Although the framework of regionalist studies may seem to be crumbling under the weight of increasing globalization, this collection of seventeen essays makes clear that cultivating regionalism lies at the center of the humanist endeavor. With interdisciplinary contributions from poets and fiction writers, literary historians, musicologists, and historians of architecture, agriculture, and women, this volume implements some of the most innovative and intriguing approaches to the history and value of regionalism as a category for investigation in the humanities.
In the volume’s inaugural essay, Annie Proulx discusses landscapes in American fiction, comments on how she constructs characters, and interprets current literary trends. Edward Watts offers a theory of region that argues for comparisons of the United States to other former colonies of Great Britain, including New Zealand, Australia, and Canada. Whether considering a writer's connection to region or the idea of place in exploring what is meant by regionalism, these essays uncover an enduring and evolving concept. Although the approaches and disciplines vary, all are framed within the fundamental premise of the humanities: the search to understand what it means to be human.