Lindsey A. Freeman: The Uncanny Bohemia in Black Mountain

When the Black Mountain School began last summer, many folks were skeptical of this new school growing up in the ghostly space of the old. The site had what Michel de Certeau calls “an uncanniness of the already there,” a feeling of the past that is so familiar in a space that it overpowers the present, making unknown places feel known. Ragan and Void have since changed the name of their experiment in education to School of the Alternative. Even with the name switch, the inspiration of the original BMC shines through. A pedagogical sensibility clearly exists between the old avant-garde school and the new one. This can be seen in classes such as: Lose Your Mind and Come to Your Senses, which promises instruction in Fluxus methodologies, mindfulness, and chance operations; Giant Loom Weaving, which is just what it sounds like and takes place outdoors; and Tablows Vivant, which, according to the course description, is “a series of posed scenes to communicate a story or idea. In between each scene is a mini dance party. At night, with dramatic lighting! With some bodies involved.” Continue Reading Lindsey A. Freeman: The Uncanny Bohemia in Black Mountain

Brian L. Tochterman: Birth of a Vigilante

As I argue in The Dying City this was a fantasy universe with critical consequences for the real world. Normalizing the vigilante was one key contingency of Spillane’s bestselling writing. Hammer was by no means the first, he’s preceded in time and succeeded in fame by Batman among others, but he did demonstrate that the vigilante no longer had to hide behind a mask or escape into a cave. He could operate in public, carry a private detective’s shield and a licensed gun and kill suspected criminals because “I like to shoot those dirty bastards.” In my book I connect Hammer with his filmic counterparts in 1970s New York, in particular Paul Kersey (Charles Bronson) of Death Wish, and their unfortunate 1980s analogues like Bernard Goetz, the so-called subway vigilante, or the teenage terrorists of Howard Beach, Queens. Continue Reading Brian L. Tochterman: Birth of a Vigilante

The History of Juneteenth: 5 Facts You Need to Know

Juneteenth is a celebration of the Emancipation Proclamation, given by President Abraham Lincoln, that declared freedom for all slaves in states still in rebellion. Continue Reading The History of Juneteenth: 5 Facts You Need to Know

Bridgette A. Lacy: Father’s Day Memories

As we approach Father’s Day, I am transported to his backyard garden. Some of my favorite moments with my Papa were made in that sacred space where vegetables, fruits, and flowers grew. Continue Reading Bridgette A. Lacy: Father’s Day Memories

Interview: Sandra Gutierrez on The New Southern-Latino Table

Author Sandra Gutierrez talks with publicist Catherine Cheney about her award-winning book, The New Southern-Latino Table: Recipes That Bring Together the Bold and Beloved Flavors of Latin America and the American South. Continue Reading Interview: Sandra Gutierrez on The New Southern-Latino Table

Nancy Tomes: Remarks from the Bancroft Awards Dinner

Thinking about those issues was like entering a funhouse with distorted mirrors: people used the same words—patient, consumer, choice, value—and meant very different things by them. In search of the origins of this strange concept of the “patient as consumer,” I kept going back further and further, looking for where it came from. The roots turned out to be a lot earlier than I expected: the 1920s and 1930s, not the 1970s. Continue Reading Nancy Tomes: Remarks from the Bancroft Awards Dinner

Video: Randy Johnson on the best ways to explore Grandfather Mountain

Randy Johnson, author of Grandfather Mountain: The History and Guide to an Appalachian Icon, suggests the best ways to explore the mountain in this interview with Carolina Today. Continue Reading Video: Randy Johnson on the best ways to explore Grandfather Mountain

Stephen Cushman on a Tale of Two Surrenders

What about the second major surrender, that of Confederate general Joseph E. Johnston to U.S. general William T. Sherman, at a farmhouse between Hillsborough and Durham Station, North Carolina? There were several smaller, later surrenders, too, the last of them that of the C.S.S. Shenandoah by Captain James Waddell to a captain of the British Royal Navy in Liverpool on November 6, 1865. But the negotiations initiated by Johnston—in a letter written April 13 and received by Sherman April 14, which was also Good Friday and the same day John Wilkes Booth shot Abraham Lincoln in Ford’s Theater—led to the largest surrender of the war. Although more than 30,000 soldiers in the Army of Tennessee surrendered in North Carolina (fewer Army of Northern Virginia veterans were paroled at Appomattox), in fact the terms signed by Johnston and Sherman officially disbanded Confederate units fighting in North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida, putting the number of soldiers involved close to 90,000.

