Wednesday, November 15

Southern Literature Lecture


The public is invited to the “Literary Manhattan, the Modern Press, and Southern Literature” lecture, 4:30 p.m., Wednesday, Nov. 15, in Gailor Auditorium. Sarah Gardner, Director of The Center for Southern Studies at Mercer University will be the presenter.
Gardner’s talk will be based on the decade’s worth of research she did while writing her just-published book “Reviewing the South: The Literary Marketplace and the Southern Renaissance, 1920-1941” (Cambridge University Press 2017). The book looks at literary works by Southerners, both famous and obscure, from the unusual perspective of book-reviewing. Her argument is that the books themselves, and especially the reviews that interpreted them for the wider literate world, were engaged in the project of imagining the South and explaining it to the rest of the country. The research is prodigious—Gardner has unearthed fascinating but forgotten novels and tracts, then gone deeper, finding out how daily papers, national magazines like Saturday Review and The New Republic, and niche publications like The Chicago Defender and The Crisis, helped the country understand itself by understanding its most distinctive and troubling region.