Mario T. Garcia: The America of the Future

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The Latino Generation: Voices of the New AmericaLatinos are already the largest minority group in the United States, and experts estimate that by 2050, one out of three Americans will identify as Latino. Though their population and influence are steadily rising, stereotypes and misconceptions about Latinos remain, from the assumption that they refuse to learn English to questions of just how “American” they actually are. By presenting thirteen riveting oral histories of young, first-generation college students, Mario T. García counters those long-held stereotypes and expands our understanding of what he terms “the Latino Generation.” By allowing these young people to share their stories and struggles, The Latino Generation: Voices of the New America reveals that these students and children of immigrants will be critical players in the next chapter of our nation’s history.

In this guest blog post, Garcia discusses the stereotypes that Latinos still face today and how America will be defined by the Latinos of this generation.

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This spring I participated in the Los Angeles Book Festival held at the University of Southern California. I was on a panel titled “Exercising Your Voice,” with co-panelists Tom Hayden and Astra Taylor. I spoke about my new book The Latino Generation: Voices of the New America, and introduced it by saying that it had to be contextualized by certain facts. The first is that in April Latinos became the largest ethnic group in California, exceeding those of white European descent. Latinos now compose 40% of the state, the largest state in the nation. Second is that today Latinos are the largest ethnic/racial minority in the country, with some 57 million Latinos (or 17% of the total population). And, third, that by 2050, Latinos will constitute one out of every three Americans. The Latino Generation is part of this demographic reality.

At the same time, despite these numbers, Latinos are still a very poorly understood group. Most Americans have no clue about the Latino experience. As a result, there are many misconceptions and stereotypes about Latinos. Some believe that Latino immigration to the United States is only very recent and that Latinos are the last of the immigrants. Others believe that Latinos are very different from earlier immigrants, especially those from Europe. They think that Latinos are much more difficult—if not impossible—to integrate, because they don’t really want to become Americans; they, instead, want to just live amongst themselves, speak their own language, and practice their own culture. Then, of course, from a more racist perspective, some still revive the older stereotype of Mexicans as lazy, given to drinking, and dirty. But these are all wrong.

Latinos have long been very much a part of this country. Why is it that the book festival is held in Los Angeles? Did the name of this city come with the Mayflower? The fact is that everything from Texas to California at one time was part of the Spanish colonial empire. Spanish settlements in what later became part of the United States began in New Mexico in 1598. After Mexican independence, this northern area—El Norte—became a part of the new Mexican nation. However, the United States, with its ideology of Manifest Destiny, coveted this territory and provoked a war of choice with Mexico, conquering the area in the U.S.–Mexico War (1846–48). This conquest transferred to the United States the present states of Texas, New Mexico, Colorado, Arizona, Nevada, Utah, and California. Mexicans living in these areas were extended American citizenship and became the first Mexican Americans.

At the turn of the century mass Mexican immigration to the United States began, and between 1900 and 1930, over one million Mexican immigrants entered to work on the railroads, agriculture, mining, and urban industries in the Southwest and Midwest. This migration has continued until now (with the exception of the Great Depression years in the 1930s).

As immigrants, Mexicans and their Mexican American children and grandchildren have worked, worked, and worked. They could not afford to be “lazy Mexicans.” Continue reading ‘Mario T. Garcia: The America of the Future’ »

Interview: Joe Miller on Adventure Sports in the Carolinas

Joe Miller

Joe Miller (photo by UNC Press)

Joe Miller, author of Adventure Carolinas: Your Go-To Guide for Multi-Sport Outdoor Recreation, shares the joys of exploring adventure sports for both novices and experts alike.

Q: This book covers sixteen different adventure sports. What do they have in common?

