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.

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

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.

Continue Reading Nadine Cohodas: Reconstructing Nina Simone’s Earliest Days

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.

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

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.

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

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.

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

Miroslava Chavez-Garcia: What Migrant Stories Can Tell Us About Ourselves

Migrant Longing by Chavez-GarciaToday we welcome a guest post from Miroslava Chávez-García, author of Migrant Longing:  Letter Writing across the U.S.-Mexico Borderlands, just published by UNC Press.

Drawing upon a personal collection of more than 300 letters exchanged between her parents and other family members across the U.S.-Mexico border, Miroslava Chávez-García recreates and gives meaning to the hope, fear, and longing migrants experienced in their everyday lives both “here” and “there” (aqui y alla). As private sources of communication hidden from public consumption and historical research, the letters provide a rare glimpse into the deeply emotional, personal, and social lives of ordinary Mexican men and women as recorded in their immediate, firsthand accounts. Chávez-García demonstrates not only how migrants struggled to maintain their sense of humanity in el norte but also how those remaining at home made sense of their changing identities in response to the loss of loved ones who sometimes left for weeks, months, or years at a time, or simply never returned.

Migrant Longing is available now in both print and ebook editions.

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What Migrant Stories Can Tell Us About Ourselves

In the last several weeks, we have seen hundreds, if not thousands, of Central American immigrants and their families fleeing their impoverished and increasingly dangerous countries for the U.S.-Mexico border, hoping to cross to safety. Like immigrants of Mexican origin, many, perhaps most, have family members already in el norte and seek to reunite with them. Many of these families, however, are detained at the border and unable to complete their journey to the United States. Detained, the families are separated, with parents placed in adult facilities and children, infants included, put in makeshift camps, or tent cities, unable to see or hear or know any details about their parents’ whereabouts. Parents, too, are given little information as to their children’s final stopping place. Recent footage from inside the minors’ detention centers have shown the emotional anguish, fear, and violence experienced by the youths. While many voices are crying out for an end to the policy of separating families, calling it an ill-conceived attempt to deter migrants and their families from crossing, the White House administration remains adamant that it is following the law. The administration is not alone. Many Americans, too, support the approach. The national debate over immigration and immigrants is not new, as we have seen many instances of the larger national loathing, vitriol, and hostility directed at migrants, documented and undocumented, young and old, and, today, almost always brown.

They bring crime. They commit crimes. They steal our jobs. They drain our resources. They refuse to be like us. They can never be like us. They don’t belong.”

They bring crime. They commit crimes. They steal our jobs. They drain our resources. They refuse to be like us. They can never be like us. They don’t belong.”

What has been lost in the current debate surrounding immigration and immigrants is the humanity of migrants. We forget that they seek many of the same things most us want and need: safety and security, food and shelter, education and health care, stable families and communities. Their only “crime” is having crossed the border at a time in which Mexicans are unwelcomed, as they were in the 1930s, during the Great Depression. Had they crossed in the 1910s and early 1920s, when the demand for cheap laborers was intense, they would have been ushered in with no questions asked. We forget, too, that they were recruited to work in the United States for much of the twentieth century, especially in the 1940s, ‘50s, and ‘60s, and that they were already here before American migrants from the Midwest and east coast flooded the southwest in 1880s. They are here because their history and experience are intimately bound up in this country’s growth and development.

Continue Reading Miroslava Chavez-Garcia: What Migrant Stories Can Tell Us About Ourselves

Mark Wilde-Ramsing and Linda Carnes-McNaughton: Queen Anne Appears Aboard QAR

Blackbeard's Sunken PrizeToday, we welcome a guest post from Mark Wilde-Ramsing and Linda Carnes-McNaughton, authors of Blackbeard’s Sunken Prize:  The 300-Year Voyage of Queen Anne’s Revenge, just published by UNC Press.

