Thursday, October 20, 2011

National tour dates for Mark Auslander, author of The Accidental Slaveowner

This fall, and into the new year, Mark Auslander will be appearing at numerous events in five states and the District of Columbia to speak about his new book, THE ACCIDENTAL SLAVEOWNER. Praised by historian James Campbell as a "beautiful, haunting book," THE ACCIDENTAL SLAVEOWNER traces the competing myths that have grown up around the historical figure "Miss Kitty"—a woman in antebellum Georgia who, many believe, was offered freedom but chose to remain a slave. Auslander explores why this story has proved so fascinating to white and African American tellers and hearers across the generations and what it has signified at different historical moments, from the eve of the Civil War, through the Jim Crow era, during the Civil Rights movement, and in the current moment.

Mark Auslander at the Miss Kitty Memorial Tablet,
Oxford Cemetery, Oxford, GA
Read the announcement about Auslander's October 24 event at Emory University.
—For a revealing Q&A with Auslander, in which he discusses his first encounter with "Miss Kitty" and his efforts to find her living relatives, go to our latest Inside UGA Press newsletter (see page 8).
—Hear Auslander speak about "Miss Kitty" (whose real name is Catherine Boyd) in a video taken during a conference held earlier this year at Emory University.

Tour Dates:
Check our events calendar for lots more details on each event listed below—and for newly added events as the national tour progresses.

Sun Oct 23, 2011
4:00pm – 5:00pm
Covington, GA: Bethlehem Church House

Mon Oct 24, 2011
4:00pm – 6:00pm
Atlanta, GA: Emory University, Jones Room, Woodruff Library

Tue Oct 25, 2011
4:00pm – 5:00pm
Oxford, GA: Tarbutton Theater, Oxford College at Emory University

Tue Oct 25, 2011
7:00pm – 8:00pm
Atlanta, GA: Auburn Avenue Research Library

Wed Oct 26, 2011
12:00pm – 1:00pm
Selma, AL: Selma-Dallas County Public Library

Wed Oct 26, 2011
4:30pm – 5:30pm
Tuscaloosa, AL: Lloyd Hall, University of Alabama

Thu Oct 27, 2011
3:30pm – 4:30pm
Chapel Hill, NC: Bull's Head Bookshop

Fri Oct 28, 2011
4:00pm – 5:00pm
Washington, DC: Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History

Sat Oct 29, 2011
5:00pm – 7:00pm
Washington, DC: Busboys & Poets (5th and K location)

Thu Nov 10, 2011
4:00pm – 5:00pm
Boston, MA: Boston University

Fri Nov 11, 2011
4:00pm – 5:00pm
Waltham, MA: Rose Art Museum, Brandeis University

Thu Feb 2, 2012
Augusta, GA: Augusta-Richmond County Library

Sat Feb 4, 2012
Seattle, WA: Seattle University

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

UGA hosts UnCivil Wars conference and launches companion book series

This weekend, leading historians and rising stars in the environmental history of the Civil War era will gather in Athens for the third annual UnCivil Wars conference, entitled “The Blue, the Gray and the Green: Toward an Environmental History of the Civil War.”

This month also marks the launch of WEIRDING THE WAR, the first volume in the UnCivil Wars series. The book is published by the University of Georgia Press and edited by UGA associate professor of history Stephen Berry.

The book, the series and the conference all seek to develop new ways of seeing and telling the Civil War, in part by focusing on unconventional social types and also by presenting history through compelling narrative strategies such as memory, reverse chronology, snapshots and glimpses, multiple perspectives, or microhistory. The conferences, which assemble senior and junior scholars in odd years and graduate students in even years, are shaped around a relevant theme developed by the participants.

As historian Edward L. Ayers noted in reference to Weirding the War, “saying something truly new about the American Civil War seems impossible,” but scholars participating in the conference use the opportunity of coming together with colleagues to challenge each other to find fresh approaches and to develop their ways of telling stories and of building broader insights out of interesting concepts.

Through the conversations made possible by the conference, which is co-sponsored by the UGA History Department, the T.R.R. Cobb House, and the Watson-Brown Foundation, series editors Stephen Berry and Amy Murrell Taylor will seek out book projects with big hooks, high concepts, strong narrative, and lively prose for consideration by the University of Georgia Press.

Next in line for publication, in Spring 2012, is Megan Kate Nelson’s Ruin Nation, which examines the surprising ways in which the destruction of cities, houses, trees and men provided common ground for American thinking about the war despite the extreme national divisiveness over other questions.

