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Looking for the Real South: Regional, National, and Hemispheric Perspectives

American Literature, Volume 83, Number 3, September 2011 DOI 10.1215/00029831-1339899 © 2011 by Duke University Press 650 American Literature is the continued preoccupation with the South as a discursive formation, or the question how the South writes itself into being a separate region discussed, for instance, by Michael Kreyling in Inventing Southern Literature (1998) and Richard Gray in Writing the South: Ideas of an American Region (1986). Gray proposes that “the South is primarily a concept, a matter of knowing, even more than being” (xiv). Second is a rearticulation, through new theoretical frameworks, of the tensions between the national and the regional, a move that yields cutting- edge insights into the production of national modernity.1 Third is a theoretical shift toward the global South—evident in many recent studies with hemispheric and transnational perspectives including James Peacock’s Grounded Globalism: How the U.S. South Embraces the World (2007) and Caroline Field Levander and Robert Levine’s collection Hemispheric American Studies (2008)—a perspective radically transformative of the cultural geography under consideration. And fourth is the question of the region’s relationship to globalization and commercialization taken up in Peacock, Harry L. Watson, and Carrie Matthews’s The American South in a Global World (2005). In the http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png American Literature Duke University Press

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