Cover

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pp. 1-1

Title Page

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pp. 2-7

Contents

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pp. 8-9

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Preface

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pp. ix-xv

This did not start out to be a book about fantasies. It started out as an attempt to understand why a couple dozen literary scholars of my generation— scholars whose work would eventually be called the new southern ...

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Introduction. What Does an American Studies Scholar Want?

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pp. 1-26

What does it mean to be hip in the twenty- first century? If you’re a baby boomer, particularly in academia, you may still think it has something to do with vocal countercultural politics, with sex, drugs, and rock ’n’ roll, ...

Part I: Disrupting Everyone’s Enjoyment

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pp. 27-47

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One. Songs That Move Hipsters to Tears: Johnny Cash and the New Melancholy

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pp. 29-49

In her afterword to the 2004 essay collection Loss, Judith Butler applauds “a new kind of scholarship that seeks to bring theory to bear on the analysis of social and political life, in particular, to the temporality of social and ...

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Two. German Lessons: On Getting Over a Lost Supremacy

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pp. 50-64

As displacements of irresponsible white melancholy, the escapist enjoyments of old southern studies scholars and of melancholy hipsters are hardly the worst responses to modernity one encounters. As I was finishing this ...

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Three. Our Turn: On Gen X, Wearing Vintage, and Neko Case

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pp. 65-86

People who aren’t of Naomi Klein’s generation and class may feel little sympathy or even patience toward the bourgeois anomie she chronicles at the opening of “Alt.Everything,” the third chapter ...

Part II:Reconciliations with Modernity

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pp. 87-107

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Four. Two Ties and a Pistol: Faulkner, Metropolitan Fashion, and “the South”

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pp. 89-105

Sometimes the trivia of everyday life can be hard to find pleasure in. One reason my wife and I loved Birmingham so much is that we had moved there from a small town in Mississippi (where my wife had been teaching at a small ...

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Five. Flying without Wings: Race, Civic Branding, and Identity Politics in Two Twenty- first century American Cities

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pp. 106-125

On March 2, 2003, when readers of the Boston Globe opened their Sunday papers and turned to the Parade magazine inside, they may have noticed, with St. Patrick’s Day fast approaching, the full- page Franklin Mint ...

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Six. In the Garden

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pp. 126-135

In May 2003 I was walking through Kew Gardens—the horticultural equivalent of the British Museum—with my English half- sister when we came upon a small ornamental tree. Though a gardener—like seemingly everybody else in England—she was unfamiliar with it. I wasn’t, but we read ...

Notes

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pp. 137-150

Works Cited

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pp. 151-164

Index

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pp. 165-176