Author Interview: A conversation with Jennifer Brulé, author of The New Vegetarian South

The New Vegetarian South by Jennifer BruleToday UNC Press publicity director Gina Mahalek chats with Jennifer Brulé, author of The New Vegetarian South: 105 Inspired Dishes for Everyone.

In her enlightening cookbook, chef Brulé brings southern-style food together with plant-based approaches to eating. Her down-to-earth style and 105 recipes will immediately appeal to vegetarians, vegans, and meat-eaters alike. These dishes are also a boon for those who simply love southern food and want to learn more about options for flexitarian eating. Brulé deliciously demystifies meat substitutes and flavors up familiar vegetables. Imagine vegetarian barbecue: Brulé’s recipe for spicing, saucing, and oven-roasting jackfruit offers a robustly tasty alternative to pulled pork. Tofu is the perfect base for crispy Southern Fried Buttermilk Nuggets, and cauliflower beautifully fills in for shrimp in a Cajun-inspired étouffee.

The New Vegetarian South is available now in both print and ebook editions.

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Gina Mahalek: Your book, The New Vegetarian South, is dedicated to recreating traditional southern dishes vegetarian-style. Did you find it difficult to transition some of the South’s trademark recipes into ones that are meatless? If so, what was most challenging?

Jennifer Brulé: Some dishes easily lent themselves to becoming vegetarian or vegan; Buttermilk Fried Tofu Nuggets, for instance, works beautifully. However, the idea of transitioning some dishes to be plant-based was daunting. Brunswick Stew is a great example—it’s known for all the different meats involved, from chicken, to pork, to beef to squirrel. How does one turn meat stew into a vegetarian dish while keeping it delicious? But, as I said, it was merely the idea that was daunting. Using texturized vegetable protein (TVP) and lots of layers of flavors resulted in a satiating, mouthwatering recipe.

GM: Did your professional background as a classically trained chef provide you with much of your knowledge on vegetarian alternatives for meaty dishes, or did you gain insight from recipe experimentation and creation?

JB: Being a classically trained chef helped, for sure, but more than anything it’s my unquenchable thirst for food knowledge that informed me about meat alternatives. I am a student of food and cooking, constantly curious about ingredients. I research and study food every day. Having two vegetarian daughters, of course has made me quite deliberate in finding, and working with, meat alternatives.

GM: What was the main reason you decided to adopt a more plant-based diet?

JB: Two things: my aforementioned children (one of whom became vegetarian when she was five years old), but also my love of animals. It seems stranger and stranger to me that we, as a society, eat living beings. That said, I’m a sucker for a properly fried piece of chicken. But, I figure if can eat plant-based meals most of the time and indulge in eating critters only occasionally, I’m headed in the right direction.

GM:  Was the process of reducing your meat intake difficult?

JB: No, it truly wasn’t. If you think about it, a wonderful cheese pizza is vegetarian. A bowl filled with hearty grains, grilled slaw, pickled pink onions, roasted black beans and a creamy lemon-tahini dressing (like the ones we serve at my restaurant, Davidson Ice House) tastes AMAZING and happens to be vegan. I honestly think that it’s mostly a mental game, a perception that it’s not a meal without meat in the center of the plate. With some creativity, it’s EASY to eat a primarily plant-based diet.

Continue Reading Author Interview: A conversation with Jennifer Brulé, author of The New Vegetarian South

Pamela Grundy: In Search of Ora Washington

Today we welcome a guest post from historian Pamela Grundy, whose work helped lead to the nomination, and upcoming enshrinement, of Ora Washington, who was credited as the greatest female athlete of her time and was a part of 11 straight Women’s Colored Basketball Championship teams, into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame later this week.

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Pamela Grundy: In Search of Ora Washington

It is the summer of 2003 and I am sitting in the heart of Philadelphia, at a microfilm reader in the archives at Temple University. I squint at the dim screen as I crank through issues of the African American Philadelphia Tribune, tracking the five-game basketball series played by the Germantown Hornets and the Philadelphia Tribune Newsgirls back in 1932. I am having a fine time. The contest see-saws back and forth before my eyes, and the writing is a joy to read.

“The cash customers fanned to fever heat by the ardor and closeness of combat gave outlet to all kinds of riotous impulses,” Tribune sportswriter Randy Dixon wrote after Game 5 went into overtime, and the Newsgirls scored eight unanswered points to triumph 31-23. “They stood on chairs and hollered. Others hoisted members of the winning team upon their shoulders and paraded them around the hall. They jigged and danced, and readers believe me, they were justified. It was just that kind of a game.”

I have come to Temple in search of Ora Washington, the finest black female athlete of the early twentieth century. Basketball fans considered her “the greatest girl player of the age.” In tennis, the Chicago Defender once observed, her “superiority” was “so evident that competitors are frequently beaten before the first ball crosses the net.” Watching her play, one advertisement claimed, could “make you forget the Depression.”

And then she disappeared.

Continue Reading Pamela Grundy: In Search of Ora Washington

Georgann Eubanks: Bigger is Rarely Better

The Month of Their Ripening by Georgann EubanksToday we welcome a guest post by Georgann Eubanks, author of The Month of Their Ripening:  North Carolina Heritage Foods through the Year, just published by UNC Press.

Telling the stories of twelve North Carolina heritage foods, each matched to the month of its peak readiness for eating, The Month of Their Ripening takes readers on a flavorful journey across the state. Georgann Eubanks begins in January with the most ephemeral of southern ingredients—snow—to witness Tar Heels making ice cream. In March, she takes a midnight canoe ride on the Trent River in search of shad, a bony fish with a savory history. In November, she visits a Chatham County sawmill where the possums are always first into the persimmon trees.

