Pop Souths: Scandalizing the Region

deadline for submissions: 
June 15, 2020
full name / name of organization: 
SAMLA / South Atlantic Modern Language Association

November 13-15, 2020 | Jacksonville, FL 

Keeping with SAMLA 92’s theme, the Emerging Scholars Organization (ESO) seeks abstracts linking souths that capture the popular imagination, provoking and exposing both region and nation. We are interested in exploring how popular narratives from and about “the South” scandalize the United States, how scandalous narratives from and about the United States popularize different souths, as well as how people from regions around the world enjoy being scandalized by the South. How do peoples’ conceptions of “the South” as both a maker and breaker of rules shed light on intersections of race, gender, and sexuality? How do popular stories about regions help us better understand national nuances of lived experience and personal identity at global scales? We welcome submissions focusing on a wide range of perspectives, but we are especially interested in work that queries long-established views of “the solid South,” which is so often characterized as white, cisgender, heterosexual, able-bodied, and agrarian. We will give special consideration to papers that discuss a wide range of popular media or authors who use popular media to re-write perceived “norms” of race, gender, and sexuality across and beyond the region. 


While all papers should consider the topic of souths and popular media, the ESO is especially interested in the following topics: 

  • Queer or Quare Souths

  • Social (Media) Souths

  • True Crime and the South

  • Streaming Souths

  • Blues, Rock & Roll, Soul, and Hip Hop souths

  • Sensational and Sentimental Literature about the South

  • Slavery, Racial Terror, and Mass Incarceration in the South 

  • Radio, Television, and the Long Civil Rights Movement Beyond the South

  • Online Media, Region, and Electoral Politics

  • Journalism and Marketing about the South 

  • Disability and Accessibility across Souths

  • Global South, Appalachian South, or Circum-Caribbean Souths 

  • Playing the South: Video Games and Southern Studies

  • Souths in Memes and Meme Culture

While the ESO is an affiliate of the Society for the Study of Southern Literature, we welcome participants inside and outside of southern studies, as well as those who have wide-ranging conceptions of both “Pop” and “South.” Please send 500-word proposals and A/V requirements to emergingscholarsorg@gmail.com by June 15, 2020.