Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Measured Perspectives on Latino Immigration in the South

The Southern Poverty Law Center has just released the report "Under Siege: Life for Low-Income Latinos in the South." The study finds that Latino immigrants--both legal and illegal--are routinely targets of wage theft and racial profiling and cites anti-immigration sentiment as a driving force behind these and other abuses. The debate over immigration, especially illegal immigration over our southern border--has grown increasingly heated and confrontational in recent years.

LATINO IMMIGRANTS AND THE TRANSFORMATION OF THE U.S. SOUTH is a newly-published collection of essays edited by Mary E. Odem and Elaine Lacy that offers a measured perspective on the larger topic of Latino immigrants in the South. Contributors draw on social science and historical approaches to show the wide array of changes the South has undergone as the Latino population has more than doubled over the past decade. Southern food, religion, race relations, schools, and work places are all dramatically different than they were twenty years ago.

"Odem and Lacy effectively take the pulse of one of the nation's most significant--and unplanned--social experiments: the Latino invasion of Old South states, 1986-2006," comments historian Leon Fink. "Nine essays and a splendid introduction capture a unique tapestry of opportunity, fear, aspiration, and resentment."

If you're looking for more information about the rapidly changing South and Latino immigrants, these books may also interest you:


LATINO WORKERS IN THE CONTEMPORARY SOUTH edited by Arthur D. Murphy, Colleen Blanchard, and Jennifer A. Hill

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Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Get to Know the Women Who Helped Shape South Carolina History

The symposium South Carolina Women: Their Lives and Times offers an excellent opportunity to spend a day hearing the fascinating stories of the women who helped shape South Carolina history. Held in Columbia, South Carolina, the June 4 event will feature the editors of, and contributors to, the three-volume anthology SOUTH CAROLINA WOMEN: THEIR LIVES AND TIMES, which is published by the UGA Press. Volume 1 is currently available, Volume 2 is scheduled to appear in January 2010, and Volume 3 will follow later in 2010 or in 2011. Attendees will learn about a Native American queen, enslaved and free black women in the Old South, plantation mistresses, abolitionists, Revolutionary and Civil War heroines, suffragists, civil rights leaders, politicians, artists, scientists, teachers, jurists, and athletes. The symposium is sponsored by the University of South Carolina College of Arts and Sciences, The Southeastern Institute for Women and Politics, and The Alliance for Women.

The event will be held in the Daniel-Mickel Center on the eighth floor of the Moore School of Business on the University of South Carolina campus. Tickets are $40 per person (includes lunch and parking). For more information and to register, visit the University's Conferences and Event Services online, or call them at(803) 777-9444.

The symposium kicks off the Eighth Southern Conference on Women’s History, which will be held June 4–6 on the campus of the University of South Carolina, Columbia. Go online for more information, or call (803) 777-9444.

The South Carolina Women volumes are part of Southern Women: Their Lives and Times, a series of biographical, life-and-times histories of women from the various southern states. Each book in the series, which is published by the UGA Press, is a collection of insightful essays focused on the lives of individuals or small groups of women that address larger issues in the history of the state, the South, and the nation. These individual profiles also contribute to an understanding of the history of women and gender roles in American society.

Other currently available, or soon forthcoming, titles in the series cover women in Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Tennessee.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Vincent Carretta Wins Guggenheim Fellowship

Vincent Carretta has received a Guggenheim Fellowship to help fund his research for a biography of the pioneering African American poet Phillis Wheatley, which the Press will publish. He has also recently been awarded a one-month American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies Fellowship at the Library Company of Philadelphia, which he plans to take in the fall to search for evidence of Benjamin Rush's familiarity with Wheatley and her writings.

Carretta, who is a Professor of English at the University of Maryland, began his career studying transatlantic verbal and visual literary and political satire. His early books include "THE SNARLING MUSE": VERBAL AND VISUAL SATIRE FROM POPE TO CHURCHILL and GEORGE III AND THE SATIRISTS FROM HOGARTH TO BYRON.