The Month of Their Ripening is available now in both print and ebook editions.

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Bigger is Rarely Better

Clara Brickhouse grows scuppernongs to sell at farmer's markets in and around Tyrrell County.

Clara Brickhouse grows scuppernongs to sell at farmer’s markets in and around Tyrrell County.
Photo by Donna Campbell

Miss Clara Brickhouse is a tall and dignified woman in her eighties. She lives in a community called Travis in North Carolina’s smallest county, Tyrrell. Her home is not far from the source of the Scuppernong River, so named by white settlers in the late 1600s because of the proximity and profusion of the grape that would eventually be designated the state’s official fruit in 2001.  (The Algonquin Indian word askuponong actually means “the place of the sweet bay tree,” which is another prolific plant in the region, but the wild bronze grapes were what the first explorers fancied and thus named.)

Miss Clara, as she prefers to be called, grows several varieties of these indigenous, hard-hulled grapes that belong to the larger muscadine family. Her eighteen vines are arranged on trellises in her backyard garden, which also features blueberries, blackberries, apples, and an occasional visiting snake. Her immaculate rows of plantings are visible from U.S. 64 East, along the route to Manteo and the Outer Banks.

Miss Clara's favorite variety of smaller grapes.

Miss Clara’s favorite variety of smaller grapes.
Photo by Donna Campbell

“These little ones are my favorites,” Miss Clara says, bringing a plastic carton of ripened scuppernongs from her kitchen. We could smell the fruit’s musky sweet perfume as Miss Clara offered a sample. Scuppernongs are a taste from my childhood, and the flavor instantly takes me back to my grandfather’s handbuilt trellis of galvanized pipes.

That day with Miss Clara was one of many adventures photographer Donna Campbell and I shared as we traveled across North Carolina, marking the months in which certain reliable foods spring forth, contributing to our state’s history and identity over the centuries.  Some common themes along our route emerged–notably, that today’s consumers seem to prefer the biggest version of everything they might eat.

Of course, trying to catch the biggest fish or grow a hefty pumpkin has always been a source of competitive pride. But time and again we heard from farmers and fishmongers, cooks and horticulturalists, that the public always wants “the big ones,” even in something as relatively small as grapes.

Continue Reading Georgann Eubanks: Bigger is Rarely Better

Mushroom of the Month, September 2018: Cortinarius argentatus

A Field Guide to Mushrooms of the CarolinasHere’s the final entry in our series, Mushroom of the Month, brought to you by Michael W. Hopping, co-author of A Field Guide to Mushrooms of the Carolinas:  A Southern Gateways Guide — this month it’s Cortinarius argentatus.

Mushrooms in the wild present an enticing challenge: some are delicious, others are deadly, and still others take on almost unbelievable forms. A Field Guide to Mushrooms of the Carolinas introduces 650 mushrooms found in the Carolinas–more than 50 of them appearing in a field guide for the first time–using clear language and color photographs to reveal their unique features.

A Field Guide to Mushrooms of the Carolinas is available now in both print and ebook editions.

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Cortinarius argentatus

Vision is a curious thing. There is seeing, and then there’s awareness of what’s being seen. It’s as if our minds were in the habit of serving us executive summaries, omitting a lot of potentially irrelevant detail. Your co-worker, Alex, seemed tired this morning. What color was his belt? Was he wearing one? The summaries simplify life, usually in a helpful way. But mushroom hunters learn the inadequacy of any summarizing habits we have about fungi. Awareness of color, size, and the presence of a cap and stalk is simply not enough. We need details, the sort of details that may remain invisible until we turn off our mental summarizers.

Cortinarius argentatusTake silver-violet, gilled mushrooms for instance. If you’ve never seen such a thing, September is prime time to remedy that. Try deciduous woods with rich soils or moist and shaded landscaped areas. Well-watered lawns are another possibility. This package of season, color, and habitat preference fits a popular edible species, Lepista nuda, aka the Blewit. But not so fast. Blewits share the autumn woodlands with silver-violet members of the genus Cortinarius. Corts can be poisonous. Among the Blewit’s closest lookalikes is Cortinarius argentatus.

Continue Reading Mushroom of the Month, September 2018: Cortinarius argentatus

#HistoryMatters: A roundup of UNC Press authors on the Silent Sam monument controversy

From our offices on the edge of the UNC-Chapel Hill campus, UNC Press staff have had an especially close vantage point to observe the events and debates surrounding the fall of the university’s Confederate monument, known as “Silent Sam.” It’s no surprise that a number of Press authors have written and spoken in many prominent locations as the wider public seeks to understand what’s happening on our campus and what it means for our collective engagement with the past and its legacies. We are proud to publish scholars who regularly bring their research and knowledge to bear in a way that can illuminate moments such as this, and we look forward to playing our part as dialogue continues.

Here’s a sample of recent pieces by Press authors on troubled history of Silent Sam’s initial placement, the long controversy over its ongoing position on campus, the activism that called for change and ultimately toppled the monument off its pedestal, and the debates over how the university and the community should respond. These authors’ books offer deeper engagement on many of these issues for those who want to read more, so links are provided below.


Blain Roberts, author of Pageants, Parlors, and Pretty Women: Race and Beauty in the Twentieth-Century South, co-wrote an opinion article in The New York Times with Ethan J. Kytle titled “The ‘Silent Sam’ Confederate Monument at UNC Was Toppled. What Happens Next?”

Joseph T. Glatthaar, author of Soldiering in the Army of Northern Virginia: A Statistical Portrait of the Troops Who Served under Robert E. Lee, wrote an op-ed in The Daily Tar Heel titled “Silent Sam from a historian’s perspective.”