In 1717, the notorious pirate Blackbeard captured a French slaving vessel off the coast of Martinique and made it his flagship, renaming it Queen Anne’s Revenge. Over the next six months, the heavily armed ship and its crew captured all manner of riches from merchant ships sailing the Caribbean to the Carolinas. But in June 1718, with British authorities closing in, Blackbeard reportedly ran Queen Anne’s Revenge aground just off the coast of what is now North Carolina’s Fort Macon State Park. What went down with the ship remained hidden for centuries, as the legend of Blackbeard continued to swell in the public’s imagination. When divers finally discovered the wreck in 1996, it was immediately heralded as a major find in both maritime archaeology and the history of piracy in the Atlantic. Now the story of Queen Anne’s Revenge and its fearsome captain is revealed in full detail.

Blackbeard’s Sunken Prize is available now in both print and ebook editions.

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Queen Anne Appears Aboard QAR

Despite careful site excavations of the Queen Anne’s Revenge wreckage and subsequent detailed disassembly of what has been recovered at the conservation lab, very few items of true monetary value have surfaced from the wreckage of this pirate ship. A finding of some significance which indicates that during the wrecking scene ole Blackbeard carried away the vast majority of moneys snagged from a half dozen merchant ships and their passengers during the Charleston harbor blockade. Despite recovering only 4 silver coins, however, one similar object, a unique brass coin weight, generates a lot of interest and excitement due to its profound and poignant markings. Here’s why we say this.

Queen Anne coin weight. (Courtesy of the North Carolina Department of Natural and Cultural Resources).

Queen Anne coin weight. (Courtesy of the North Carolina Department of Natural and Cultural Resources).

Though small in size, weighing 7.7 grams and not much more than a 1/2 inch in diameter, the Queen Anne coin weight served a significant and regal place aboard Blackbeard’s flagship. It was so named because it featured the profiled portrait of the popular monarch Queen Anne, who ruled England, Scotland and Ireland from 1702 until her death in 1714. On one side appears the embossed letter “ANNA DEI GRATIA” (Latin for Anne by the Grace of God). English monarchs were often shown on coinage in profile, left face or right face, in alternate directions based on succession; so, William III (Anne’s predecessor) was depicted by his right profile, Anne was shown by her left profile, and her successor, George I was shown in right profile, and so on. It was also common for monarchs to be depicted in classical Roman attire (to imitate Emperors), so Anne appeared with a draped bust and a garlanded wreath on her regal head.

Continue Reading Mark Wilde-Ramsing and Linda Carnes-McNaughton: Queen Anne Appears Aboard QAR

A. Wilson Greene: Siege or Campaign? What Should We Call the Battle for Petersburg?

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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Siege or Campaign? What Should We Call the Battle for Petersburg?

The struggle for control of Petersburg, Virginia lasted 292 days: from June 15, 1864 to the city’s surrender on April 3, 1865.  Some might even extend the time to include the failed June 9, 1864 attack.   It was the longest continuous military operation of the Civil War.

Many of the soldiers and officers who participated in the action at Petersburg called it a siege.  Almost all historians refer to it that way, including Petersburg’s leading authority, Dr. Richard J. Sommers, whose magisterial book, Richmond Redeemed, carries the subtitle, The Siege at Petersburg.  The website for Petersburg National Battlefield, the National Park Service area charged with preserving and interpreting Petersburg’s wartime heritage, entitles its home page, “The Siege of Petersburg: The Longest Military Event of the Civil War.”  Ask almost any avocational Civil War student to describe what happened at Petersburg and they will call it a siege.

Fair enough.  The armies in blue and gray expended considerable energy constructing ever-expanding lines of fortifications and spent days on end occupying them, disturbed only by the incessant fire of sharpshooters.  The Army of Northern Virginia and both Federal forces–the Army of the Potomac and the Army of the James—engaged in much less mobile warfare than at any other time in their histories—save the stagnant winter encampments of 1862-63 and 1863-64, when the troops passively faced each other from opposite sides of a river.  The armies’ goals shared much in common with siege warfare: Robert E. Lee sought to defend Petersburg and Richmond, while Ulysses S. Grant aimed to capture Virginia’s two largest cities.

Continue Reading A. Wilson Greene: Siege or Campaign? What Should We Call the Battle for Petersburg?

