Research Thursdays - Book Co-Edited by Taylor Hagood Recognized by “Choice” Magazine

Taylor Hagood, Professor of English


Friday, Dec 11, 2020

Swamp Souths: Literary and Cultural Ecologies, a book co-edited by Taylor Hagood, professor of English, received a top ten “Editor’s Choice” award in Choice magazine. The book, which was published by Louisiana State University Press in March 2020, was co-edited with Kirstin L. Squint, Eric Gary Anderson, and Anthony Wilson. 

From the editors at Choice: “This collection makes a major contribution to several fields: southern U.S. literature, ethnic studies (especially Black studies), and ecology. The essays touch on but transcend local color and regionalism. They encompass music and film as well as literary texts. The historical span ranges from colonial literature to postmodern writing. 

Five major swamps are covered: the Terrebonne- Atchafalaya Basin (Louisiana), the Okefenoke Swamp (Georgia), the Mississippi River Delta (Louisiana), the Everglades (Florida), and the Great Dismal Swamp (Virginia and North Carolina). The essays deal with such well-known authors as George Washington Cable, Zora Neale Hurston, William Faulkner and Eudora Welty, but also take in Sidney Bechet’s classic jazz autobiography Treat It Gentle (1960), an album by Beyoncé, and Benh Zeitlin’s film Beasts of the Southern Wild (2012). There is even an essay on Civil War theater in Richmond, Virginia. The scholarship is deep and supported by interesting notes, maps, and an extensive bibliography. Most readers will not have given thought to swamps in southern culture, but this important book shows how significant this “chronotope” (as Mikhail Bahktin would call it) really is.” 

More information on the book can be found here: lsupress.org/books/detail/swamp-souths 

Hagood teaches American literature, with specialization in the writing of William Faulkner, African American literature, and the literature and culture of the United States South. His scholarship examines literary and cultural production in an approach informed by postcolonial theory, theorizing of social interaction via secrecy as a cultural item, and disability studies. 

Hagood’s books include Faulkner’s Imperialism: Space, Place, and the Materiality of Myth (2008); Secrecy, Magic, and the One-Act Plays of Harlem Renaissance Women Writers (2010); and Faulkner: Writer of Disability (2014), winner of the C. Hugh Holman Award for Best Book in Southern Literary Studies. 

(Printable Version)

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