James L. Leloudis, co-author of To Right These Wrongs: The North Carolina Fund and the Battle to End Poverty and Inequality in 1960s America, wrote an op-ed in The News & Observer titled “Silent Sam was a symbol of mob violence itself.”

Eric Muller, author of American Inquisition: The Hunt for Japanese American Disloyalty in World War II and editor of Colors of Confinement: Rare Kodachrome Photographs of Japanese American Incarceration in World War II, wrote an opinion piece in The News & Observer titled “No, the law doesn’t require Silent Sam to be returned to his pedestal in 90 days.”

Fitzhugh Brundage, editor of Beyond Blackface: African Americans and the Creation of American Popular Culture, 1890-1930, was interviewed not long after the statue fell in an NPR segment titled “Protesters Knock Down Confederate Status on UNC Campus.” He was also interviewed for an article in The Charlotte Observer titled “The unfinished story of Silent Sam, from ‘Soldier Boy’ to fallen symbol of a painful past.”

UNC Press’s close friends and partners at the Center for the Study of the American South published a statement on the toppling of the statue titled “On Silent Sam and the Study of the South.”

#SilentSam; #ReadUP

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Pageants, Parlors, & Pretty WomenSoldiering in the Army of Northern Virginia by Joseph T. GlatthaarTo Right These Wrongs

American InquisitionBeyond Blackface

For a fuller listing of UNC Press books on history and memory, visit our website.

 

 

Author Interview: A Conversation with Jeff Wiltse, author of Contested Waters: A Social History of Swimming Pools in America

Contested Waters by Jeff WiltseAs we approach the Labor Day weekend and the end of the summer swimming pool season, UNC Press publicity director Gina Mahalek talks to Jeff Wiltse, author of Contested Waters:  A Social History of Swimming Pools in America.

From 19th-century public baths to today’s private backyard havens, swimming pools have been a provocative symbol of American life. In this social and cultural history of swimming pools in the U.S., Wiltse relates how, over the years, pools have served as asylums for the urban poor, leisure resorts for the masses, and private clubs for middle-class suburbanites. As sites of race riots, shrinking swimsuits, and conspicuous leisure, swimming pools reflect the tensions and transformations that have given rise to modern America.

Contested Waters is available in paperback and ebook editions.

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Gina Mahalek: How did you get the idea for this book? What inspired your research?

Jeff Wiltse: The idea literally came to me in a dream over Thanksgiving weekend in 1996. I awoke early Saturday morning in the midst of a dream in which I was writing about the swimming pool I frequented as a child. I immediately wondered what the history of swimming pools was more generally and presumed it must be interesting and worth researching. The first person I mentioned the idea to—my then girlfriend and now wife—laughed at me incredulously. I told her to wait and see. When I soon discovered that no one had previously written on the topic, I knew I was onto something.

GM: Are you a swimmer?

JW: I never swam competitively, but I spent countless summer days at the local pool during my childhood. I vaguely understood even then, as I snuck glances at pretty girls and chatted with friends and neighbors, that swimming pools were uniquely intimate and sociable spaces. My most vivid memories from childhood are of time spent at the pool: being thrown up in the air and into the water by my father, showing off to impress girls, beating all comers at pickleball, and trading baseball cards on the pool deck. In many ways I grew up at the local swimming pool.

GM: Contested Waters focuses primarily on the northern United States. Why?

A: I quickly realized that the research for this project would require me driving from city to city and town to town searching for sources in local libraries and archives. Limiting the project to the northern United States made this type of on-the-road research more manageable. I also focused on the North because I wanted to tell a coherent story rather than interpret regional variations. As it turned out, what happened at swimming pools throughout the North, whether in Chicago and St. Louis or Newton, Kansas and Elizabeth, New Jersey, was all quite similar.

Continue Reading Author Interview: A Conversation with Jeff Wiltse, author of Contested Waters: A Social History of Swimming Pools in America

Anne Balay: If your feminism isn’t intersectional, it isn’t feminism

Semi Queer by Anne BalayToday we welcome a guest post from Anne Balay, author of Semi Queer:  Inside the World of Gay, Trans, and Black Truck Drivers, just published this month by UNC Press.

Long-haul trucking is linked to almost every industry in America, yet somehow the working-class drivers behind big rigs remain largely hidden from public view. Gritty, inspiring, and often devastating oral histories of gay, transsexual, and minority truck drivers allow award-winning author Anne Balay to shed new light on the harsh realities of truckers’ lives behind the wheel. A licensed commercial truck driver herself, Balay discovers that, for people routinely subjected to prejudice, hatred, and violence in their hometowns and in the job market, trucking can provide an opportunity for safety, welcome isolation, and a chance to be themselves–even as the low-wage work is fraught with tightening regulations, constant surveillance, danger, and exploitation. The narratives of minority and queer truckers underscore the working-class struggle to earn a living while preserving one’s safety, dignity, and selfhood.

Semi Queer is available now in both print and ebook editions.

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If your feminism isn’t intersectional, it isn’t feminism.

At each protest I’ve been to since Trump, I see a sign saying: If your feminism isn’t intersectional, it isn’t feminism.

I agree with the sentiment, but I feel compelled to add that intersectional thinking is genuinely difficult. The insight of intersectionality (Crenshaw) is not that we all live within an interlocking system of oppressions, but rather that these oppressions pull us in different directions, causing divided loyalties – internalized conflict and tension. Intersectional identity leaves each person feeling ripped apart at the core. AND each person who theorizes or does activism intersectionally feels that, too.

Writing Semi Queer, my book about gay, trans, and black truckers, encouraged me to think about visibly stigmatized bodies putting themselves out in dangerous public spaces as part of their jobs. And to think about public perceptions of and knowledge about truck drivers and other disrespected, blue-collar workers. I literally wrote the book on this subject, but it remains difficult for me to think about these two threads at the same time.

