Dixieland? - Literature and Culture of the American South

Course Description

We will discuss not only primary sources coming from southern authors and artists but also critical works which seek to define and situate the South within an American and historical context. This will include works that present a number of perspectives on events of major historical import, such as the Civil War, but also works that pertain to difficult and sensitive issues such as race, cultural identity, social class, and religious belief.

Teaching materials include texts such as stories by Flannery O'Connor, Eudora Welty, and Tennessee Williams, as well as other texts representing diverse and under-taught authors such as Charles Chestnutt, Zora Neale Hurston, and Manly Wade Wellman. In addition to fiction, students will read non-fiction pieces dealing with contemporary issues such as “No One Really Understands the South” by Alexis Okeowo, “The Idea of the South” by Benjamin Schwartz, and “In Voodoo’s Survival, a Tale of Black Resilience” by Massoud Hayoun.

Lastly, we will also explore documentaries and films, such as The Dirty South by Rich Hall and Suddenly Last Summer, as well as music from a variety of Southern genres, including Gospel, bluegrass, ballads, delta blues, and early rock’n’roll.

During this course, you will:

• Acquire an introduction to the role of the South in American culture.
• Discuss representations of the South and their implications in broader discussions of race, culture, class, and religion.
• Practice thinking and writing critically using primary and secondary sources.
• Practice critical debate and analysis of both primary and secondary sources.
• Be able to situate works of literature and art within a historical and cultural context as it pertains to the American South.


This course requires no prerequisites and is open to all high school-aged students.


One Section Available to Choose From:

Online sections of Pre-College courses are offered in one of the following modalities: Asynchronous, Mostly asynchronous, or Blended. Please review full information regarding the experience here.

Dates: July 11, 2022 - July 22, 2022
Duration: 2 Weeks
Meeting Times: M-F 12:15P-3:05P
Status: Closed
Format: On-Campus
Instructor(s): Atticus Doherty
Course Number: 10339