Flashes of a Southern Spirit: Meanings of the Spirit in the U.S. South by Charles WilsonFlashes of a Southern Spirit: Meanings of the Spirit in the U.S. South by Charles Wilson

Flashes of a Southern Spirit: Meanings of the Spirit in the U.S. South

byCharles Wilson

Paperback | May 1, 2011

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Flashes of a Southern Spirit explores meanings of the spirit in the American South, including religious ecstasy and celebrations of regional character and distinctiveness.

Charles Reagan Wilson sees ideas of the spirit as central to understanding southern identity. The South nurtured a patriotic spirit expressed in the high emotions of Confederates going off to war, but the region also was the setting for a spiritual outpouring of prayer and song during the civil rights movement. Arguing for a spiritual grounding to southern identity, Wilson shows how identifications of the spirit are crucial to understanding what makes southerners invest so much meaning in their regional identity.

From the late nineteenth-century invention of southern tradition to early twenty-first-century folk artistic creativity, Wilson examines a wide range of cultural expression, including music, literature, folk art, media representations, and religious imagery. He finds new meanings in the works of such creative giants as William Faulkner, Richard Wright, and Elvis Presley, while at the same time closely examining little-studied figures such as the artist/revivalist McKendree Long. Wilson proposes that southern spirituality is a neglected category of analysis in the recent flourishing of interdisciplinary studies on the South-one that opens up the cultural interaction of blacks and whites in the region.

CHARLES REAGAN WILSON is director of the Center for the Study of Southern Culture and a professor of history at the University of Mississippi. He is coeditor of the Encyclopedia of Southern Culture and author of Baptized in Blood (Georgia).
Title:Flashes of a Southern Spirit: Meanings of the Spirit in the U.S. SouthFormat:PaperbackDimensions:288 pages, 9 × 6 × 16 inPublished:May 1, 2011Publisher:University of Georgia PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0820338303

ISBN - 13:9780820338309

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Table of Contents

Preface. Spirit and a New Southern Studies
Introduction. "The Soul-Life of the Land": Meanings of the Spirit in the South

Part 1. Tradition
Chapter One. The Invention of Southern Tradition: The Writing and Ritualization of Southern History, 1880-1930
Chapter Two. The Burden of Southern Culture
Chapter Three. Saturated Southerners: The South's Poor Whites and Southern Regional Consciousness
Chapter Four. Our Land, Our Country: Faulkner, the South, and the American Way of Life
Chapter Five. The Myth of the Biracial South

Part 2. Creativity
Chapter Six. Beyond the Sahara of the Bozart: Creativity and Southern Culture
Chapter Seven. Flashes of the Spirit: Creativity and Southern Religion
Chapter Eight. The Word and the Image: Self-Taught Art, the Bible, the Spirit, and Southern Creativity

Part 3. Spirituality
Chapter Nine. Apocalypse South: McKendree Long and Southern Evangelicalism
Chapter Ten. "Just a Little Talk with Jesus": Elvis Presley, Religious Music, and Southern Spirituality
Chapter Eleven. Richard Wright's Pagan Spain: A Southern Protestant Abroad
Chapter Twelve. A Journey to Southern Religious Studies

Afterword. Constructing and Experiencing the Spirit

Editorial Reviews

[Flashes of a Southern Spirit is] revealing and risky [and] gives the reader the rare opportunity to get to know the author of a body of work. Both [Charles Reagan Wilson] and the work are worth knowing.

- David Stricklin - Journal of American History