For example, during the Pittsburg protests about the murder of Antwon Rose, a 17-year old boy shot in the back as he fled from police, traffic was stopped on the highway. A news reporter interviewed two drivers who left their trucks to talk to protestors. They interview Gene, and “another guy who was driving one of the larger trucks.” The entire news segment avoids the word trucker, though both interviewees are white, middle-aged men with beards and ball caps. The journalist seems surprised that these men support the protestors, even though they’re inconvenienced by them.

Continue Reading Anne Balay: If your feminism isn’t intersectional, it isn’t feminism

Recipe: Crunchy Buttermilk Fried Pickle Chips from Jennifer Brulé

The New Vegetarian South by Jennifer BruleWe haven’t featured a recipe on our blog in a while, so today we bring you a tasty treat from Jennifer Brulé, author of The New Vegetarian South: 105 Inspired Dishes for Everyone.

In her enlightening cookbook, chef Brulé brings southern-style food together with plant-based approaches to eating. Her down-to-earth style and 105 recipes will immediately appeal to vegetarians, vegans, and meat-eaters alike. These dishes are also a boon for those who simply love southern food and want to learn more about options for flexitarian eating. Brulé deliciously demystifies meat substitutes and flavors up familiar vegetables. Imagine vegetarian barbecue: Brulé’s recipe for spicing, saucing, and oven-roasting jackfruit offers a robustly tasty alternative to pulled pork. Tofu is the perfect base for crispy Southern Fried Buttermilk Nuggets, and cauliflower beautifully fills in for shrimp in a Cajun-inspired étouffee.

Jennifer Brulé is the executive chef and owner of the flexitarian restaurant Davidson Ice House, in Davidson, North Carolina. She is also the author of author of Learn to Cook 25 Southern Classics 3 Ways.  For more, follow her on Twitter, on Instagram, or visit her website.

The New Vegetarian South is available now in both print and ebook editions.

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Video Book Trailer: Our Higher Calling by Holden Thorp and Buck Goldstein

As we approach the beginning of another academic year, UNC Press is proud to be publishing the latest book by Holden Thorp and Buck Goldstein, Our Higher Calling:  Rebuilding the Partnership between America and Its Colleges and Universities.

Here’s the book trailer the authors have prepared for the book:

Our Higher Calling by Holden Thorp and Buck GoldsteinThere is a growing sense of crisis and confusion about the purpose and sustainability of higher education in the United States. Despite efforts to integrate business-oriented thinking and implement new forms of accountability in colleges and universities, Americans from all backgrounds are losing confidence in the nation’s institutions of higher learning, and these institutions must increasingly confront what has proven to be an unsustainable business model. In their important new book, Holden Thorp and Buck Goldstein draw on interviews with higher education thought leaders and their own experience, inside and outside the academy, to address these problems head on, articulating the challenges facing higher education and describing in pragmatic terms what can and cannot change–and what should and should not change.

Our Higher Calling is available now in both print and ebook editions.

For more information about the book, visit the book website, www.ourhighercalling.com.

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Holden Thorp is provost and Rita Levi-Montalcini Distinguished University Professor of Chemistry and Medicine at Washington University in St. Louis.  You can follow him on Twitter at @holdenWU.

Buck Goldstein is Professor of the Practice and University Entrepreneur in Residence in the Department of Economics at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.  You can follow him on Twitter at @buckgold1.

Together, they are the authors of Engines of Innovation:  The Entrepreneurial University in the Twenty-First Century, now in its second edition.

 

 

Georgann Eubanks: Marking the Textures of a Year

Today we welcome a guest post by Georgann Eubanks, author of The Month of Their Ripening:  North Carolina Heritage Foods through the Year, just published by UNC Press.

Telling the stories of twelve North Carolina heritage foods, each matched to the month of its peak readiness for eating, The Month of Their Ripening takes readers on a flavorful journey across the state. Georgann Eubanks begins in January with the most ephemeral of southern ingredients—snow—to witness Tar Heels making ice cream. In March, she takes a midnight canoe ride on the Trent River in search of shad, a bony fish with a savory history. In November, she visits a Chatham County sawmill where the possums are always first into the persimmon trees.

The Month of Their Ripening is available now in both print and ebook editions.

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Marking the Textures of a Year

Fresh figs have a complex texture. When ripe, they can become a muddle of flesh and juice if seized in the hand too roughly. The peak of ripeness is so ephemeral for every single fruit that picking figs becomes both art (handling) and science (timing). This vulnerability is what makes a ripe fig so precious. According to British food scholar David C. Sutton, only three percent of the figs consumed on the planet are eaten fresh. They simply don’t keep well. It is far easier to dry out the little punching bags of sugar and seed than to sell them fresh at market.

To celebrate the August Fig Festival on Ocracoke Island, Dajio Restaurant offered a pizza with figs, caramelized onions, blue cheese, and prosciutto.

To celebrate the August Fig Festival on Ocracoke Island, Dajio Restaurant offered a pizza with figs, caramelized onions, blue cheese, and prosciutto.
Photo by Donna Campbell

As my own fig tree grew and I suddenly had fresh, imminently perishable figs aplenty to share with my neighbors in Carrboro every August, I was surprised to learn how many people I know have never tasted a fresh fig. Most only know the fruit by its association with the Nabisco cookie.

A little research revealed, incidentally, that Fig Newtons were named for the town where they were first baked in 1891–Newton, Massachusetts–not some contrived association with the first proponent of the theory of gravity, which I somehow believed as a child. According to the New York Times, the global food conglomerate that now manufactures these cookies actually dropped “fig” from the name in 2012, after market research revealed that younger consumers associate figs with prunes, a fruit believed to be synonymous with old age.