A: They test the participant. For the beginner in particular, they test both curiosity and willingness to push oneself. And continuously they test one’s comfort zone. You’re a mountain biker, you’ve been riding the beginner trails, you come to the fork where you’re confronted with a choice: more beginner . . . or an intermediate. A whitewater kayaker comfortable on Class II water is invited on a trip with a couple of Class III runs. A 5.7 climber confronts a 5.8 wall. The challenges are continuous—and invigorating.

Q: Who is this book for? Did you have a particular kind of reader in mind?

A: I’m targeting the person who has dreamed of diving a sunken U-boat, or mountain biking a twisty trail in the Pisgah National Forest, or paddling his or her way down a mountain creek, but thought, “Nah. I could never do that.” My goal is to tell you that you can. All the reader needs is a spark of adventurous spirit. The book will, hopefully, ignite that spirit and push the reader into action.

Q: You call the Carolinas a multi-sport mecca. What, if anything, makes the Carolinas better than other states for these sports? Continue reading ‘Interview: Joe Miller on Adventure Sports in the Carolinas’ »

Introducing: Saving Community Journalism book and website

Saving Community Journalism: The Path to Profitability, by Penelope Muse AbernathyWe are delighted to announce the publication of Saving Community Journalism: The Path to Profitability, by Penelope Muse Abernathy.

America’s community newspapers have entered an age of disruption. Towns and cities continue to need the journalism and advertising so essential to nurturing local identity and connection among citizens. But as the business of newspaper publishing collides with the digital revolution, and as technology redefines consumer habits and the very notion of community, how can newspapers survive and thrive? In Saving Community Journalism, veteran media executive Abernathy draws on cutting-edge research and analysis to reveal pathways to transformation and long-term profitability. Offering practical guidance for editors and publishers, she shows how newspapers can build community online and identify new opportunities to generate revenue.

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.

We will occasionally highlight activity from SavingCommunityJournalism.com here on the UNC Press blog and through our social media channels. We’ll kick things off with an excerpt from Penny Abernathy’s inaugural blog post:

Headlines in recent years have focused on the travails of the country’s largest and best known papers, metros such as the Washington Post and venerable national publications such as the New York Times and Wall Street Journal, where I was a senior business executive for almost two decades. Saving Community Journalism focuses on the country’s other 11,000 newspapers (dailies in small and midsized markets, as well as weeklies) and digital start-ups trying to offer a robust alternative to a severely diminished local print paper.   Since historically local news organizations have produced the vast majority of information that sustains our democracy, their survival ultimately determines the health and well-being of the entire news ecosystem, including the metro and national papers.

This, then, is the call to action:  local news organizations must begin immediately reinventing and reimagining both their journalism and business models, or risk being tossed aside by both their readers and advertisers. The strategies that newcomers (start-ups) and old timers (print newspapers) must pursue are slightly different.  However, both must have a three-pronged strategy for controlling costs, using new digital tools to build vibrant communities of “readers” on many platforms, and profitably pursuing new revenue.

Saving Community Journalism tells the story of a dozen newspapers throughout the country, ranging from a 7,000-circulation weekly in West Virginia to a 55,000-circulation daily in California.  As I like to point out, these papers are both “ordinary and extraordinary.”  They share many of the same characteristics as thousands of other community newspapers.  But they bring an extraordinary passion and vision to the task of reinventing journalism and the business models that will support news in the twenty-first century.  Examples of how they have tackled the challenges can be found on the free instructional website that accompanies the book, savingcommunityjournalism.com.

This blog offers an opportunity for me to share and build on the many insights into community journalism that I’ve gained since I was appointed Knight Chair of Journalism and Digital Media Economics at the University of North Carolina in 2008.   When I returned “home” to my native state, I was intent on applying the lessons I had learned at the Times and the Journal to the excellent newspapers where I had worked as an apprentice.  What I have learned as the project unfolded over the past five years, and expanded to include more than 200 contributors, has significantly enhanced my own view of the challenges and opportunities afforded those who are passionate about community journalism.

Read the full post, “Ordinary, but Extraordinary,” at SavingCommunityJournalism.com.