More recently Carretta has focused on the literature, history, and culture of eighteenth- and early-nineteenth-century Anglophone authors, particularly those of African descent. Carretta has edited an impressive array of authoritative editions of these author's writings that includes:

His most recent book is EQUIANO, THE AFRICAN: BIOGRAPHY OF A SELF-MADE MAN which provides a portrait of the man who wrote one of the most widely-read and earliest slave narratives to include an account of the Middle Passage from Africa to the Americas. In the course of researching the book Carretta made the significant and surprising discovery that Equiano was most likely not born free in Africa as he claims in his narrative, but rather that he may have been born a slave in South Carolina. The book was widely praised by critics and scholars, and it won the American Society for Eighteenth Century Studies 2004-06 Annibel Jenkins Prize for Best Biography of the Year. Penguin bought the paperback rights to the book.

In addition to his forthcoming biography of Wheatley, Carretta and Ty M. Reese have co-edited THE LIFE AND LETTERS OF PHILIP QUAQUE, THE FIRST AFRICAN ANGLICAN MISSIONARY, which UGA Press will publish in spring 2010. This is the first edition of the correspondence of Quaque, one of the most prolific writers of African descent in the eighteenth century and the first African ordained as an Anglican priest.

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Thursday, April 16, 2009

Short Takes

PIONEERING AMERICAN WINE was featured on the front page of the Lifestyle section of the Charleston Post and Courier.

Hear Matthew H. Bernstein (SCREENING A LYNCHING) on WABE’s Between the Lines.

Business news site Global Atlanta provides advance notice of Marko Maunula’s GUTEN TAG, Y’ALL, due out in August.

The University of Georgia Press celebrates Earth Day:
Following an appearance at the Alabama Book Festival, Elizabeth Shores (ON HARPER’S TRAIL) will lecture and sign books at the Hoole Special Collections Library in Tuscaloosa April 20.

Paul Sutter and Christopher Manganiello (ENVIRONMENTAL HISTORY AND THE AMERICAN SOUTH) will appear April 21 at the Gwinnett Environmental Heritage Museum, and Manganiello will fly solo at a Georgia Center for the Book sponsored event April 22.

Jack E. Davis (AN EVERGLADES PROVIDENCE) appeared this week on The Kathy Fountain Show on Fox TV in Tampa, and will be the guest on Gulf Coast Live! on WGCU radio (Fort Myers) on Earth Day, April 22.

Shep Krech (SPIRITS OF THE AIR) will be visiting the Georgia coast the following week, including an event at Jekyll Books at the Old Infirmary on Friday, May 1.

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Short Takes

A particularly engaging review of Jakle and Sculle’s MOTORING appears in this month’s Rain Taxi online: “To dig into the bedrock of history and assumptions our roads are built on, spend some time with John Jakle and Keith Sculle’s MOTORING: THE HIGHWAY EXPERIENCE IN AMERICA. The promise of the road and its reality are very different, as Jakle and Sculle demonstrate in this well-researched book.”

“Frogs: The Thin Green Line,” a PBS documentary that aired this week features John Jensen (AMPHIBIANS AND REPTILES OF GEORGIA) on the rapid disappearance of gopher frogs from the highly compromised longleaf pine ecosystem in the coastal plain of Georgia and five other states. Watch the full episode online.

Matthew H. Bernstein’s SCREENING A LYNCHING gets a plug on Curled Up With a Good Book. Interviews with Bernstein will air on a number of radio programs in Atlanta, including WABE “Between the Lines” with Valerie Jackson, Radio Sandy Springs, AM 1690 “The Voice of the Arts” with David Lewis, and the Fulton County Library Channel; a new PBS documentary on the Leo Frank case premieres in Marietta April 30.

A collection of poems by Mitchell Douglas devoted to Donny Hathaway is just out from Red Hen Press; see it thoughtfully compared with Ed Pavlic’s WINNERS HAVE YET TO BE ANNOUNCED at Post No Ills.