“Newtons” as they are called are still square and about a half-inch tall with the same nondescript, chewy cookie crust, and now filled with a rubbery infusion of fruits such as strawberries, apples, apricots, or peaches. Because of this substitution, I suspect that children today–at least in the United States–may be even less likely than my peers to know what a fresh fig tastes like, but I am sure the fruit’s value will prevail. The crunchy sweetness is undeniable.

Continue Reading Georgann Eubanks: Marking the Textures of a Year

Cameron B. Strang: What’s so American about American Science?

Frontiers of Science by Cameron B. StrangToday we welcome a guest post from Cameron B. Strang, author of Frontiers of Science:  Imperialism and Natural Knowledge in the Gulf South Borderlands, 1500-1850, just published by the Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture and UNC Press.

Frontiers of Science offers a new framework for approaching American intellectual history, one that transcends political and cultural boundaries and reveals persistence across the colonial and national eras. The pursuit of knowledge in the United States did not cohere around democratic politics or the influence of liberty. It was, as in other empires, divided by multiple loyalties and identities, organized through contested hierarchies of ethnicity and place, and reliant on violence. By discovering the lost intellectual history of one region, Strang shows us how to recover a continent for science.

Frontiers of Science is available now in both print and ebook editions.

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What’s so American about American Science?

Americans love pondering how things in the United States differ from those in other countries. The answer—for topics ranging from politics to art—is often something like “liberty,” “freedom,” or “democracy.” American science is no exception. After reading every book about science in the early United States I could get my hands on, I found most authors agreed that it was a post-independence context of freedom and democratic government that, for better or for worse, set American science off on its own path.

But such a conclusion depends on some pretty bold (if nevertheless widely accepted) assumptions. It assumes that U.S. territory was a place defined primarily by liberty and democracy. It assumes that the American people studying nature were free and independent citizens. And it therefore tends to assume that the only truly American intellectuals were white Anglo men living on the eastern fringe of the continent.

Continue Reading Cameron B. Strang: What’s so American about American Science?

Mushroom of the Month, August 2018: Ravenel’s Stinkhorn Phallus ravenelii

A Field Guide to Mushrooms of the CarolinasHere’s the next entry in our monthly series, Mushroom of the Month, brought to you by Michael W. Hopping, co-author of A Field Guide to Mushrooms of the Carolinas:  A Southern Gateways Guide — this month it’s Ravenel’s Stinkhorn Phallus ravenelii.

Mushrooms in the wild present an enticing challenge: some are delicious, others are deadly, and still others take on almost unbelievable forms. A Field Guide to Mushrooms of the Carolinas introduces 650 mushrooms found in the Carolinas–more than 50 of them appearing in a field guide for the first time–using clear language and color photographs to reveal their unique features.

A Field Guide to Mushrooms of the Carolinas is available now in both print and ebook editions.

Look for more Mushroom of the Month features on the UNC Press Blog in the months ahead.

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Ravenel’s Stinkhorn Phallus ravenelii

Phallus ravenelii (Photo by Michael W. Hopping)

Phallus ravenelii (Photo by Michael W. Hopping)

In the life sciences, the practice of naming a new species in honor of a colleague, the use of an eponym, goes way back. Eponyms don’t help anyone picture the species in question, but that’s usually the worst that can be said of them. There are, however, exceptions. Two 19th century pillars of Carolinas mycology were involved in what surely ranks among the most backhanded eponymic compliments in history.

Rev. Moses Ashley (M. A.) Curtis, an Episcopal priest and amateur botanist based in Hillsborough, published his first mushroom paper in 1848. Later, during a church assignment in Society Hill, SC, he began a long-distance collaboration with the English mycologist, Rev. Miles Joseph Berkeley. It was highly productive. Few author citations for mushroom species are as common as the abbreviation, Berk. & M.A. Curtis.

Continue Reading Mushroom of the Month, August 2018: Ravenel’s Stinkhorn Phallus ravenelii

John M. Coggeshall: “Can you change history? Yes and no.”

Liberia, South Carolina by John M. CoggeshallToday we welcome a guest post from John M. Coggeshall, author of Liberia, South Carolina: An African American Appalachian Community, just published by UNC Press.

In 2007, while researching mountain culture in upstate South Carolina, anthropologist John M. Coggeshall stumbled upon the small community of Liberia in the Blue Ridge foothills. There he met Mable Owens Clarke and her family, the remaining members of a small African American community still living on land obtained immediately after the Civil War. This intimate history tells the story of five generations of the Owens family and their friends and neighbors, chronicling their struggles through slavery, Reconstruction, the Jim Crow era, and the desegregation of the state. Through hours of interviews with Mable and her relatives, as well as friends and neighbors, Coggeshall presents an ethnographic history that allows members of a largely ignored community to speak and record their own history for the first time.

Liberia, South Carolina is available now in both print and ebook editions.

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“Can you change history?  Yes and no.”

“You can’t change history,” some folks shout at others, often (today) over the impending removal of Confederate monuments.  While it is certainly true that you can’t change the fact that some states withdrew from the Union in 1861, you can change the understanding of the reasons for secession and the memorializing of those who did.

This re-conceptualization of history is a major theme of my new book, Liberia, South Carolina: an African American Appalachia Community.  The book presents an oral history of an enclave of freed black slaves who founded a community called Liberia in 1865 in upper Pickens County, South Carolina.  Through Reconstruction, the Jim Crow era, the Civil Rights movement, and the racial backlash of today, the community has persisted, supported in part by monthly fish fries at Soapstone Baptist Church.