Hertha D. Sweet Wong: The long history of Native identity, in words and pictures

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 long history of Native identity, in words and pictures

My interest in autobiography in image and text began with my first book on pre-contact modes of indigenous self-narration, Sending My Heart Back Across the Years: Tradition and Innovation in Native American Autobiography. Contrary to European representations of natives as “primitive”–lacking self-conceptions and writing, indigenous people in North America had well developed conceptions of themselves as individuals and peoples prior to the arrival of explorers and settlers. Although the over 300 native languages in America north of Mexico had no alphabet, indigenous people had well-established modes of self-expression. Indigenous pre-literate modes of self-representation and self-narration include petroglyphs carved in in caves and on rocks, picture writing with vegetable dyes on animal hides or tipis, drawing on birch bark scrolls, sewing strands of wampum, porcupine quills or beads, weaving grasses and reeds into story baskets, creating clay story objects, and performing stories orally and kinetically through speech and gesture. In the Southeast, indigenous men tattooed their exploits onto their bodies. Pictography, in fact, was a pan-indigenous mode of communication. When individuals from different culture and language groups traded with each other, picture writing helped them communicate. In the Northern Plains pictography was used as a form of mapping, historical record keeping, and self-narrating. When Europeans encountered pictography, they saw “inferior” art (two-dimensional stick figures lacking perspective), rather than a system of communication. Generally, pictographs had some basic conventions: right-to-left flow of action, flat or two-dimensional figures, detailed ornamentation of warriors to communicate identity and rank, elongated horses, side view, the principle of synecdoche (such as a few horse hooves indicating many horses), and absence of landscape.

Continue Reading Hertha D. Sweet Wong: The long history of Native identity, in words and pictures

Author Interview: A conversation with Mark Wilde-Ramsing and Linda Carnes-McNaughton

Blackbeard's Sunken PrizeYesterday, June 10, marked the 300th anniversary of the grounding of Queen Anne’s Revenge.  The story of the pirate Blackbeard’s ship, and it’s discovery in the waters off Beaufort Inlet, North Carolina, is told by Mark Wilde-Ramsing and Linda Carnes-McNaughton, in Blackbeard’s Sunken Prize:  The 300-Year Voyage of Queen Anne’s Revenge, just published by UNC Press, and available now in both print and ebook editions.

Here, UNC Press publicity director Gina Mahalek interviews the two authors on this notable anniversary.

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Gina Mahalek: June 10, 2018 marks the 300th anniversary of the grounding of Queen Anne’s Revenge (QAR). How did the QAR sink, and why?

Mark Wilde-Ramsing: We know from historical accounts given by some pirates at the scene and from archaeological evidence, Queen Anne’s Revenge grounded at the entrance to Beaufort Inlet (called Topsail Inlet in the old days) and after their hasty abandonment, the ship deteriorated in place slipping under the water and waves, and then into the sand bar itself. The ship had been out to sea for a year and a half, earlier as a French slave ship (Concorde) and later under pirate control and with all that time under sail, it would have been heavy, leaky, and hard to manage through the narrow, shallow, and unmarked inlet channel towards the safe harbor of Beaufort. The concentrated footprint of the wreckage, not much larger than the ship itself, indicates to archaeologists that it grounded and deteriorated in place. The fact that only a few coins and a small amount of gold dust have been recovered indicate there was ample time to save lives and valuables. Some of the pirates accused Blackbeard of sinking the vessel on purpose, for only he and a few comrades reportedly took all the loot, estimated at hundreds of thousands in today’s dollars taken during the raid of Charleston, South Carolina.

Linda Carnes-McNaughton: Two lines of evidence describe the sinking event; first are the eyewitness accounts of those pirates and crewmembers who survived and later gave testimony; second is the archaeological record, which indicates a slow-wrecking event reflective of a ship that became stuck on a hidden sandbar and then heeled over onto its side as the days and weeks passed. We also know that it was a larger vessel than [Blackbeard’s] other fleet ships and was armored with numerous heavy cannons and spare anchors, so once things began to go wrong, there was little chance to save it. As the call to “Abandon Ship” was echoed across the water, everyone got off, some into the water and some in smaller boats (like Blackbeard and 80 others). What is also relatively absent from the shipwreck indicates to us that they took workable weapons, portable personal gear and of course, the valuables as they left their sinking vessel.  Whether the grounding was intentional (as some suspected) or accidental, we can never be totally sure, but as archaeologists, we are certain that what went down that day is what we are left to recover.