Monday, October 17, 2011

2011 Bartram Trail Conference

William Bartram by Charles Wilson Peale
(courtesy Independence National
Historical Park Collection)
Calling all hikers, nature lovers, gardeners, historians, archaeologists, literary and scientific scholars, botanists, biologists, birders, environmentalists, members of historical and gardening organizations, those with a commitment to historic and environmental education and preservation, and readers:

The Bartram Trail Conference will hold its biannual meeting October 21-23, 2011 in Macon, Georgia. William Bartram, known as America’s first native born naturalist and artist, set out in 1773 on a four-year journey through the southeastern colonies of the Carolinas, Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Tennessee. His resulting work, Travels, became a piece of classic American literature. The Bartram Trail Conference works to identify and mark Bartram’s journey, to promote interest in developing recreational trails and botanical gardens along his route, and to encourage the study, preservation, and interpretation of his legacy.  The meeting is hosted by Mercer University, Macon State University, and the Macon Museum of Arts and Sciences, and is open to all members of the public.

One of the many Bartram Trail markers
found across the Southeast
(courtesy Garden Club of Georgia)
Bartram’s dual love of exploring nature and writing is shared by several UGA Press authors, including Janisse Ray (DRIFING INTO DARIEN) and John Lane (MY PADDLE TO THE SEA), both of whom have new books about paddles on southeastern rivers. Another recent book, WILLIAM BARTRAM, THE SEARCH FOR NATURE'S DESIGN, edited by Thomas Hallock and Nancy E. Hoffmann, expands readers’ view of Bartram through art, letters, and unpublished manuscripts. Ray, Lane, and Hallock, who serves as President of the Bartram Trail Conference, will be at this year’s meeting.

Janisse Ray will hold a pre-conference workshop on Friday, October 21 and will also be reading at the opening event on Friday evening. Panel participants on Saturday, October 22 will include Ray, Lane, and Hallock, as well as UGA Press authors Dorinda Dallmeyer (ELEMENTAL SOUTH), and Philip Juras (THE SOUTHERN FRONTIER). Also on the program are David S. Shields, editor of the Press series Publications of the Southern Texts Society and Sarah V. Ross, Senior Scientific Advisor to the Press.

Members of the Bartram Trail Conference
at the Paynes Prairie stables in October 2009
(courtesy Bartram Trail Conference)

For more information about the conference and registration visit; options are available for those who only wish to attend part of the conference. For more on Bartram’s journey, check out THE TRAVELS OF WILLIAM BARTRAM, edited by Francis Harper, and AN OUTDOOR GUIDE TO BARTRAM'S TRAVELS, by Charles D. Spornick, Alan R. Cattier, and Robert J. Greene.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Short Takes

Nina Totenberg reviews ELBERT PARR TUTTLE on "In her thorough and engaging biography of Tuttle, Georgia State University law professor Anne Emanuel has documented Tuttle's extraordinary life. For those interested in America's racial history and transformation, this book is a must— a tour de force, covering not just Tuttle but the often violent times he lived in."

Starred review in Publishers Weekly for Vincent Carretta's new biography PHILLIS WHEATLEY.

The Charlotte Observer features Mike Dorcas and a very, very, very large snake on the occasion of the launch of INVASIVE PYTHONS OF THE UNITED STATES at Charlotte's Discovery Place.

A Q and A with David Vann on Inside Higher Ed about his account of the NIU school shooter, LAST DAY ON EARTH: "If universities really want to limit shootings, they’ll have to take a lot of steps that I can’t imagine them taking."

An interview with Charles Reagan Wilson about FLASHES OF A SOUTHERN SPIRIT aired on Mississippi Arts Hour on Mississippi Public Broadcasting and is now available as a podcast.

Washington Post on LITERARY CAPITAL.

Janisse Ray's DRIFTING INTO DARIEN in Atlanta Magazine and Library Journal: "In flowing, lyrical prose, Ray calls for increased safeguards for the Altamaha River, noting that its gifts—its moments, as she describes them—should be preserved for all time." Or, as the review in Flagpole puts it, "Ray is pissed, and believes you should be, too."

W. Fitzhugh Brundage calls WEIRDING THE WAR "an excellent collection with a terrible title" in the Civil War Monitor.

Mark Auslander recalls the "Mammy Memorial Movement" in a guest post on History News Network connected with his new book, THE ACCIDENTAL SLAVEOWNER.

Architectural Record on BLOOMBERG'S NEW YORK

Charles Horner and RISING CHINA on the John Batchelor Show

"Novelists might envy such a powerful, if disturbing, beginning — but the story Armstrong tells is all too true": St. Petersburg Times on Julie Buckner Armstrong's MARY TURNER AND THE MEMORY OF LYNCHING.

Congratulations to Linda LeGarde Grover, who has won this year's Janet Heidinger Kafka Prize from the University of Rochester's Susan B. Anthony Institute for her Flannery O'Connor Short Fiction Award-winning collection THE DANCE BOOTS. The award calls attention to the work of a promising but less established woman writer, and past winners have included Anne Tyler, Ann Patchett, Ursula Le Guin, and Toni Morrison, each before achieving fame.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Q&A and video with the authors of Invasive Pythons in the United States

Michael E. Dorcas and John D. Willson are the authors of INVASIVE PYTHONS IN THE UNITED STATES, which Harvard biologist E. O. Wilson calls “a much-needed examination of the growing impact of Burmese pythons as an invasive species in the United States.” In our latest newsletter, Inside UGA Press, Dorcas and Willson discuss the new book with editor Laura Sutton.

