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FW: UAPress Press Release: New Book

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  • A.J. Wright
    fyi..aj wright // ajwright@uab.edu ... From: Jessica Lowther [mailto:JLowther@uapress.ua.edu] Sent: Friday, February 21, 2003 2:13 PM To: A.J. Wright Subject:
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      -----Original Message-----
      From: Jessica Lowther [mailto:JLowther@...]
      Sent: Friday, February 21, 2003 2:13 PM
      To: A.J. Wright
      Subject: UAPress Press Release


      FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

      _Southern Heritage on Display: Public Ritual and
      Ethnic Diversity within Southern Regionalism_
      Edited by Celeste Ray

      The University of Alabama Press is pleased to
      announce the publication of Southern Heritage on
      Display: Public Ritual and Ethnic Diversity within
      Southern Regionalism, edited by Celeste Ray. This
      provocative collection draws on extensive
      ethnographic fieldwork to shed light on the role
      that public ceremonies play in affirming or
      debunking cultural identities associated with the
      South. W. J. Cash's 1941 observation that "there
      are many Souths and many cultural traditions among
      them" is certainly validated by this book.
      Although the Civil War and its "lost cause"
      tradition continues to serve as a cultural root
      paradigm in celebrations, both uniting and
      dividing loyalties, southerners also embrace a
      panoply of public rituals-parades, cook-offs,
      kinship homecomings, church assemblies, music
      spectacles, and material culture exhibitions-that
      affirm other identities. From the Appalachian
      uplands to the Mississippi Delta, from Kentucky
      bluegrass to Carolina piedmont, southerners
      celebrate in festivals that showcase their diverse
      cultural backgrounds and their mythic beliefs
      about themselves. The ten essays of this cohesive,
      interdisciplinary collection present
      event-centered research from various fields of
      study-anthropology, geography, history, and
      literature-to establish a rich, complex picture of
      the stereotypically "Solid South." Topics include
      the Mardi Gras song cycle as a means of expressing
      identity in New Orleans; powwow performances and
      Native American traditions in southeast North
      Carolina; religious healings in southern
      Appalachian communities; Mexican Independence Day
      festivals in central Florida; and, in eastern
      Tennessee, bonding ceremonies of melungeons who
      share Indian, Scots Irish, Mediterranean, and
      African ancestry. Seen together, these public
      heritage displays reveal a rich "creole" of
      cultures that have always been a part of southern
      life and that continue to affirm a flourishing
      regionalism. Charles Reagan Wilson, author of
      Judgment and Grace in Dixie and Director of the
      Center for the Study of Southern Culture, writes,
      "An important contribution to scholarship. . . .
      One of the freshest and most stimulating
      interpretations I have recently seen of the
      American South."

      This book will be valuable to students and
      scholars of cultural anthropology, American
      studies, and southern history; academic and public
      libraries; and general readers interested in the
      American South. It contributes a vibrant, colorful
      layer of understanding to the continuously
      emerging picture of complexity in this region
      historically depicted by simple stereotypes.

      Celeste Ray is Assistant Professor of Anthropology
      at the University of the South, Sewanee,
      Tennessee, and author of Highland Heritage:
      Scottish Americans in the American South.

      Southern Heritage on Display
      280 pages, 20 illustrations
      6 x 9
      ISBN 0-8173-1227-7
      $49.95s cloth
      Publication Date: March 21, 2003

      For orders: The University of Alabama Press,
      Chicago Distribution Center, 110360 S. Langley,
      Chicago, Illinois 60628, (773) 568-1550 - phone,
      or (773) 660-2235 - fax.

      Contact: Priscilla J. McWilliams
      pjmcwill@...
      (205) 348-9534 - phone
      (205) 348-9201 - fax

      Note to Editor: For review copies or more
      information, contact The University of Alabama
      Press, Box 870380, Tuscaloosa, Alabama 35487-0380,
      (205) 348-9534.
      Jessica Lowther
      Marketing - Exhibits & Direct Mail
      Phone: (205) 348-1566
      Fax: (205) 348-9201
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