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The University of Tennessee Press

Website: http://utpress.org/

The University of Tennessee Press is dedicated to playing a significant role in the intellectual life of the University of Tennessee system, the academic community in general, and the citizens of the state of Tennessee by publishing high-quality works of original scholarship in selected fields as well as highly accurate and informative regional studies. By utilizing current technology to provide the best possible vehicles for the publication of scholarly and regional works, the press preserves and disseminates information for scholars, students, and general readers.


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The University of Tennessee Press

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Delta Fragments Cover

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Delta Fragments

The Recollections of a Sharecropper’s Son

John O. Hodges

     The son of black sharecroppers, John Oliver Hodges attended segregated schools in Greenwood, Mississippi, in the 1950s and ’60s, worked in plantation cotton fields, and eventually left the region to earn multiple degrees and become a tenured university professor. Both poignant and thought provoking,  Delta Fragments is Hodges’s autobiographical journey back to the land of his birth. Brimming with vivid memories of family life, childhood friendships, the quest for knowledge, and the often brutal injustices of the Jim Crow South, it also offers an insightful meditation on the present state of race relations in America.
     Hodges has structured the book as a series of brief but revealing vignettes grouped into two main sections. In part 1, “Learning,” he introduces us to the town of Greenwood and to his parents, sister, and myriad aunts, uncles, cousins, teachers, and schoolmates. He tells stories of growing up on a plantation, dancing in smoky juke joints, playing sandlot football and baseball, journeying to the West Coast as a nineteen-year-old to meet the biological father he never knew while growing up, and leaving family and friends to attend Morehouse College in Atlanta. In part 2, “Reflecting,” he connects his firsthand experience with broader themes: the civil rights movement, Delta blues, black folkways, gambling in Mississippi, the vital role of religion in the African American community, and the perplexing problems of poverty, crime, and an underfunded educational system that still challenge black and white citizens of the Delta.
     Whether recalling the assassination of Medgar Evers (whom he knew personally), the dynamism of an African American church service, or the joys of reconnecting with old friends at a biennial class reunion, Hodges writes with a rare combination of humor, compassion, and—when describing the injustices that were all too frequently inflicted on him andhis contemporaries—righteous anger. But his ultimate goal, he contends, is not to close doors but to open them: to inspire dialogue, to start a conversation, “to be provocative without being insistent or definitive.”


Recently retired, John O. Hodges was an associate professor of religious studies at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, where he was also the chair of African and African American Studies from 1997 to 2002. His articles have appeared in the CLA Journal, the Langston Hughes Review, Soundings , and The Southern Quarterly.

A Documentary History of the American Civil War Era Cover

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A Documentary History of the American Civil War Era

Volume 2, Political Arguments

Thomas C. Mackey

     A Documentary History of the American Civil War Era is the first comprehensive collection of public policy actions, political speeches, and judicial decisions related to the American Civil War. This three-volume set gives scholars and students easy access to the full texts of both the most important, fundamental documents as well as hard-to-find, rarely published primary sources on this critical period in U.S. history.
     Volume 2 in the series, Political Arguments, presents the words of politicians, political party platforms, and administrative speeches. It is divided into two sections. The first, Voices of the Politicians and Political Parties, comprises the platforms of the major (and some minor) parties from1856 to 1876. Also included are such pieces as Robert E. Lee’s letter of resignation from the U.S. Army, a few key speeches by that rising politician from Illinois, Abraham Lincoln, and a letter on the “American Question” written by a European observer, Karl Marx. Other items include examples of the 1860–1861 state ordinances of secession and addresses on emancipation and Reconstruction by Jefferson Davis and by the Republican leader in the House of Representatives, Thaddeus Stevens.
     Section two, Voices of the Administrations, contains records from the presidencies of James Buchanan, Abraham Lincoln, Andrew Johnson, Ulysses S. Grant, and Rutherford B. Hayes as well as a message from Confederate President Jefferson Davis telling his congress that the Southern cause was “just and holy.” Classic documents such as Lincoln’s announcement of forthcoming emancipation and the Emancipation Proclamation are here, as are lesser-known but important documents such as Francis Lieber’s 1863 revised law code for war, General Order 100, and Attorney General James Speed’s 1865 opinion supporting the Johnson administration’s decision to try the Lincoln murder conspirators by special military commission and not in the civilian courts.
     Each of the selections in Political Arguments is preceded by editor Thomas Mackey’s introductory headnotes that explain the document’s historical significance and trace its lasting impact. These commentaries provide insight into not just law and public policy but also the broad sweep of issues important to Civil War– era Americans.
     A Documentary History of the American Civil War Era is an essential acquisition for academic and public libraries in addition to being a valuable resource for courses on the War and Reconstruction, legal history, political history, and nineteenth- century American history.