Sutton: Are we going to see pythons in Georgia anytime soon?

Willson: This is the most controversial aspect of the python situation. I think the short answer is that it is pretty unlikely that we’ll see pythons in Georgia anytime soon. If they can expand from Florida, it will take quite a while for the population to work its way north. How far north they can go is hotly debated and still remains an unknown. Certainly in their native range, they do inhabit some fairly temperate areas, such as central China and the foothills of the Himalayas in India and Nepal. We conducted a study in South Carolina where we brought pythons from Florida and wintered them in central South Carolina, and they did not survive.

Dorcas: There are multiple issues related to this question that we really don’t have answers for. For a lot of the snakes and also for most of the pythons that died in South Carolina, the reason they died was behavior, and the rate at which that behavior can evolve is unknown. The other thing we don’t know about is their origin. The snakes in Florida were clearly acclimated to Florida temperatures and climate. We don’t know what their ability to survive would have been if they had been raised in South Carolina. Typically when discussing this issue, people are talking about the spread of pythons from south Florida to more temperate areas, but there is also the possibility that additional populations could be established through release or escape into other parts of the southeastern United States.

Read the full Q&A on page 9 of our newsletter.

See Mike Dorcas and his students talk about their research while holding a giant python in this video.

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Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Fall Book Events in Athens

The University of Georgia Press invites you to the following fall events in Athens -- all are free and open to the public.

Tuesday, October 11
7:00 pm, Seney-Stovall Chapel, 201 N. Milledge Ave
Janisse Ray, author of Ecology of a Cracker Childhood, reads from her new book on the Altamaha River, DRIFTING INTO DARIEN. Cosponsored by UGA's Environmental Ethics Certificate Program, The Georgia Review, Georgia River Network, Oconee River Project of the Altamaha Riverkeeper, Southern Nature Project, and the University of Georgia Libraries.

Thursday, October 20
3:30 pm, Ecology Building, Auditorium Room 201
Bert Way discusses CONSERVING SOUTHERN LONGLEAF, about the approach to ecological conservation developed in the Red Hills region of south Georgia and north Florida. Reception to follow. Cosponsors: Joseph W. Jones Ecological Research Center, UGA’s Department of History, UGA’s Odum School of Ecology, and UGA’s Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources.

Friday, Nov. 4
3:00-5:00 pm, The Georgia Center, Pecan Gallery
Sonny Seiler and Kent Hannon sign copies of DAMN GOOD DOGS!,
an updated edition of the classic history of UGA's bulldog mascots with new material on Uga VI, Uga VII, Uga VIII, and Russ

Thursday, Nov. 10 and Friday, Nov. 11
9:00 am-4:00 pm and 9:00 am-3:00 pm, Tate Student Center Plaza
Buy slightly damaged books at deep discounts at the University of Georgia Press’s Dirty Book Sale.

Wednesday, November 16
7:00 pm, Cine, 234 W. Hancock Ave.
Joint book launch and film premier featuring John Lane, author of MY PADDLE TO THE SEA, and UGA filmmaker Chris Cogan, director of "River Time". See film trailer at

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Melinda Moustakis named a National Book Foundation "5 Under 35" Young Fiction Author

Congratulations to Melinda Moustakis, named one of the National Book Foundation's "5 under 35" authors for this year! Her debut collection of stories set in Alaska, BEAR DOWN, BEAR NORTH, won the Flannery O'Connor Short Fiction Award and was released in September.

Now in its sixth year, the "5 Under 35" celebration of young fiction writers is the kickoff event for National Book Awards week. On Monday, November 14, at powerHouse Arena in Brooklyn, Moustakis will join fellow authors Shani Boianjiu, Danielle Evans, Mary Beth Keane, and John Corey Whaley for an event hosted by filmmaker, actor, writer and visual artist John Waters and DJed by poet and National Book Award finalist Patricia Smith. Finalists for the National Book Award will read November 15 and the awards will be presented November 16.

BEAR DOWN, BEAR NORTH has received starred reviews from Publishers Weekly ("In this sharply-crafted debut collection, Moustakis invites readers into a world filled with gruff characters, breathtaking wilderness, and a fierceness of spirit as crisp as the Alaskan winter") and Booklist ("The Kenai is the lifeblood that flows through Moustakis’ arrestingly concise, subtly poetic, and piercing short stories about several generations of an extended family.")

Moustakis is currently a visiting assistant professor at Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma, Washington. She will be featured in two Alaska Book Week events in Anchorage next week: a discussion with former Flannery O'Connor Short Fiction Award winner Frank Soos and a workshop at 49 Alaska Writing Center.