Queer South Rising

Voices of a Contested Place

Edited by:
Reta Ugena Whitlock, Kennesaw State University

A volume in the series: Landscapes of Education. Editor(s): William H. Schubert, University of Illinois at Chicago. Ming Fang He, Georgia Southern University.

Published 2013

Queer South Rising: Voices of a Contested Place is a collection of essays about the South by people who identify as both Southern and queer. The collection’s name hints at the provocative nature of its contents: placing Queer and South side-by-side challenges readers to think about each word differently. The idea that a queer South might rise undermines the Battle Cry of “The South’s Gonna rise Again!” embedded in the collective memory of a conservative South. This rising does not refer to a kind of Enlightenment transcendence where the region achieves some sort of distinctive prominence. It suggests instead ruptures, like furrows in a plowed field where seeds are sown. The rising Whitlock envisions is akin to breaking and turning over meanings of Southern place. The title further serves to remind readers of the complexities of the place as it calls into question notions of a universal, homogenous LGBT, queer, identity. Queer South Rising is the first truly interdisciplinary collection of essays on the South and queerness that deliberately aims for multiple approaches to the topics. This collection is intended for a wide audience of “regular” folks. Essays explore multiple intersections of Southern place—religion, politics, sexuality, race, education—that transcend regional boundaries. This book counters conventional scholarly texts; it invites all readers interested in the South and queer themes to engage with the narratives it holds—and perhaps question their assumptions. Whitlock has sought, in collecting these essays, to seek out a diverse group of authors—across disciplines, professions, and interests—to shatter perceptions about a nostalgic, romanticized Southern culture in general.

Acknowledgments. Introduction: Loving, Telling, and Reconstructing the South, Reta Ugena Whitlock. PART I: “GHOSTS, MYTHS, AND TREASURES”: THEORIZING SOUTH AND SOUTHERNNESS. “Some Odd Place of Ghosts and Shadows:” Working Through the Queer Character of Place in Randall Kenan’s “Run, Mourner, Run”, Brian Casemore. Drag and the Politics of Performance, Brock Thompson. Examining the Oppressor Within: Lessons Learned by a Northern Researcher in the South, Bettina L. Love. Dismantling Metrocentric and Metronormative Curricula: Toward a Critical Queer Pedagogy of Southern Rural Space and Place, Christopher J. Stapel. Fall Down On Me: Stories of the Club From Black Gay Men in the South, Craig Washington. (Homo)Sex in a Model New South City: Placing Lesbians and Gay Men in Mid-Twentieth Century Atlanta, Wesley Chenault. For Queer Teachers, Love Can Be a Battlefield, Janna Jackson. I Was Born on the Wrong Planet: Flights of Fancy, Gone With the Wind, and Other Gay Narratives of the South", Patrick Slattery. Negative Capability in the Mountain South, Jeff Mann. PART II: SACRILEGE! CONFRONTING SOUTHERN INSTITUTIONS. “Drag You Off to Milledgeville”: The Georgia State Hospital and Southern Psychiatric Spaces, Mab Segrest. The Hell Train: A Journey From Holy Roller to Feminist Lesbian, Karen Parker. An Open Letter to the Bishop, Brian Ammons. Becoming Peculiar, Kate Black. Reorienting the South: Locating Queer Refugees and Geographies in Texas, Long T. Bui. I Have the Right to Remain Silent, Jamie Davis. Here’s a Little Lagniappe For You...., Michael Johnson, Jr. Confessions of a Radical Feminist: Conservative Control of Intellectual Freedom in Higher Education, Reta Ugena Whitlock. PART III: YE MAMA ‘NEM: CONTEMPLATING WEBS OF RELATIONS. Dude, Laura Davis. My Labels Are [Not] Too Many: My Journey of “Becoming” A Black, Afrocentric, Southern Lesbian, Qiana Cutts. Jesus, Dolly Parton, and Solid Gold: Risk and Resilience in a Southern Gay Childhood, Travis Wright. The Queering Year, JD Dykes. The Way of Holiness, Jason Howard. Rubyfruit Masochist, Merri Lisa Johnson. Redneck Sissy: Negotiating Shame as a Queer Male in the Rural South, Jay Poole. Trailer Park Queer, Porscha Yount. True South, Kevin Jennings. About the Contributors.