Monday, March 31, 2014

Announcing a new film and media series

The University of Georgia Press is pleased to announce a new film and media series, The South on Screen. The series explores representations of the South—its histories, cultures, and politics, and its dynamics of race, gender, and class—in film and television, from the beginning of the twentieth century to the present. Monographs and edited collections in the series draw from the disciplines of film, media studies, history, economics, and cultural studies, offering a deep-focused but wide-ranging lens through which the South can be examined in cinema.

Though the American film business initially took root and flourished in the industrialized northeast and the west coast, filmmakers in this new medium soon became preoccupied with cultural questions and themes that resonated with the South. The South was then promoting itself as “new” and underwent, on a smaller scale than the North, the urbanization that made for a marketplace suited to the exhibition of the “picture shows” whose popularity and profitability were continually expanding in America’s cities. From its earliest moments onward, the movie industry catered to southern audiences and on southern themes. Indeed, the South has inspired a number of cinema’s landmarks, ranging from historical epics (The Birth of a Nation, Gone with the Wind) and big-budget Hollywood adventures (Cold Mountain, Deliverance) to intimate dramas (Sounder, The Color Purple) and small-scale independent tales (Matewan, Nightjohn), from sober documentaries (Harlan County U.S.A.) to hilarious comedies (The General, O Brother, Where Art Thou). In the 1960s, as television became increasingly prominent, CBS created a series of popular sitcoms (The Beverly Hillbillies and Petticoat Junction among them) with distinctly southern orientation. Whether produced for theatrical production or as television series, then, the moving image has shaped and been shaped by the South and its inhabitants.

The series focuses on the following three areas:

1) Monographs that analyze specific aspects of production, adaptation, censorship, exhibition, the social experience of moviegoing and the cultural role of cinema in the South, the intersection of film/TV and music—or, on the critical side, larger questions of authorship, stardom, genre, and theme

2) Edited collections that explore from different angles and disciplines important developments requiring a multi-author approach

3) Monographs devoted to a specific significant film or television series, such as Daughters of the Dust (1991); Eve’s Bayou (1997); Intruder in the Dust (1949); Nothing But a Man (1964); Mississippi Masala (1991); O Brother, Where Art Thou (2000); George Washington (2000); The Beverly Hillbillies (1962-1971); In the Heat of the Night (film, 1967; TV series, 1988-1995); Treme (2010-2013); and 12 Years A Slave (2013).

Though scholarly in nature, the series intends to produce accessible works for the interested general reader that engage the South’s longstanding, contentious, and complex interactions with film and television.

The first in the new series, Tison Pugh’s Truman Capote (May 2014) reveals Capote’s literary works to be not merely coincident to film but integral to their mutual creation, paying keen attention to the ways in which Capote’s identity as a gay southerner influenced his and others’ perceptions of his literature and its adaptations. It focuses particularly on Capote’s celebrity lifestyle, his screenplays, and the numerous film adaptations of his literature.

Series editors:

Matthew H. Bernstein is professor and chair of film and media studies at Emory University. He is the author of Screening a Lynching: The Leo Frank Case on Film and TV (published by UGA Press); Michael Moore: Filmmaker, Newsmaker, Cultural Icon; and John Ford Made Westerns: Filming the Legend in the Sound Era.

R. Barton Palmer is Calhoun Lemon Professor of Literature at Clemson University. He is the author of Hollywood’s Tennessee: The Williams Films and Postwar America; To Kill a Mockingbird: From Page to Screen; After Hitchcock: Influence, Imitation, Intertextuality; among other books.

Contact info:
Matthew H. Bernstein:
R. Barton Palmer:

To inquire about publishing in the series, please contact:
Walter Biggins, senior acquisitions editor, the University of Georgia Press

UGA Press

Founded in 1938, the UGA Press is the oldest and largest book publisher in the state. It has been a member of the Association of American University Presses since 1940. With a full-time staff of 26 publishing professionals, the press currently publishes 60-70 new books a year and has more than 1,800 titles in print. It has well-established lists in Atlantic World and American history, American literature, African-American studies, southern studies and environmental studies, as well as a growing presence in the fields of food studies, geography, urban studies, international affairs and security studies. For more information on UGA Press, see