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Emerging Scholars Roundtable Curated by the 2014-2016 Executive Council of the Emerging Scholars Organization, An Affiliate of the Society for the Study of Southern Literature — Stephanie Rountree, Zackary Vernon, Monica Carol Miller, Matthew Dischinger, and Kelly Vines Blast South: Manifestos of Southern Vorticism Long live the great art vortex that sprung and springs up in this region, blowing away all things passe, obliterating all things worn-out, tired, dead. We stand for realities present, not futures sentimental or pasts sacripant. The southern vortex is maximum energy, a reminder of change and harbinger of changes to come. We blast first (from impoliteness) the white South. Curse its culture for its sins and infections passed on and on and on, dismal albatross set round our necks and hearts and minds, forever rotting there. Blast all parochialism, North and South, East and West. Blast 1619 to 1865 and the white wake of apartheid to follow. Blast 1865 to the present. Blast “slavery by another name,” the Jim Crow car, and displacements on grand and small scales. Blast 45. We bless reconstructions yet to come. Bless the marchers, boycotters, protesters, and whistleblowers of the resistance. Bless Black, Brown,andLGBTQ+bodieswhosehistories have taught us how to resist. Bless old and new and renewed centers of urban southern culture: New Orleans, Savannah, Austin, Birmingham, Jackson, Memphis, St. 6 Mississippi Quarterly Augustine, Carrboro, Athens, Charleston, Baltimore, Baton Rouge, Tuscaloosa,Lexington,Columbia,Richmond,Mobile,Oxford,Nashville, Asheville, Tallahassee. Bless the avant-garde and celebrate the bohemians. Bless (and blast) New Southern Studies, that long-overdue revolution, that ambiguous banner under which these newest scholars emerge. Bless studies of new Souths and new studies of old Souths. Blast Trans-Atlantic slavery, debt peonage, the chain gang, labor exploitation, racial oppression, and land dispossession. Bless the origins of American popular music: Negro spirituals, ragtime, Delta Blues, New Orleans Jazz, rock and roll. Bless soul food and soul music. Bless country and city and all places holy between. Bless Queen Sugar and Atlanta. Blastthespecialist,theprofessional,debonaire,goodcountrysoutherner. Bless southern humor, wild giver of crow’s feet. Bless and blast the southern grotesque, deliciously evil thing that it be. Bless the tacky, the ugly, the cash-only roadside attractions. Blast the Southern Agrarians, those phony, pedantic armchair farmers, for romanticizing agriculture while peddling racism, classism, and sexism. Bless the southern agrarians out there working so doggedly to develop new and indeed very old farming techniques to feed the hungry masses without destroying the planet. Blast food deserts, and bless butter beans. Bless gardens, and blast guns. Blast meth, and bless bourbon. Bless the Renascence and staying power like a bear. 7 Emerging Scholars Roundtable Blast racial stereotypes, minstrelsies, the plantation school, white southern nostalgia, and willful ignorance. Blastangelheadedhipstersandallother culture vampires,andblessthem for craft cocktails, untold varieties of tacos, and keeping Knoxville scruffy and Austin weird. Blast domestic terrorism in all its shades of white. Bless Denmark Vesey, revolutionary leader of men both bound and free, and bless Bree Newsome, who, after the Emanuel massacre, fearlessly snatched the Confederate flag from its honorific position on the South Carolina Statehouse grounds. Blast mosquitoes, both bug and novel. Bless iconoclasts, battering rams for good: Armand Lanusse; H. L. Mencken; Richard Wright; Zora Neale Hurston; Martin Luther King, Jr.; W. E .B. Du Bois; Medgar Evers; bell hooks; Lillian Smith; Paul Green; Ida B. Wells; Alice Walker; Nell Irvin Painter; Lillian Hellman; Tom Dent; Jerry Ward; Truman Capote; Craig Womack; Marilou Awiakta; Allan Gurganus; Randall Kenan; William Barber, II; Kara Walker. BlessBookerT.Washington,andblast the“AtlantaExpositionAddress.” Bless Beyoncé for her shirt-sleeve southernness—both playful and defiant. Bless the past and future of southern Hip Hop: OutKast, Master P., David Banner, Big K.R.I.T., Big Freedia, Lil Wayne & Young Money, Lil Jon, and Ludacris. Bless all musics that represent hometown souths. Bless the arts, and blast budget cuts for the humanities. Blast all fire-breathing reactionaries who stymie progress and impede equality. Blast the Southern Foodways Alliance for glamorizing southern poverty, and bless it for documenting endangered cultural enclaves. Bless front porches and hammocks and day drinking. 8 Mississippi Quarterly Blast Walmart for destroying small-town America and only removing the Confederate flag from...


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