William A. Blair on Confederate Disfranchisement after the Civil War

With Malice Towards Some: Treason and Loyalty in the Civil War Era by William A. BlairWilliam A. Blair, author of the forthcoming book With Malice toward Some: Treason and Loyalty in the Civil War Era (June 2014), guest blogs today over at our Civil War blog. His book explores how, although most northerners agreed that the secessionists had committed treason, the way politicians, soldiers, and civilians dealt with disloyalty varied widely. The book will be published next month.

In his guest blog post at UNCPressCivilWar150, Blair writes about one of the ways secessionists were punished for treason: disfranchisement. He looks at how states crafted various laws and policies whose intended effects were to prevent former Confederates from voting. He writes:

Today, Republicans and Democrats argue over voter registration laws, especially the need for photo identification. Democrats see this requirement as trying to limit participation by poorer people rather than to prevent fraud, as the Republicans claim. Similar issues appeared in the Civil War era, as Republicans at that time tried to prevent former rebels and traitors from exercising the franchise, with one of the experiments coming in the form of voter registration.

Registration of voters was not the norm before and during the Civil War. As scholar Richard Franklin Bensel has noted in his The American Ballot Box in the Mid-Nineteenth Century, keeping accurate lists was virtually impossible in certain places, particularly cities. The development of laws and procedures in this area took shape later in the century, but there were examples of a trial run in early Reconstruction.

The Border States, including the new state of West Virginia, featured the greatest controversy for controlling white voting because so many former rebels returned home and tried to cast ballots alongside the Unionists who had remained loyal. It irked some, for instance, that former Confederate officer Bradley Johnson of Maryland might be able to cast his ballot in a postwar election while still under indictment for treason. Many worried that the traitors who had tried to tear apart the nation would return to power too easily and limit the gains of the war.

The more traditional way of disfranchising men who were considered traitors came through loyalty oaths.

Read the full post, “The Battle over White Suffrage after the Civil War.”

Interview: Deirdre Clemente on Fashion Trends and College Students

Deirdre Clemente

Deirdre Clemente

In the following interview, Deirdre Clemente, author of Dress Casual: How College Students Redefined American Style, discusses how college students are at the epicenter of casual fashion.

Q: You attended the Fashion Institute of Technology as a Masters student. How would you describe your own college fashion while at FIT, and how would you describe your personal style today?

A: At FIT, students walked around in everything from dirty sweatpants to capes made of stuffed animals, so my bizarre ensembles hardly turned a head. I mixed quirky thrift shop with couture pieces scavenged from the sale racks at Century 21. I remember a purple, men’s Jean Paul Gaultier suit I bought for like $75 and had tailored to fit. I used to pair it with vintage t-shirts or raggy tank tops. Looking back, I think I must have looked like Barney the dinosaur, but I thought it was cool. That’s half the battle with fashion—thinking that you’re cool.

I am six feet tall, so I look like an oversized baby in many of the cutie-cute dresses we see at fast fashion places such as H&M. They don’t even come in my size. I have to have nearly every pair of pants I buy tailored. I play up my height with caftans and painter’s coats. I love high-waisted, wide-legged pants, à la 1940s screen stars. I love Italian knitwear. I am very into ethnic clothing (I collect dashikis), and I accessorize with chunky jewelry and berets. Living in Nevada it is all about cowboy boots—beat-up cowboy boots, of course.

Q: What inspired you to focus specifically on college students as the source of change and innovation in fashion?

