Introduction .................... by Bernard L. Herman Thinking of southern things, we are often drawn to the canonical objectâan oyster poâboy or Charleston single house or Edgefield pottery or kudzu. Edgefield District, South Carolina Face Jug, ca. 1862, alkaline glazed stoneware with kaolin inserts, 65/8 Ã 51/8 in. (16.83 Ã 13.02 cm.). Photograph by Jim Wildeman, courtesy of the Chipstone Foundation 2012.4. â aterial culture is best understood as the history and philosophy of objects. It proceeds from the idea that objects, tangible and imagined, locate the entirety of human experience and understanding. We are simply creatures that know and make sense of the world and our places within it through things. Southern things superintend the vast and diffuse array of objects that ground the many, often conflicted, sometimes nostalgic ideologies of a regional identity that is at once singular and plural. The question that emerges at the heart of this collection of essays, images, and poems is not what are southern things, but rather how are things southern. Each of the contributions that follow provides a fragment of an answer. Southern things are not necessarily objects with regional pedigrees discovered through metrics of makers, locales, collections, and consumers.
Southern Cultures – University of North Carolina Press
Published: Oct 31, 2017