Continue Reading Author Interview: A conversation with Mark Wilde-Ramsing and Linda Carnes-McNaughton

Mark Wilde-Ramsing and Linda Carnes-McNaughton : Archaeological Treasure aboard Blackbeard’s Sunken Prize

Today, we welcome a guest post from Mark Wilde-Ramsing and Linda Carnes-McNaughton, authors of Blackbeard’s Sunken Prize:  The 300-Year Voyage of Queen Anne’s Revenge, just published by UNC Press.

In 1717, the notorious pirate Blackbeard captured a French slaving vessel off the coast of Martinique and made it his flagship, renaming it Queen Anne’s Revenge. Over the next six months, the heavily armed ship and its crew captured all manner of riches from merchant ships sailing the Caribbean to the Carolinas. But in June 1718, with British authorities closing in, Blackbeard reportedly ran Queen Anne’s Revenge aground just off the coast of what is now North Carolina’s Fort Macon State Park. What went down with the ship remained hidden for centuries, as the legend of Blackbeard continued to swell in the public’s imagination. When divers finally discovered the wreck in 1996, it was immediately heralded as a major find in both maritime archaeology and the history of piracy in the Atlantic. Now the story of Queen Anne’s Revenge and its fearsome captain is revealed in full detail.

Blackbeard’s Sunken Prize is available now in both print and ebook editions.

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Archaeological Treasure aboard Blackbeard’s Sunken Prize

When archaeologists inventory the assemblage of items left behind at the shipwreck site of Queen Anne’s Revenge (QAR), Blackbeard’s flagship, they can’t help but notice certain items that are seemingly missing, while others are well-represented. For instance, of all the pirate loot known to have been on the ship after it was used to assault colonial shipping and the port of Charleston, only four silver coins and a small amount of gold dust have been found. Yet, sophisticated and top-end navigational, measuring, and medical instruments have been found in abundance. There is a reason for this overall pattern of artifacts, which can be viewed and interpreted by archaeologists through the lens of what we call “abandonment theory.”

In the case of Queen Anne’s Revenge, we know from historical records that as it sailed into Beaufort Inlet along the North Carolina coast, this large, three-masted, square-rigged ship struck a hidden sand bar, and was ultimately wrecked. The abrupt stranding created a situation that induced a common human reaction driven by the need to vacate the scene and surroundings. This can happen whether it is a burning building today, a prehistoric pueblo in a desiccated landscape, or a ship rendered useless on a sand bar. What is left behind at these sites, to be discovered many years later by a team of archaeologists, is a detectable artifact pattern that details how quickly the abandonment took place, how things were prioritized, and who in the group had special status.

Continue Reading Mark Wilde-Ramsing and Linda Carnes-McNaughton : Archaeological Treasure aboard Blackbeard’s Sunken Prize

Mushroom of the Month, June 2018: Painted Suillus, Suillus spraguei

A Field Guide to Mushrooms of the CarolinasContinuing our cool new 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 Painted Suillus, Suillus spraguei.

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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Painted Suillus, Suillus spraguei

Painted Suillus, Suillus spraguei (Photo by Michael W. Hopping)

Painted Suillus, Suillus spraguei

Summer brings bolete season to the mushroom woods. More than a hundred kinds of these fleshy ground-dwellers are native to the Carolinas. Boletes resemble gilled mushrooms when seen from above, but pick one and turn it over. Where the gills ought to be you’ll find an undersurface like sponge rubber shot full of little holes or pores. Some species are erratic fruiters, perhaps appearing for a week or two every third year if and only if a Star Wars sequel rules the box office. Painted Suillus isn’t finicky in that way. Where there is Eastern White Pine, it pops up repeatedly from Memorial Day to Halloween.