Thomas C. Mackey is professor of history at the University of Louisville and adjunct professor of law at the Brandeis School
of Law. He is the author of Red Lights Out: A Legal History of Prostitution, Disorderly Houses, and Vice Districts, 1870–1917
and Pornography on Trial: A Handbook with Cases, Laws, and Documents.

A Documentary History of the Civil War Era Cover

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A Documentary History of the Civil War Era

Volume 1, Legislative Achievements

Thomas C. Mackey

A Documentary History of the American Civil War Era is the first comprehensive collection of public policy actions, political speeches, and judicial decisions related to the American Civil War. This three-volume set gives scholars, teachers, and students easy access to the full texts of the most important, fundamental documents as well as hard-to-find, rarely published primary sources on this critical period in U.S. history.
    The first volume of the series, Legislative Achievements, contains legislation passed in response to the turmoil seizing the country on the brink of, during, and in the wake of the Civil War. Forthcoming are volume 2, Political Arguments, which contains voices of politicians, political party platforms, and administrative speeches, and volume 3, Judicial Decisions, which provides judicial opinions and decisions as the Civil War raged in the courtrooms as well as on the battlefields.
    Organized chronologically, each of the selections is preceded by an introductory headnote that explains the document’s historical significance and traces its lasting impact. These headnotes provide insight into not only law and public policy but also the broad sweep of issues that engaged Civil War–era America.
    Legislative Achievements features some of the most momentous and enduring public policy documents from the time, beginning with the controversial September 15, 1850, Fugitive Slave Act and concluding with the June 18, 1878, Posse Comitatus Act. Both military and nonmilitary legislation constitute this part, including the April 19, 1861, proclamation by President Abraham Lincoln declaring a naval blockade on Southern ports and Confederate President Jefferson Davis’s proclamation authorizing blockade runners to attack Northern shipping, both issued on the same day. Nonmilitary legislation includes statutes affecting the postwar period, such as the 1862 Homestead Act, the Civil Rights Act of 1866, and all four of the Reconstruction Acts. Also in this section are the three constitutional amendments, the Habeas Corpus Acts of 1863 and 1867, the Freedman’s Bureau Acts of 1865 and 1866, and the 1867 Tenure of Office Act together with President Andrew Johnson’s message vetoing the Act. 
    A Documentary History of the American Civil War Era is an essential acquisition for academic and public libraries in addition to being a valuable resource for students of the Civil War and Reconstruction, legal history, public policy, and nineteenth-century American history.

THOMAS C. MACKEY is a professor of history at the University of Louisville and adjunct Professor of Law at Brandeis School of Law. He is the author of Pornography on Trial (2002)  and Pursuing Johns (2005).