ON TARZAN was included – alongside other university press books on Batman and Tony Soprano -- in a popular culture column in the Toronto Globe and Mail: “Vernon excels at historical context, weaving Tarzan's countless reincarnations into everything from the Nazis to Vietnam.”

New Play by UGA Press Author Debuts in Early May

Jeff Fields, author of the novel A CRY OF ANGELS, will debut his first-ever play at the historic Elbert Theatre in early May. Trying to Matter is a hilarious account of a matriarch's attempts to control the lives of her children.

The play's venue is a nice fit for Fields, who has strong ties to Elberton, Georgia. He grew up in the northeast Georgia community and, long ago, even worked as a projectionist at the same theatre at which his play is being staged. It's an open secret as well that Elberton was an inspiration for Quarrytown, the setting of Fields's novel A CRY OF ANGELS.

Trying to Matter opens on May 1, with subsequent performances on May 2, 3, 8, 9, and 10. For more details, visit the Elbert Theatre online or call (706) 283-1049.

Monday, April 06, 2009

Short Story Collection to Appear in French Translation

French rights for Andrew Porter's THE THEORY OF LIGHT AND MATTER have just been bought by Éditions de l’Olivier. The publisher is widely regarded as the most prestigious source for American fiction in French translation. It is home to such authors as Cormac McCarthy, Richard Ford, Jeffrey Eugenides, Jonathan Franzen, Andrew Sean Greer, and Adam Haslett. THE THEORY OF LIGHT AND MATTER received the Flannery O'Connor Award for Short Fiction and was first published in 2008 by the University of Georgia Press. U.S. paperback rights have been bought by the Knopf Group; it will appear later this year as a Vintage paperback.

In other recent news, Porter's book has been announced as a finalist for the Steven Turner Award, which is given annually by the Texas Institute of Letters for the Best Book of First Fiction.

Photo of Andrew Porter by Kris Krajcer

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Short Takes

Jack E. Davis launched AN EVERGLADES PROVIDENCE in Miami this week to a crowd of 77 at the Coral Gables Books & Books. Environmental reporter Curtis Morgan reviewed the book and profiled Douglas in the Miami Herald: “Mostly she led a life of the mind in Miami. She loved books, banter, sherry, scotch; disliked dolts, callow reporters, prevaricating politicians. She stubbornly clung to anachronistic practices, never learning to drive and writing longhand in the warming light of her backyard garden.” The Herald also ran a Q&A with Davis.

The Lakeland Ledger also ran an extensive review of the book: “In her 1947 best-seller The Everglades: River of Grass, Marjory Stoneman Douglas wrote there is no other Everglades in the world…After reading AN EVERGLADES PROVIDENCE by Jack E. Davis there is no doubt there was no one in the world like Douglas, either.” WGCU in Fort Myers ran an excerpt from the book in their magazine Expressions and will air an interview with Davis on Earth Day, April 22.

April is National Poetry Month – Anna Journey’s IF BIRDS GATHER YOUR HAIR FOR NESTING and Ed Pavlic’s WINNERS HAVE YET TO BE ANNOUNCED are both named as favorite books in this feature on the popular poetry blog by Ron Slate. Pavlic reads in Atlanta tomorrow as part of the Poetry@Tech series; Journey will read later this month in Houston and in Austin with Susan B.A. Somers-Willett (QUIVER). Kevin McFadden (HARDSCRABBLE) receives the George Garrett New Writing Award this week at the Conference on Southern Literature in Chattanooga; Victoria Chang (SALVINIA MOLESTA) takes part in this month’s LA Times Book Festival.

WHAT IS A CITY?: RETHINKING THE URBAN AFTER HURRICANE KATRINA inspires this column in the Hartford Courant.

HERE, GEORGE WASHINGTON WAS BORN receives a thoughtful review from a retired National Park Service historian at H-Net Reviews (H-FedHist): “Seth Bruggeman has provided an important and provocative case study of the construction of historical meaning at the birthplace of a figure who occupies first place in American history and mythology. He convincingly demonstrates that the Memorial House at Popes Creek is significant less for what it tells us about Washington the man than as a monument to his public memory.”