resist and achieve desegregation in the Civil Rights Movement. How did that differ from the use of beauty in the Jim Crow Era?

Continue reading ‘Interview: Blain Roberts on the Intersection of Beauty and Race in the South’ »

UNC Press & NCPedia Launch Free Online Edition of The North Carolina Gazetteer

UNC PressIn partnership with NCPedia and the N.C. Government and Heritage Library, UNC Press is happy to announce that the entire contents of The North Carolina Gazetteer, Second Edition is now available online at ncpedia.org/gazetteer.

The North Carolina Gazetteer documents and defines North Carolina’s geographical places by describing their location, history, and origins. UNC Press first published the encyclopedia, compiled by noted North Carolina historian William S. Powell, in 1968. Michael Hill of the N.C. Office of Archives and History updated and expanded the volume in a revised edition in 2010. Hill explains, “The key is that, whereas other sources list just the name, Powell’s book included the stories and derivations behind the names. No other state has anything like it.”

The North Carolina GazetteerUNC Press Editorial Director Mark Simpson-Vos says, “The North Carolina Gazetteer has had a prominent place on the bookshelf of North Carolinians for more than a generation. I’ve spoken to journalists, librarians, and teachers who have told me they cannot do their work without its handy reference to our state’s places. Together, Mike Hill and Bill Powell were able to update this resource for the twenty-first century, and we are thrilled that it is now so easily accessible for all readers through the NCPedia website. I know plenty of folks are going to spend hours like I have, losing myself in the important, surprising, and sometimes quirky history of these places and their names.”

According to State Librarian Cal Shepard, “The North Carolina Gazetteer is a tremendous resource for anyone who lives in, or has ever traveled through, North Carolina. Where else would you go to find out Hanging Dog Creek was named after a Cherokee legend, or that Wolf Pit Township was named for the way colonists tried to trap wolves in the area? It also explains how to pronounce the names of places that have been frequently mispronounced, like Robeson County. We are excited to make it available online to everyone through the NCpedia site.”

This NCPedia expansion to include resources from the University of North Carolina Press was made possible by a Library Services and Technology Act grant through the Institute of Museum and Library Services. The North Carolina Gazetteer is the third work to be made available for free online through UNC Press’s partnership with NCPedia. Other UNC Press books available on NCPedia include the Encyclopedia of North Carolina and the Dictionary of North Carolina Biography.

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