The Ebony Column Cover

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The Ebony Column

Classics, Civilization, and the African American Reclamation of the West

Eric Ashley Hairston

In The Ebony Column, Eric Ashley Hairston begins a new thread in the ongoing conversation about the influence of Greek and Roman antiquity on U.S. civilization and education. While that discussion has yielded many exceptional insights into antiquity and the American experience, it has so regularly elided the African American component that all classical influence on black writing and thought seems to vanish. That omission, Hairston contends, is disturbing not least because of its longevity— from an early period of overt stereotyping and institutionalized racism right up to the contemporary and, one would hope, more cosmopolitan and enlightened era. Challenging and correcting that persistent shortsightedness, Hairston examines several prominent black writers’ and scholars’ deep investment in the classics as individuals, as well as the broader cultural investment in the classics and the values of the ancient world. Beginning with the late-eighteenth-century verse of Phillis Wheatley, whose classically inspired poems functioned as a kind of Trojan horse to defeat white oppression, Hairston goes on to consider the oratory of Frederick Douglass, whose rhetoric and ideas of virtue were much influenced by Cicero, and the writings of educator Anna Julia Cooper, whose classical training was a key source of her vibrant feminism. Finally, he offers a fresh examination of W. E. B. DuBois’s seminal The Souls of Black Folk (1903) and its debt to antiquity, which volumes of commentary have largely overlooked. The first book to appear in a new series, Classicism in American Culture, The Ebony Column passionately demonstrates how the myths, cultures, and ideals of antiquity helped African Americans reconceptualize their role in a Euro-American world determined to make them mere economic commodities and emblems of moral and intellectual decay. To figures such as Wheatley, Douglass, Cooper, and DuBois, classical literature offered striking moral, intellectual, and philosophical alternatives to a viciously exclusionary vision of humanity, Africanity, the life of the citizen, and the life of the mind.

E.D.E.N. Southworth Cover

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E.D.E.N. Southworth

Recovering a Nineteenth-Century Popular Novelist

Melissa Homestead

The prolific nineteenth-century writer E. D. E. N. Southworth enjoyed enormous public success in her day—she published nearly fifty novels during her career—but that very popularity, combined with her gender, led to her almost complete neglect by the critical establishment before the emergence of academic feminism. Even now, most scholarship on Southworth focuses on her most famous novel, The Hidden Hand. However, this new book—the first since the 1930s devoted entirely to Southworth—shows the depth of her career beyond that publication and reassesses her place in American literature.
    Editors Melissa Homestead and Pamela Washington have gathered twelve original essays from both established and emerging scholars that set a new agenda for the study of E. D. E. N. Southworth’s works. Following an introduction by the editors, these articles are divided into four thematic clusters. The first, “Serial Southworth,” treats her fiction in periodical publication contexts. “Southworth’s Genres,” the second grouping, considers her use of a range of genres beyond the sentimental novel and the domestic novel. In the third part, “Intertextual Southworth,” the essays present intensive case studies of Southworth’s engagement with literary traditions such as Greek and Restoration drama and with her contemporaries such as Harriet Beecher Stowe and French novelist George Sand. Southworth’s focus on social issues and reform figures prominently throughout the volume, but the pieces in the fourth section, “Southworth, Marriage, and the Law,” present a sustained inquiry into the ways in which marriage law and the status of women in the nineteenth century engaged her literary imagination.
    The collection concludes with the first chronological bibliography of Southworth’s fiction organized by serialization date rather than book publication. For the first time, scholars will be able to trace the publication history of each novel and will be able to access citations for lesser-known and previously unknown works.
    With its fresh approach, this volume will be of great value to students and scholars of American literature, women’s studies, and popular culture studies.

MELISSA J. HOMESTEAD is the Susan J. Rosowski Associate Professor of English at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln. Her book American Women Authors and Literary Property, 1822–1869 includes Southworth, and her articles on American women’s writing have been published in a variety of academic journals.

PAMELA T. WASHINGTON is Professor of English and former dean of the College of Liberal Arts at the University of Central Oklahoma. She is the co-author of Fresh Takes: Explorations in Reading and Writing: A Freshman Composition Text.