Why do most of us hear and know so much less about this surrender, the largest of the war? Continue Reading Stephen Cushman on a Tale of Two Surrenders

Lindsey A. Freeman: On the Anniversary of Fukushima

I am in one of the uncanniest locations to learn of this tragedy on the other side of the globe. Richland was the bedroom community for scientists, engineers, and managers working at the Hanford Site, a top-secret complex created for the Manhattan Project. After the war, Hanford was a key location for nuclear bomb production during the Cold War. Now the site is mostly dedicated to cleaning up after those nuclear adventures. Continue Reading Lindsey A. Freeman: On the Anniversary of Fukushima

2015 African American History Month Reading List

The study of African American history is a year-round endeavor for UNC Press, but in honor of African American History Month, we’d like to highlight the great new work we’ve been able to publish in this field recently. Here are books on African American history, culture, and modern society from UNC Press over the past year, plus a few that will be available later this spring and are available for pre-order now. Continue Reading 2015 African American History Month Reading List

Meet the Families Represented in ‘Tobe’: A 75th Anniversary Event

To celebrate Tobe’s seventy-fifth anniversary, historian Benjamin Filene, director of public history at UNC Greensboro, will moderate a panel called “Voices of Tobe,” featuring special guest appearances by several individuals from Tobe, their descendants, and members of their community. Continue Reading Meet the Families Represented in ‘Tobe’: A 75th Anniversary Event

NC Literary Festival Featuring Appearances from UNC Press Authors

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

Help Bring the Scots-Irish Music of Appalachia to Life

UNC Press needs your help in a matching funds challenge to pay for inserting music CDs in a forthcoming book about the Scots-Irish music of Appalachia. Continue Reading Help Bring the Scots-Irish Music of Appalachia to Life

Oscars 2014: History in Pictures

We would like to congratulate all of last night’s Oscar winners, but there are a few winners who are especially close to our hearts at UNC Press. After the dust of pre-Oscar predictions settled, Twelve Years a Slave arose victorious last night winning the Oscar for Best Picture, Best Actress in a Supporting Role, and Best Adapted Screenplay. When director Steve McQueen accepted the Oscar he said, “Everyone deserves not just to survive but to live,” and we could not be more happy that such an important film has received the recognition it deserves. Continue Reading Oscars 2014: History in Pictures

E. Patrick Johnson’s ‘Sweet Tea’ on stage in Durham

Author, actor, and activist E. Patrick Johnson is bringing his one-man show Sweet Tea: Black Gay Men of the South (based on his award-winning book of the same name) to Durham. Continue Reading E. Patrick Johnson’s ‘Sweet Tea’ on stage in Durham

Join us on Twitter for a #FreetoBe40 event with Lori Rotskoff

It’s a Twitter event! This Wednesday, December 12, from 9-10 pm EST join @LoriRotskoff, @uncpressblog, and @MamaDramaNY for a Twitter celebration and discussion of the 40th anniversary of Free to Be…You and Me, the popular nonsexist children’s album/book/TV special that has helped shape the childhoods and parenting practices of generations. Continue Reading Join us on Twitter for a #FreetoBe40 event with Lori Rotskoff

Tobe: Tracking down the storybook family

Where are they now? Historian Benjamin Filene seeks information about the people involved in the 1939 children’s book “Tobe,” about an African American sharecropping family in NC. Continue Reading Tobe: Tracking down the storybook family

UNC Press at the Southern Festival of Books: Nashville takes us by storm

Liveblog of UNC Press’s weekend at the Southern Festival of Books October 12-14, 2012, Nashville, TN. Featuring authors, mistaken identity, great food, and gale-force winds. Continue Reading UNC Press at the Southern Festival of Books: Nashville takes us by storm

Congratulations to Dylan C. Penningroth, 2012 MacArthur Fellow

Today we’re excited to announce that historian Dylan C. Penningroth has been awarded a 2012 MacArthur Foundation Fellowship. Penningroth is the author of The Claims of Kinfolk. Continue Reading Congratulations to Dylan C. Penningroth, 2012 MacArthur Fellow