Jeff Porter: The Many Lives of Orson Welles

If he were still alive, Orson Welles (1915-1985) would be 101 years old today. Welles is remembered as one of America’s most important filmmakers, but before he became famous for his movies, Welles ruled the airwaves.

LaKisha Michelle Simmons: Landscapes, Memories, and History in Beyoncé’s Lemonade

Some writers have noted the presence of the “southern gothic” or the “southern porch” in Beyoncé Knowles-Carter’s visceral visual album Lemonade. But the landscapes are unambiguously part of the geography of Louisiana; the visual album is haunting because of its specificity to place. Barely visible, in the discussion thus far, is the history of slavery—and its remnants—all over the landscape of the album.

David Gilbert: The Streaming Music Debate: Some Historical Context

It is certainly an interesting time for the creation, selling, and distribution of popular music (not to mention less-popular music, like jazz and classical, which encounter even more drastic dilemmas, as recently pointed out at Salon.com). Many of the artists taking a stand against the new status quo in recorded music allude to the history of music making in the United States, often referring back to earlier eras wherein musicians received unfair deals from recording companies and large majorities of performers struggled to make a living, even as a “top 1%” of musicians dominated sales and marketing. This look back to history makes sense.

Introducing: Saving Community Journalism book and website

In addition to the book, which is available now in hardcover and ebook, there are online resources for learning more, staying up to date, and continuing the conversation. Visit SavingCommunityJournalism.com to find lessons for publishers and editors, helpful videos, links to social media communities, and blog posts about how to build sustainable community journalism for the 21st century.

50 Years Ago: Historians on the Legacies of JFK

Blair L. M. Kelley and Kathryn Cramer Brownell consider the assassination of JFK in the contexts of the civil rights movement, media spectacle, and shifting political structures.

Sarah E. Ruble: The Newsroom and American Exceptionalism

American exceptionalism, or the idea that the United States is somehow both different and better from all other nations, has a long history. From the decision to put novus ordo seclorum (a new order for the ages) on the back of the Great Seal of the United States to President Barack Obama’s claim during his 2008 inaugural that “we are ready to lead once more,” many Americans have believed that their country is something different from anything that has come before or that has arisen since. A leader. A new order.

Miles Orvell: From Mayberry to Dogville: The Small Town as Microcosm

Mayberry, Lake Wobegon, Hadleyburg, Dogville—these are extreme representations of the small town and they are in direct conflict with one another. Taken together, they reveal the contradictions of the American twentieth and twenty-first centuries.

Karen L. Cox: Black Domestic in a Can: A South Carolina Ad Agency “Helps” Glory Foods

Who is the company trying to reach with these commercials except, perhaps, all those white women who read ‘The Help’ and are looking to recapture some of that for themselves? It’s certainly an interesting marketing ploy. Perhaps that is the point.

Karen L. Cox: Republican Candidates in the South: A Confederacy of Dunces. So, too, MSNBC’s Martin Bashir & Co.

[This article is cross-posted from Pop South.] Oh, for goodness sake! The Republican candidates for president went South and the next thing you know Mitt Romney touted “cheesy grits” and practiced saying “ya’ll,” and Rick Santorum adopted a hick accent and told people “I got kin here in Mississippi. I’m not sure. . . (don’t say “what …

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Joseph Genetin-Pilawa: “Documented Rights” & Representations of Indigenous History in the Archive

The virtual exhibit “Documented Rights” raises some interesting challenges for scholars and museum professionals alike. It also reminds us that the struggle “for personal rights and freedoms” means something different for Indigenous people. While NARA should be congratulated for its attempt to do some justice to representing the Native experience, “Documented Rights” sheds light on the difficulty of doing so without replicating settler-colonial/archival patterns of organizing, categorizing, and flattening those histories.

Interview: Alice Fahs on the roles and work of early female journalists

An interview with Alice Fahs, author of ‘Out on Assignment: Newspaper Women and the Making of Modern Public Space.’

Learn about and learn from Loving v Virginia

As a new documentary film about the Loving v. Virginia case appears, we look back to Fay Botham’s book for some of the religious and legal aspects of the case. Includes an excerpt from the book.

Marvin McAllister: Idris Elba ‘Multi-Levels’ THOR: Norse Mythology Meets Yoruba Cosmology

Historian Marvin McAllister explores the racial and mythical dimensions of casting a black British actor in the role of a Norse god in the recent film THOR.

EPIC SALE TIME!!

It’s EPIC SALE TIME! Over 700 UNC Press books are on sale! Read more about the huge deals here.

Karen L. Cox: For Whom the Belle Tolls

No sooner had I written the last blog post about representations of the South on reality television than another show made it to the air—TLC’s Bama Belles.  It seems unlikely that “belle” is an appellation anyone would apply to women who don camouflage to hunt or are ready to start a bar fight. Still, the …

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Highlights from First Amendment Day 2010

UNC celebrated its second annual First Amendment Day yesterday, and as predicted, it was an absolute smasheroo. The day began with the weather exercising its freedom of expression with sheets of rain, but only a few of the events were shifted inside before the drizzling tapered off. The events kicked off with a planting of …

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Behind the Scenes of Reality Radio

As Elvis Costello said about describing sound with written word, “Writing about music is like dancing about architecture. It’s a really stupid thing to want to do.” While we don’t think it’s stupid, we certainly recognize the difficulty of the task (on a side note, if anyone wants to dance about architecture, please YouTube it …

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Reality Radio: the song!

Over the last few decades, the radio documentary has developed into a strikingly vibrant form of creative expression. Reality Radio: Telling True Stories in Sound celebrates today’s best audio documentary work by bringing together some of the most influential and innovative practitioners from the U.S., Canada, the U.K., and Australia. In these 19 essays, documentary …

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Ira Glass at the mic and on the page

AND NOW . . . the story of a regular man whose job is to find the Big Ideas peeking out from the small foibles and successes of our everyday lives . . . the story of a man who helps us not only to hear them, but also to feel them. Act I, Scene …

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Avatar, Southern Gateways, & Disney Princesses: Around the Internet

Happy Friday, readers! Here at UNC Press, we’re finishing up our book launch week–planning out our titles for Fall 2010. The books we plan to put on the shelves in 2010 have us very excited, and we know you’ll enjoy them. In the meantime though, we thought it would be good to highlight some of …

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