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Experiencing Service-Learning

Robert F. Kronick, Robert B. Cunningham, and Michele Gourley

A unique resource for students and professors alike, this book reveals the important practical, educational, and emotional benefits provided by college programs that allow students to help others through service work in inner-city classrooms, clinics, and other challenging environments. Filled with vivid first-person reflections by students, Experiencing Service-Learning emphasizes learning by doing, getting into the field, sharing what one sees with colleagues, and interpreting what one learns. As the authors make clear, service-learning is not a spectator sport. It takes students “away from the routines and comfort zones of lecture, test, term paper, exam” and puts them into the world. Service-learning requires them to engage actively with cultures that may be unfamiliar to them and to be introspective about their successes and their mistakes. At the same time, it demands of their instructors “something other than Power-Point slides or an eloquently delivered lecture,” as no teacher can predict in advance the questions their students’ experiences will raise. In service-learning, students and teacher must act together as a team of motivators, problem solvers, and change agents. While most of its personal vignettes come from service-learners who have worked as mentors in elementary schools, the book also includes a chapter in which coauthor Michele Gourley describes at length her experiences at a faith-based health clinic in Honduras. In offering such stories—along with a succinct introduction to basic concepts, an assessment of how service-learners can effect transformational change, and project examples—this text will not only prepare students for the adventures of service-learning but also aid professors and administrators tasked with developing service-learning courses and programs.

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Feasting with Shellfish in the Southern Ohio Valley

Archaic Sacred Sites and Rituals

Cheryl Claassen

In this provocative work, Cheryl Claassen challenges long-standing notions about hunter-gatherer life in the southern Ohio Valley as it unfolded some 8,000 to 3,500 years ago. Focusing on freshwater shell mounds scattered along the Tennessee, Ohio, Green, and Harpeth rivers, Claassen draws on the latest archaeological research to offer penetrating new insights into the sacred world of Archaic peoples. Some of the most striking ideas are that there were no villages in the southern Ohio Valley during the Archaic period, that all of the trading and killing were for ritual purposes, and that body positioning in graves reflects cause of death primarily. Mid-twentieth-century assessments of the shell mounds saw them as the products of culturally simple societies that cared little about their dead and were concerned only with food. More recent interpretations, while attributing greater complexity to these peoples, have viewed the sites as mere villages and stressed such factors as population growth and climate change in analyzing the way these societies and their practices evolved. Claassen, however, makes a persuasive case that the sites were actually the settings for sacred rituals of burial and renewal and that their large shell accumulations are evidence of feasts associated with those ceremonies. She argues that the physical evidence—including the location of the sites, the largely undisturbed nature of the deposits, the high incidence of dog burials, the number of tools per body found at the sites, and the indications of human sacrifice and violent death—not only supports this view but reveals how ritual practices developed over time. The seemingly sudden demise of shellfish consumption, Claassen contends, was not due to overharvesting and environmental change; it ended, rather, because the sacred rituals changed. Feasting with Shellfish in the Southern Ohio Valley is a work bound to stir controversy and debate among scholars of the Archaic period. Just as surely it will encourage a new appreciation for the spiritual life of ancient peoples—how they thought about the cosmos and the mysterious forces that surrounded them.

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The Fenians

Irish Rebellion in the North Atlantic World, 1858–1876

Patrick Steward and Bryan McGovern

Aspirations of social mobility and anti-Catholic discrimination were the lifeblood of subversive opposition to British rule in Ireland during the mid-nineteenth century. Refugees of the Great Famine who congregated in ethnic enclaves in North America and the United Kingdom supported the militant Fenian Brotherhood and its Dublin-based counterpart, the Irish Republican Brotherhood (IRB), in hopes of one day returning to an independent homeland. Despite lackluster leadership, the movement was briefly a credible security threat which impacted the history of nations on both sides of the Atlantic. Inspired by the failed Young Ireland insurrection of 1848 and other nationalist movements on the European continent, the Fenian Brotherhood and the IRB (collectively known as the Fenians) surmised that insurrection was the only path to Irish freedom. By 1865, the Fenians had filled their ranks with battle-tested Irish expatriate veterans of the Union and Confederate armies who were anxious to liberate Ireland. Lofty Fenian ambitions were ultimately compromised by several factors including United States government opposition and the resolution of volunteer Canadian militias who repelled multiple Fenian incursions into New Brunswick, Quebec, Ontario, and Manitoba. The Fenian legacy is thus multi-faceted. It was a mildly-threatening source of nationalist pride for discouraged Irish expatriates until the organization fulfilled its pledge to violently attack British soldiers and subjects. It also encouraged the confederation of Canadian provinces under the 1867 Dominion Act. In this book, Patrick Steward and Bryan McGovern present the first holistic, multi-national study of the Fenian movement. While utilizing a vast array of previously untapped primary sources, the authors uncover the socio-economic roots of Irish nationalist behavior at the height of the Victorian Period. Concurrently, they trace the progression of Fenian ideals in the grassroots of Young Ireland to its de facto collapse in 1870s. In doing so, the authors change the perception of the Fenians from fanatics who aimlessly attempted to free their homeland to idealists who believed in their cause and fought with a physical and rhetorical force that was not nonsensical and hopeless as some previous accounts have suggested.