Painted Suillus is an edible species with a cap diameter of 4-12 cm. The scruffy, burgundy red cap stands out well against a background of needle duff. Unlike most of its pine specialist cousins these mushrooms are dry, not sticky to the touch. Pores are fairly large, radially arranged, and yellow, bruising reddish brown. They are protected against premature exposure by a fibrous sheet of tissue called a partial veil. This tears away as the mushroom matures, leaving remnants on the cap margin and stalk. Stalks, like the caps, are clothed in red fibrils over a yellow background. The flesh inside both is yellow, often bruising like the pore surface. If Painted Suillus has a detectable smell, it is unpleasantly sharp, like an industrial chemical. That odor intensifies when the mushroom is cooked fresh, probably accounting for the mediocre edibility ratings it often receives. Dried and reconstituted prior to cooking, it does much better. Chopped fine, Painted Suillus imparts a grilled flavor to meats, soups, and sauces.

Continue Reading Mushroom of the Month, June 2018: Painted Suillus, Suillus spraguei

Debbie Moose: Buying and Cooking North Carolina fish and shellfish (with recipe!)

Carolina Catch by Debbie MooseToday we welcome a guest post from Debbie Moose, author of Carolina Catch:  Cooking North Carolina Fish and Shellfish from Mountains to Coast, just published by UNC Press.  Debbie reveals how to find the best North Carolina seafood in season, and also includes a tasty recipe for fried soft-shell crabs.

Early in life, North Carolinian Debbie Moose encountered fish primarily in stick form, but once she experienced her first raw oyster and first fried soft-shell crab, their pure flavors switched her on to shellfish and fish forever. Moose has now written the cookbook that unlocks for everyone the fresh tastes of North Carolina grilled tuna, steamed shrimp, pan-seared mountain trout, fried catfish, and baked littleneck clams, to name just a few of the culinary treasures sourced from the waters of a state that stretches from the mountains to the sea. In ninety-six dishes, Moose shows how to prepare North Carolina fish and shellfish—freshwater, saltwater, wild-caught, and farmed—in both classic southern and inventive, contemporary ways.

Carolina Catch is available now in both print and ebook editions.

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Buying and Cooking North Carolina fish and shellfish

Many people don’t realize that, as with local fruits and vegetables, there is a seasonality to North Carolina fish and shellfish.

Different species of the state’s fish are most plentiful at different times of year, and being aware of peak seasons can help you select the freshest fish and shellfish. And as with a glut of tomatoes at the farmers market in August, when sometimes you can get a deal, knowing when fish markets might be seeing abundant amounts of a particular fish may help you find a lower price on it and stock your freezer.

But the best reason to eat seasonally with North Carolina fish and shellfish is that you’ll enjoy the best-tasting seafood available. You might also get inspired to try a kind of fish you’ve never eaten before.

My husband and I often visit the Outer Banks in the spring, one of the times that “the blues are running,” when bluefish are migrating, hungry and ready to snap at any bait in the water. So we know that bluefish will be a fresh catch of the day on restaurant menus. (I usually go for the catch of the day on chalkboards at coastal restaurants because it’s probably what just came off the boat, fresh and good.)

Continue Reading Debbie Moose: Buying and Cooking North Carolina fish and shellfish (with recipe!)

Remembering Mama Dip: by William Ferris

Many people from all walks of life are mourning the death, on May 20, of Mildred Council, eighty-nine years old and widely known as Mama Dip. Mama Dip was appreciated far and wide, in so many ways, by so many people. Below, we are honored to include the appreciation of Mama Dip given at her memorial service on May 27 by Professor William Ferris, who, with Professor Marcie Cohen Ferris, was a longtime friend of Mama Dip’s and her family. The family asked Bill to speak at the service.

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On Mildred “Mama Dip” Council
May 27, 2019, Chapel Hill Bible Church

Mildred Council (Mama Dip)We know they are eating well in Heaven today.  Saint Peter is saying, “Pass those biscuits, please, Mrs. Council.”

I love to tell my students the African proverb that says “When an old woman or man dies, a library burns to the ground.”  We have lost a truly great library whose wisdom and kindness touched us all.