The book does not “change” the fact that Liberia’s residents and their surrounding white neighbors interacted with each other for over a century.  What the book does offer is a “counter-memory,” another way of viewing the story of this community and its relationship with its neighbors.  For example, local histories of the area, written by white local historians, describe the peaceful and friendly relationship between Liberia and surrounding white neighbors, even during the Jim Crow era.  However, oral interviews with local black residents present a different version of that reality, documenting instances of white murders of blacks, armed attacks on and thefts of black property, physical assaults to black people, and verbal harassment toward blacks.

Continue Reading John M. Coggeshall: “Can you change history? Yes and no.”

Karin Alejandra Rosemblatt: Balancing Privacy and Archival Access

The Science and Politics of Race in Mexico and the United States, 1910–1950Today we welcome a guest post from Karin Alejandra Rosemblatt, author of The Science and Politics of Race in Mexico and the United States, 1910–1950, just published by UNC Press.

In this history of the social and human sciences in Mexico and the United States, Karin Alejandra Rosemblatt reveals intricate connections among the development of science, the concept of race, and policies toward indigenous peoples. Focusing on the anthropologists, sociologists, biologists, physicians, and other experts who collaborated across borders from the Mexican Revolution through World War II, Rosemblatt traces how intellectuals on both sides of the Rio Grande forged shared networks in which they discussed indigenous peoples and other ethnic minorities. In doing so, Rosemblatt argues, they refashioned race as a scientific category and consolidated their influence within their respective national policy circles.

The Science and Politics of Race in Mexico and the United States, 1910–1950 is available now in both print and ebook editions.

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Balancing Privacy and Archival Access

How should archival institutions balance privacy concerns with the need for access? Preserving privacy is important, certainly. But it is an imperative that needs to be balanced against the benefits of public knowledge. Moreover, access to information may benefit precisely those whose privacy archivists ostensibly aim to protect. Protecting privacy may allow unethical medical experiments or government violations of privacy to remain hidden.

I became aware of this issue when I requested access to the personal papers of an anthropologist featured in my book on The Science and Politics of Race in Latin America and the United States, 1910-1950. According to the archivist in charge, the papers contained the private medical information of some of her research subjects and were therefore off limits to researchers, at least until it was certain the research subjects were not alive. The anthropologist I was interested in had been working on a government-sponsored project. The archive that housed her papers had received funding from the federal government. But the archive was not a government agency that was covered by Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). I asked the archivist whether he could redact the documents to preserve anonymity. He told me the archive did not have enough personnel to comply with this type of request.

Continue Reading Karin Alejandra Rosemblatt: Balancing Privacy and Archival Access

Hertha D. Sweet Wong: The History of Canada, as told by Miss Chief Eagle Testickle

Picturing Identity by Hertha D. Sweet WongToday we welcome a guest post from Hertha D. Sweet Wong, author of Picturing Identity:  Contemporary American Autobiography in Image and Text, just published by UNC Press.

In Picturing Identity, Hertha D. Sweet Wong examines the intersection of writing and visual art in the autobiographical work of twentieth- and twenty-first-century American writers and artists who employ a mix of written and visual forms of self-narration. Combining approaches from autobiography studies and visual studies, Wong argues that, in grappling with the breakdown of stable definitions of identity and unmediated representation, these writers-artists experiment with hybrid autobiography in image and text to break free of inherited visual-verbal regimes and revise painful histories. These works provide an interart focus for examining the possibilities of self-representation and self-narration, the boundaries of life writing, and the relationship between image and text.

Picturing Identity is available now in both print and ebook editions.

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The History of Canada, as told by Miss Chief Eagle Testickle

As part of the ongoing project of decolonization, indigenous artists and writers take on the role of autobiographers, ethnographers, historians, activists, and visionaries, often in the form of visual autobiography. Their storytelling crosses fields of study (art practice, history, anthropology, and literature), media (text, photographs, drawings, paintings, and maps), as well as geographies and cultures. Collectively they bear witness to transgenerational trauma, challenge official settler-colonial myths, share tribal stories and epistemologies as well as personal narratives, and insist on indigenous presence, witness, and continuity.

The work of First Nations Kent Monkman, of Cree and Irish descent and a member of the Fish River band of Northern Manitoba, addresses the history of Western art in order to create an indigenous response to the settler-colonial reality and the centuries of transgenerational trauma it has generated. In Shame and Prejudice: A Story of Resilience (2017), an installation created for the 150th Anniversary of the Canadian confederacy, Monkman uses the conventions of European landscape and history painting to challenge official Canadian myths and to retell history, insisting on indigenous presence and witness. He exposes and critiques explorer-settler-colonial relations, and emphasizes indigenous endurance. Monkman offers a wryly humorous, but deadly serious counter narrative to European domination. Influenced by the Hudson River School of painters, and for this show, the power of the painting, Execution of Torrijos and his Companions on the Beach at Málaga (1887-1888) by Spanish painter Antonio Gisbert, Monkman explains: “It felt as though Gisbert had sent a message into the future, a passionate defense of freedom and a critique of authoritarianism”. Monkman aimed for a similarly powerful effect in Shame and Prejudice.

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Nadine Cohodas: Reconstructing Nina Simone’s Earliest Days

Princess Noire: The Tumultuous Reign of Nina Simone, by Nadine CohodasToday we welcome a guest post from Nadine Cohodas, author of Princess Noire: The Tumultuous Reign of Nina Simone, available in paperback from UNC Press.

Born Eunice Waymon in Tryon, North Carolina, Nina Simone (1933-2003) began her musical life playing classical piano. A child prodigy, she wanted a career on the concert stage, but when the Curtis Institute of Music rejected her, the devastating disappointment compelled her to change direction. She turned to popular music and jazz but never abandoned her classical roots or her intense ambition. By the age of twenty six, Simone had sung at New York City’s venerable Town Hall and was on her way. Tapping into newly unearthed material on Simone’s family and career, Nadine Cohodas paints a luminous portrait of the singer, highlighting her tumultuous life, her innovative compositions, and the prodigious talent that matched her ambition.