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The Fiction of Gloria Naylor

Houses and Spaces of Resistance

Maxine Lavon Montgomery

The Fiction of Gloria Naylor is one of the very first critical studies of this acclaimed writer. Including an insightful interview with Naylor and focusing on her first four novels, the book situates various acts of insurgency throughout her work within a larger framework of African American opposition to hegemonic authority. But what truly distinguishes this volume is its engagement with African American vernacular forms and twentieth-century political movements. In her provocative analysis, Maxine Lavon Montgomery argues that Naylor constantly attempts to reconfigure the home and homespace to be more conducive to black self-actualization, thus providing a stark contrast to a dominant white patriarchy evident in a broader public sphere. Employing a postcolonial and feminist theoretical framework to analyze Naylor’s evolving body of work, Montgomery pays particular attention to black slave historiography, tales of conjure, trickster lore, and oral devices involving masking, word play, and code-switching—the vernacular strategies that have catapulted Naylor to the vanguard of contemporary African American letters. Montgomery argues for the existence of home as a place that is not exclusively architectural or geographic in nature. She posits that in Naylor’s writings home exists as an intermediate space embedded in cultural memory and encoded in the vernacular. Home closely resembles a highly symbolic, signifying system bound with vexed issues of racial sovereignty as well as literary authority. Through a re-inscription of the subversive, frequently clandestine acts of resistance on the part of the border subject—those outside the dominant culture—Naylor recasts space in such a way as to undermine reader expectation and destabilize established models of dominance, influence, and control. Thoroughly researched and sophisticated in its approach, The Fiction of Gloria Naylor will be essential reading for scholars and students of African American, American, and Africana Literary and Cultural studies.

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Flannery O’Connor in the Age of Terrorism

Essays on Violence and Grace

Edited by Avis Hewitt and Robert Donahoo

In any age, humans wrestle with apparently inexorable forces. Today, we face the threat of global terrorism. In the aftermath of September 11, few could miss sensing that a great evil was at work in the world. In Flannery O’Connor’s time, the threats came from different sources—World War II, the Cold War, and the Korean conflict—but they were just as real. She, too, lived though a “time of terror.” The first major critical volume on Flannery O’Connor’s work in more than a decade, Flannery O’Connor in the Age of Terrorism explores issues of violence, evil, and terror—themes that were never far from O’Connor’s reach and that seem particularly relevant to our present-day setting. The fifteen essays collected here offer a wide range of perspectives that explore our changing views of violence in a post-9/11 world and inform our understanding of a writer whose fiction abounds in violence. Written by both established and emerging scholars, the pieces that editors Avis Hewitt and Robert Donahoo have selected offer a compelling and varied picture of this iconic author and her work. Included are comparisons of O’Connor to 1950s writers of noir literature and to the contemporary American novelist Cormac McCarthy; cultural studies that draw on horror comics of the Cold War and on Fordism and the American mythos of the automobile; and pieces that shed new light on O’Connor’s complex religious sensibility and its role in her work. While continuing to speak fresh truths about her own time, O’Connor’s fiction also resonates deeply with the postmodern sensibilities of audiences increasingly distant from her era—readers absorbed in their own terrors and sense of looming, ineffable threats. This provocative new collection presents O’Connor’s work as a touchstone for understanding where our culture has been and where we are now. With its diverse approaches, Flannery O’Connor in the Age of Terrorism will prove useful not only to scholars and students of literature but to anyone interested in history, popular culture, theology, and reflective writing.

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