Mildred “Mama Dip” Council created a sacred space in Chapel Hill where black and white families gathered to enjoy a breakfast of grits, eggs, and fried green tomatoes with hot biscuits and coffee, and lunches and dinners of fried chicken, black eyed peas, squash casserole, cobbler, and sweet tea.

But Mrs. Council offered more than just delicious food. She also shared stories to accompany that food, and those stories came in abundance—always with a lesson. Sitting in her favorite booth near the entrance of the restaurant, Mrs. Council greeted her visitors with a warmth that made the meal complete. Her friendship with my wife Marcie and our family grew and deepened over the past 16 years in ways that profoundly enriched our lives.

She touched so many—from New York Times writers Craig Claiborne and Kim Severson, to each of us gathered here today to pay tribute to her life.  Mildred “Mama Dip” Council was the epicenter of a galaxy of great chefs in the Triangle—in Chapel Hill, Durham, Raleigh, and beyond.

Marcie reminded me that Mrs. Council pioneered the fields of food justice, food access, and food activism.  She cared deeply about education, equity, feeding all in need, and serving her community.  She was part of the generations of African American cooks, caterers, street vendors, domestic workers, and café owners who are the heart of southern foodways.

Mildred Council was a model of achievement as a black woman who raised a beautiful family, created a successful business, and gave back to her community in powerful ways.  She provided a safe haven in her restaurant where black and white families ate together, and racial barriers were wiped away in the presence of food and her powerful voice.

I love to remind friends that the Encyclopedia of Southern Culture, which I co-edited, is the number 2 best seller for the University of North Carolina Press—after Mama Dip’s Kitchen, which has sold over 250,000 copies.

Mrs. Council dedicated her book “To the girls—Norma, Julia, Sandra, Annette, and Anita—for housekeeping while I worked; to the boys—Geary, Joe, and William—for caddying at the golf course to help put food on the table; to Roy for being the house dad; and to my 20 grandchildren and 16 great-grandchildren with love.  May God bless you all.”

In her opening “Grace” in Mama Dip’s Kitchen, Mrs. Council spoke from her heart when she wrote: “We don’t eat flowers, but I plant them in my garden with the thought of life and beauty….When you see a bundle of flowers, your eyes light up….Flowers are like…people because there are so many kinds and colors and different names for them.”

For the past 16 years, each December I have treated students in my Southern Music class to breakfast at Mama Dip’s Restaurant, after which Mrs. Council spoke to the class. She told my students how she received her nickname “Dip” as a young girl because she was tall and could lean over and dip water from the barrel at her home when her siblings were thirsty.

For 89 years Mildred “Mama Dip” Council dipped water from the barrel of kindness and quenched the thirst in each of us.  She helped us see a kinder, gentler world.  Her voice will always live within those who were privileged to know her, to hear her familiar laugh, to eat at the table where she made this world a better place than she found it.  For that, we are the richer.

We all say, “Thank you, Mama Dip, for the kindness you served that will nourish us in the days and years to come.”

William Ferris
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

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More UNC Press blog posts about Mama Dip through the years can be found here.

Remembering Mama Dip: by Elaine Maisner, Executive Editor, UNC Press

Remembering Mama Dip

Mildred Council (Mama Dip)Many people from all walks of life are mourning the death, on May 20, of Mildred Council, eighty-nine years old and widely known as Mama Dip. Mama Dip was appreciated far and wide, in so many ways, by so many people.  I’d like to take the opportunity to offer a remembrance of my own, as the UNC Press editor who acquired Ms. Council’s cookbooks, Mama Dip’s Kitchenpublished in 1999 and now the Press’s best-selling title to date–and Mama Dip’s Family Cookbook (2005), also a best-seller.

In my role as editor, I had the opportunity to learn first-hand of Ms. Council’s creativity, entrepreneurship, and concern for people of all types. But one of the most eye-opening things I learned from Mama Dip was something that I came to think of as the nature of fame.

Ms. Council’s first book came to my attention as a manuscript with tons of potential, though no one knew at the time, as is par for the course in publishing, just how much potential. Once published, the book took off quickly. And once QVC, the broadcast television network, started inviting her on set to pitch Mama Dip’s Kitchen, the sales entered the stratosphere, going at 1,000 copies a minute in real time.