A: My first year teaching at Carnegie Mellon, I told my class of freshmen that anyone who showed up in seasonally inappropriate clothing would get a C- for the course. Shorts and flip-flops in the Pittsburgh winter blew my mind because it made no sense. Fashion and personal style have been dissected by the greatest minds of the 20th century—sociologists such as George Simmel, David Riesman, and Herbert Blumer. Everyone acknowledges that in many ways fashion is not supposed to make sense. Once I accepted that, I began to inquire about the historical context of student dress, and I found that student dress had been baffling onlookers for nearly a century. That’s when I knew I was onto something.
Continue reading ‘Interview: Deirdre Clemente on Fashion Trends and College Students’ »

Excerpt: Stories of the South: Race and the Construction of Southern Identity, 1865-1915, by K. Stephen Prince

Stories of the South: Race and the Reconstruction of Southern Identity, 1865-1915In 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. In Stories of the South: Race and the Reconstruction of Southern Identity, 1865-1915, K. Stephen 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 the following excerpt from Stories of the South (pp. 199-204), Prince describes the popularity of stage productions of Uncle Tom’s Cabin and the show’s progression from an abolitionist critique of slavery to a minstrel show embracing a fractured view of slavery and the South.

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When it was published in 1852, Harriet Beecher Stowe’s abolitionist novel Uncle Tom’s Cabin quickly became the most inflammatory, explosive, and politically significant literary text of the antebellum period. Adapted to the stage shortly thereafter, Uncle Tom’s Cabin’s moral fervor, emotional power, and iconic characters soon made it a theatrical institution. Throughout the 1850s, northern audiences thrilled to dramatic reenactments of Eliza’s escape across the Ohio River, Uncle Tom’s tender relationship with Little Eva, and Tom’s brutal death at the hands of Simon Legree. Antebellum productions of Uncle Tom’s Cabin largely fell into two categories. Most followed George Aiken’s 1852 dramatic adaptation, which was faithful to the novel’s plot and to its author’s abolitionist intentions.[1] Some productions, however, explicitly sought to discredit and undercut Stowe’s antislavery message. Minstrel shows and southern propagandists both offered proslavery dramatic adaptations of Uncle Tom’s Cabin in the years before the Civil War.[2] Regardless, the political content of the play remained its defining characteristic in the antebellum period. Love it or loathe it, Uncle Tom’s Cabin made a powerful political statement on the stage as surely as on the page.

By the 1880s, however, a curious thing had happened. Stage productions of Uncle Tom’s Cabin remained popular, but the political edge had largely evaporated. In place of politics, postbellum productions of Uncle Tom’s Cabin came to emphasize display and spectacle. Much like postwar minstrelsy, “Tom shows” competed to offer the largest cast, the most sumptuous scenery, and the oddest novelties. Where antebellum audiences had mourned for Tom and cursed Legree, Gilded Age crowds cheered for trained Siberian bloodhounds and spectacular plantation dance routines. At the postwar Tom show, in fact, the story of Uncle Tom’s Cabin largely disappeared, becoming little more than a vehicle for stage trickery and ostentatious display. In the process, the political content that had once defined the production became increasingly peripheral.[3] The transition from the abolitionism of Uncle Tom’s Cabin to the empty spectacle of the Gilded Age Tom show offers an interesting chapter in the cultural history of the postbellum United States. More than this, it provides a unique perspective on the nation’s declining commitment to African American rights and a prime example of the role that popular culture played in this transition.
Continue reading ‘Excerpt: Stories of the South: Race and the Construction of Southern Identity, 1865-1915, by K. Stephen Prince’ »

  1. [1] See Gossett, Uncle Tom’s Cabin and American Culture, 260–83. For all things related to Uncle Tom’s Cabin, the Uncle Tom’s Cabin and American Culture website at the University of Virginia (http://utc.iath.virginia.edu/) is an extraordinary resource.
  2. [2] On the relation between antebellum minstrelsy and Uncle Tom’s Cabin, see Meer, Uncle Tom Mania, 19–72.
  3. [3] .David S. Reynolds offers a helpful overview of these developments. Reynolds, Mightier than the Sword, 177–200. See also Gossett, Uncle Tom’s Cabin and American Culture, 367–87.

Give the Gift of Music: Listen and Support Wayfaring Strangers

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’ »

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