Princess Noire is available in both print and ebook editions.

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Reconstructing Nina Simone’s Earliest Days

When the National Trust for Historic Preservation declared the birthplace of Nina Simone a national treasure in June,  the news brought back memories of my first research trips to Tryon, North Carolina 14 years ago for a biography of the singer, Princess Noire: The Tumultuous Reign of Nina Simone.  As efforts to restore the house begin anew,  what we know about the family’s time there can help foster an accurate recreation.

Late in her career, Nina had returned to Tryon to help with  a documentary and pointed the filmmakers to what she thought was her birthplace.  But from interviews with her older siblings, childhood friends and classmates, we determined that she had been mistaken.  Her older brothers and sister helped explain the reason for the confusion.

Before Nina was born February 21, 1933, as Eunice Waymon, her enterprising father, J.D. Waymon, and his wife, Kate, an aspiring preacher, had rented two–possibly three–places in Tryon. A growing family and in one case a fire required the frequent moves. Eventually they and their five children before settled into a small wood frame house on the east side of town, and there Nina was born.

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Nortin M. Hadler, M.D., and Stephen P. Carter, J.D.: Redesigning the American Health Care System

Promoting Worker Health: A New Approach to Employee Benefits in the Twenty-First Century by Nortin M. Hadler, M.D., and Stephen P. Carter, J.D.Today we welcome a guest post from Nortin M. Hadler, M.D., and Stephen P. Carter, J.D., authors of a new open-access pamphlet published by UNC Press, Promoting Worker Health:  A New Approach to Employee Benefits in the Twenty-First Century.

In this extended essay, the authors introduce a new approach to reforming the American health-care system–a plan they call the Universal Workers’ Compensation Model (UWCM). Drawing on Hadler’s expertise as a physician and Carter’s as an attorney, the two have conceived the UWCM as a state-level alternative that would supersede current solutions debated at the national level. At the heart of the UWCM is a broader understanding of what constitutes worker’s health, one grounded in scientific research and cognizant of the wide range of physical and mental illnesses that can afflict workers. The UWCM stipulates a single policy providing rational and reasoned recourse for universal risks: illness, injury, disability, and death.

Presenting their ideas with precision in this 34-page pamphlet, Hadler and Carter intend to spark discussion among health-care providers, insurers, legislators, and everyday citizens about how we might move beyond the limits of the current debate toward new, truly effective solutions.

The full pdf of the pamphlet is available for viewing and downloading on the bookpage.

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Redesigning the American Health Care System

Overtreated, overpriced, over-regulated, and over-legislated: that’s for starters. How about over-screened, over-diagnosed, over-medicalized, over-staffed, over-digitized, and over-litigated? Then there’s unavailable, inaccessible, non-empathic, and even cruel when it comes to the disabled, disallowed, the disaffected and the disavowed. To top it off there’s the American fashion of dying, alone and encumbered by the machinery of futility.

Political pundits and policy wonks point fingers at the mainstream American health care system, sometime more than one finger, often at more than one putative culprit. It’s open season.

The American people and their elected representatives are left on the side-lines to ponder the resulting noise. In addition to the finger pointing, Americans are buffeted by anecdotes from their neighbors; some are true believers and others sling reproach consequent to negative experiences. The national cognitive dissonance is further inflamed by all sorts of agencies bearing gifts and promises or castigating others. No day can dawn without the mustering of campaigns in direct to consumer marketing and the marshalling of pronouncements from all the Elmer Gantrys and sages employed by the media.

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Mushroom of the Month, July 2018: Golden Chanterelle, Cantharellus spp.

A Field Guide to Mushrooms of the CarolinasHere’s the next entry in our monthly series, Mushroom of the Month, brought to you by Michael W. Hopping, co-author of A Field Guide to Mushrooms of the Carolinas:  A Southern Gateways Guide — this month it’s Golden Chanterelle, Cantharellus spp.

Mushrooms in the wild present an enticing challenge: some are delicious, others are deadly, and still others take on almost unbelievable forms. A Field Guide to Mushrooms of the Carolinas introduces 650 mushrooms found in the Carolinas–more than 50 of them appearing in a field guide for the first time–using clear language and color photographs to reveal their unique features.

A Field Guide to Mushrooms of the Carolinas is available now in both print and ebook editions.

Look for more Mushroom of the Month features on the UNC Press Blog in the months ahead.

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Golden Chanterelle, Cantharellus tenuithrix

Golden Chanterelle, Cantharellus tenuithrix (Photo by Michael W. Hopping)

Golden Chanterelle, Cantharellus spp.

Chanterelle is a familiar name to wild mushroom eaters. It’s a catch-all term signifying a type of fruiting body rather than a particular species. Many varieties are choice table fare. Chanterelles occur from coast to coast and Canada to the Gulf of Mexico. A dozen or more species can be found in the Carolinas. Several, just how many is unclear, comprise a group of culinary all-stars commonly known as the “Golden Chanterelle.”

These are chunky, woodland mushrooms that resemble squash blossoms but smell of apricot. The upper surface of a “flower” is 4-7 cm wide at maturity, ranging in color from egg-yellow to bright orange. Undersurfaces of the “petal” and the upper parts of the solid “flower tube” are wrinkled with radial ridges that look like sanded down gills. (True gills have parallel sides and are very thin in relation to their height. The false gills of chanterelles are short, rounded over, often triangular in cross section.) They can either be the same color as the top or, in some young specimens, whitened.