That’s when I noticed that, no matter how much success Ms. Council had, she remained her steady self. So far as I ever saw, she was thoroughly even-tempered, highly reserved, and exceedingly observant of others. She expressed herself efficiently and was deeply appreciative of the assistance that so many people wanted to give her as both a long-time community leader and, then, as Crook’s Corner chef Bill Smith put it, as a celebrity chef before there were celebrity chefs.

Continue Reading Remembering Mama Dip: by Elaine Maisner, Executive Editor, UNC Press

Hendrik Hartog: What’s in a Word

The Trouble with Minna, by Hendrik HartogToday we welcome a guest post from Hendrik Hartog, author of The Trouble with Minna:  A Case of Slavery and Emancipation in the Antebellum North, just published by UNC Press.

In this intriguing book, Hendrik Hartog uses a forgotten 1840 case to explore the regime of gradual emancipation that took place in New Jersey over the first half of the nineteenth century. In Minna’s case, white people fought over who would pay for the costs of caring for a dependent, apparently enslaved, woman. Hartog marks how the peculiar language mobilized by the debate—about care as a “mere voluntary courtesy”—became routine in a wide range of subsequent cases about “good Samaritans.” Using Minna’s case as a springboard, Hartog explores the statutes, situations, and conflicts that helped produce a regime where slavery was usually but not always legal and where a supposedly enslaved person may or may not have been legally free.

The Trouble with Minna is available now in both print and ebook editions.

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What’s in a Word

In The Trouble with Minna I work to describe a legal regime — New Jersey’s regime of gradual emancipation — that lived on for the better part of two generations, close to 70 years. During those years slavery and freedom jostled together. Longstanding “vested” recognitions of the legitimacy of property in persons confronted strongly held, increasingly ubiquitous, understandings of the moral unjustifiability of owning people. In the stories I have reconstructed, both sides are there, all the time. And together they helped constitute New Jersey’s regime of gradual emancipation.

I have been asked how to characterize this regime. I fear I have not yet found the right word. “Liminal” is too fuzzy and too academic. “Transitional” is exactly wrong, in its suggestion of an inevitable movement from one state of being — one side — to another. As are “evolving” and “evolutionary.” Those who lived in New Jersey during the first half of the nineteenth century might or might not have believed that the world they lived in was naturally transitioning towards something different, say a world without slavery. (No more than free trade and borderless cosmopolitanism constitute the regime to which we are naturally evolving or transitioning to today.)

Continue Reading Hendrik Hartog: What’s in a Word

Remembering Mama Dip: by Gina Mahalek, Publicity Director, UNC Press

Remembering Mama Dip

Mildred Council (Mama Dip)As UNC Press’s Publicity Director, I had the privilege of working with Mildred Council, who passed away on May 20, 2018 at the age of 89, on promoting Mama Dip’s Kitchen (UNC Press’s best selling title of all time) and the classic Mama Dip’s Family Cookbook.  This included being Mama Dip’s media escort on many of her trips to sell her books on the QVC shopping channel whose studios are located in West Chester, PA. She and I would fly to Philadelphia (it was not at all unusual for her to be recognized in the airport there), meet our limo, check into our hotel, and then arrive at QVC to get ready for the broadcast—usually on QVC host (and UNC Chapel Hill alumnus) David Venable’s show: “In the Kitchen with David.”

David Venable with Mama Dip, live QVC Road Trip broadcast, Chapel Hill, 2015

David Venable with Mama Dip, live QVC Road Trip broadcast, Chapel Hill, 2015

Invariably, David’s recounting of Mama Dip’s story, how she parlayed $64 into a $135 profit in a single day and launched her career as a restaurateur, charmed viewers and got the orders flowing.

I viewed the broadcast from the QVC green room, which was outfitted with sales monitors that allowed me to witness the thrilling real time event of watching how many thousands of copies of her books Mama Dip could sell in just a few minutes. She would stand before a table groaning with expertly plated and styled recipes from her book. Sales would spike when David Venable showed a slice of her trademark pecan pie, topped with a swirl of whipped cream, and garnished with a mint leaf, and then took a bite, pronouncing it perfection. Her consistent ability to sell 10,000 books in a single show made her a bona fide QVC star, and we’d head back to Chapel Hill in triumph.

