Subscribe to our newsletter
Picture of The Scourges of the South? Essays on “The Sickly South” in History, Literature, and Popular Culture

The Scourges of the South? Essays on “The Sickly South” in History, Literature, and Popular Culture

Editor(s): Thomas Ærvold Bjerre, Beata Zawadka

Book Description

In this book, eleven scholars “take their stand” on the controversial issue of disease as it occurs in the context of the American South. Playing on the popular vision of the South as an ill region on several levels, the European and American contributors interpret various aspects of the regional “sickly” culture as not so much southern “problems”, but, rather, southern opportunities, or else, springboards to yet another of the South’s cultural revitalizations, “health”.

As Thomas Ærvold Bjerre and Beata Zawadka note in their introduction, the so-called “Healthy South” has never been an easy topic for scholars dealing with the region. One reason for this is that researchers have been taught to approach so formulated a topic no further than to the point when it turns out it is a contradiction in terms, and, indeed, there is much in southern history and the present situation that justifies such an approach. This volume, however, comprises a collective effort of southernist historians, literature experts, and culture critics to transcend the “contradictory” concept of the “Healthy South,” and does so by reinventing the notion of the southern disease and, consequently, the role of the South as a “scourge” in American culture in terms of this culture’s bountiful gift.


ISBN-13: 978-1-4438-6360-5
ISBN-10: 1-4438-6360-2
Date of Publication: 01/10/2014
Pages / Size: 195 / A5
Price: £41.99


Thomas Ærvold Bjerre is Associate Professor of American Studies at the University of Southern Denmark. He has published widely on southern literature and popular culture.

Beata Zawadka is Associate Professor of American Culture at Szczecin University, Poland. She specializes in the US South, particularly the region’s performative potential.