Confusion about the number of Golden Chanterelle species results from scientific progress. Until the last quarter of the 20th century, identifications primarily rested on visible sorts of evidence. Despite variations in the color of Golden Chanterelles, this wasn’t enough to prove the existence of more than a single species, Cantharellus cibarius, originally described from Europe. But mycologists had their suspicions.

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Great Seaside Reads from UNC Press

Beach Reads from UNC Press

As you prepare to head to the beach for the upcoming Fourth of July holiday, don’t forget to take along a couple of UNC Press guidebooks–for great beach reading and shore-line fun.  Whether it’s discovering and identifying seashells and coastal plants, finding the best fishing spots along the NC coast, or reading the dramatic story of the discovery of Blackbeard’s Queen Anne’s Revenge, you are sure to find something delightful to help wile away the hours on the beach, deck or patio.

And, you can get all these books at 40 percent off during our current online promotion.  Just use the promo code 01DAH40 at checkout.  (and if your order totals $75, domestic shipping is free!)

Happy Fourth of July, and Happy Reading!


Seacoast Plants of the CarolinasSeacoast Plants of the Carolinas
A New Guide for Plant Identification and Use in the Coastal Landscape
Paul E. Hosier
Southern Gateways Guides
Published in association with North Carolina Sea Grant
504 pp., 745 color plates., 7 halftones, 2 graphs, 6 tables
ISBN 978-1-4696-4143-0 $28.00 paper

Blackbeard's Sunken PrizeBlackbeard’s Sunken Prize
The 300-Year Voyage of Queen Anne’s Revenge
Mark U. Wilde-Ramsing and Linda F. Carnes-McNaughton
224 pp., 227 color plates., 42 halftones, 14 maps, 3 graphs, 4 tables
ISBN 978-1-4696-4052-5 $28.00 paper

 

Garrity-Blake and Amspacher: Living at the Water's EdgeLiving at the Water’s Edge
A Heritage Guide to the Outer Banks Byway
Barbara Garrity-Blake and Karen Willis Amspacher
Southern Gateways Guides
320 pp., 57 color plates., 54 halftones, 4 (color) maps
ISBN 978-1-4696-2816-5 $22.00 paper

 

North Carolina’s Barrier Islands
Wonders of Sand, Sea, and Sky
David Blevins
200 pp., 152 color plates., 1 map
ISBN 978-1-4696-3249-0 $35.00 cloth

 

Pilkey: Lessons from the Sand: Family-Friendly Science Activities You Can Do on a Carolina BeachLessons from the Sand
Family-Friendly Science Activities You Can Do on a Carolina Beach
Charles O. Pilkey and Orrin H. Pilkey
Southern Gateways Guides
240 pp., 212 color illustrations, 39 figs., 6 maps, 14 tables
ISBN 978-1-4696-2737-3 $19.00 paper

 

NC12: Gateway to the Outer Banksby Dawson CarrNC 12
Gateway to the Outer Banks
Dawson Carr
192 pp., 64 halftones, 4 maps
ISBN 978-1-4696-2814-1 $14.00 paper

 

 

For more great books, visit our Coastal Carolina or Southern Gateways Guides sections on our website.

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A. Wilson Greene: Petersburg’s Emergence from the Shadows

Campaign of Giants, The Battle for Petersburg, Volume 1Today, we welcome a guest post from A. Wilson Greene, author of A Campaign of Giants–The Battle for Petersburg:  Volume 1: From the Crossing of the James to the Crater, just published by UNC Press.

Grinding, bloody, and ultimately decisive, the Petersburg Campaign was the Civil War’s longest and among its most complex. Ulysses S. Grant and Robert E. Lee squared off for more than nine months in their struggle for Petersburg, the key to the Confederate capital at Richmond. Here A. Wilson Greene opens his sweeping new three-volume history of the Petersburg Campaign, taking readers from Grant’s crossing of the James in mid-June 1864 to the fateful Battle of the Crater on July 30. With new perspectives on operational and tactical choices by commanders, the experiences of common soldiers and civilians, and the significant role of the United States Colored Troops in the fighting, this book offers essential reading for all those interested in the history of the Civil War.

A Campaign of Giants is available now in both print and ebook editions.

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Petersburg’s Emergence from the Shadows

In 1973 I started my first history job as a seasonal park ranger at Petersburg National Battlefield. I had finished my degree a year earlier, haven taken every course that pertained to the Civil War era.  I was about to enter graduate school to study further under the renowned T. Harry Williams at LSU, and was proud of owning a substantial and growing library of campaign histories and military biographies.  But I arrived at Petersburg almost as ignorant of the campaign as the thousands of visitors to whom I was to speak that summer.

The explanation was simple. In 1973 there were almost no readily accessible popular treatments of the Petersburg story beyond the overviews provided in general histories by authors such as Bruce Catton, Douglas Southall Freeman, and Allan Nevins.  I wondered about this curious void in the literature, while I devoured the National Park Service’s little official handbook and the special issue on Petersburg from Civil War Times Illustrated during the few days I had to prepare to meet the public.

The campaign for Petersburg had indisputably failed to capture the imagination of Americans to the degree enjoyed by Gettysburg, Antietam, Shiloh, or half-a-dozen other major Civil War battlegrounds.  Perhaps this was because the story is so complex, covering 292 days and 576 square miles of Virginia soil spanning both the James and Appomattox Rivers. Or maybe, back in 1973, Petersburg National Battlefield was a relatively small and neglected unit of the National Park system, protecting and interpreting only a fraction of the historic landscape.  Finally, there existed a pervasive perception that the Petersburg “siege” was devoid of contingency, marked by endless days of stagnant, uninteresting trench warfare at the end of which the demise of the Army of Northern Virginia would be inevitable.

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