So, I had the rare opportunity to really get to know Mildred Council and to talk with her about many things, large and small, and our friendship grew and deepened during these trips—some of which lasted several days. She was always calm, thoughtful, and kind—and completely unimpressed by celebrity—her own, or anyone else’s. When asked about the important people who dined at Mama Dip’s, her Chapel Hill restaurant, she replied, “All of my customers are important.”

Mama Dip at the QVC Studios, West Chester, PA in 2005

Mama Dip at the QVC Studios, West Chester, PA in 2005

But I did, once, see her truly moved. On a late August day in 2005, she and I had a little downtime between her QVC appearances, and we decided to spend what turned out to be a perfect August day at Longwood Gardens—a 400-acre showcase that was just a short drive from the QVC studios and renowned for its horticultural displays. Mildred and I spent several hours exploring seemingly every footpath of the gardens, ending our visit at the 4-acre Conservatory, which was brimful with orchids of every variety and color imaginable. Mildred clasped her hands, flashed her trademark smile, and cried out “Orchids! Orchids!” as we took in all the beauty around us. It was a joyful and happy day—and the only time that I ever saw Ms. Dip truly impressed.

That Christmas, I got a call from Mama Dip’s daughter, Spring Council, at the restaurant, asking me to stop by because Mama Dip had something for me. When I got there, she presented me with a jar of her famous damson plum jelly—from fruit that had ripened that August. She said, “This is a gift from me, to you.”

Thank you, Mama Dip, for the gift of your friendship and the many things you taught me along the way. I will always treasure your memory.

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More UNC Press blog posts about Mama Dip through the years can be found here.

Courtney Elizabeth Knapp: Trumpism and Anarchist Problem Solving

Constructing the Dynamo of Dixie by Courtney Elizabeth KnappToday we welcome a guest post from Courtney Elizabeth Knapp, author of Constructing the Dynamo of Dixie:  Race, Urban Planning, and Cosmopolitanism in Chattanooga, Tennessee, just published from UNC Press.

What can local histories of interracial conflict and collaboration teach us about the potential for urban equity and social justice in the future? Courtney Elizabeth Knapp chronicles the politics of gentrification and culture-based development in Chattanooga, Tennessee, by tracing the roots of racism, spatial segregation, and mainstream “cosmopolitanism” back to the earliest encounters between the Cherokee, African Americans, and white settlers. By weaving together archival, ethnographic, and participatory action research techniques, she reveals the political complexities of a city characterized by centuries of ordinary resistance to racial segregation and uneven geographic development.

Constructing the Dynamo of Dixie is available now in both print and ebook editions.

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Trumpism and Anarchist Problem Solving: Forging Mutuality when Government Fails

The Trump administration’s preoccupation with “deconstructing the administrative state” is making it increasingly difficult for governments to fulfill their most basic social functions.  On May 23, 2017, the White House released its FY 2018 budget, which proposed the elimination of 66 federal programs, including many programs that fund local urban planning and community development activities.  For example, the budget proposes $6.82 billion in cuts to Housing and Urban Development (US HUD) programs alone (from FY 2017 funding levels).  This includes the total elimination of the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) and HOME programs, a 67.6% reduction of the Public Housing Capital Fund, 11% reduction in public housing operating funds, and a nearly one-billion dollar cut in the Housing Choice Voucher Program.  Other proposed cuts relevant to urban planners include, but are not limited to, a $633 million reduction in Commerce Department spending, including the elimination of the Economic Development Administration and Minority Business Development Agency, and a $499 elimination of the National Infrastructure Investments (TIGER) program.

How will ordinary communities respond to the draconian and revanchist politics of the Trump era? Will we despair, or resort to zero-sum infighting? Perhaps instead we will collaborate to discover and create new relationships, resources, and opportunity structures capable of sustaining communities in the absence of traditional governmental support.

Continue Reading Courtney Elizabeth Knapp: Trumpism and Anarchist Problem Solving