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American LiteratureVol. 78 Iss. 4 (2006)

Global Contexts, Local Literatures: The New Southern Studies

Kathryn McKee and Annette Trefzer

McKee and Trefzer call for a new, transnational and multidisciplinary approach to the American South, emphasizing the need for studies which acknowledge the economic, social, and political connectedness of a South previously defined by regional exceptionality.

"To Walk with the Storm": Oya as the Transformative "I" of Zora Neale Hurston's Afro Atlantic Callings

Keith Cartwright

Cartwright examines the religious representation of the storm in Hurston's fiction, interspersing literary analysis with post-Hurricane Katrina observations which reinforce Hurston's apt use of storms as sites of racial power and identity.

Circum-Atlantic Superabundance: Milk as World-Making in Alice Randall and Kara Walker

Patricia Yeager

Juxtaposing literary and artistic representations of enslaved African American women, Yeager explores the "aesthetics of excess" which characterize Southern race relations. Yeager argues that slaves make such excess possible by providing the literal and symbolic lactation which sustains whites and that this exchange also highlights the tenuousness and superficiality of strictly-drawn racial demarcations.

We Are Not the People: The 1805 Haitian Constitution's Challenge to Political Legibility in the Age of Revolution

Anne W. Gulick

In an examination of the first Haitian Constitution, Gulick reveals the document's contradictory approach to racial and gendered definitions of national identity and connects this complicated construction of Haitian identity to the nation's historical struggle with racial and gender bifurcation and subjugation.

Confederate Cuba

Caroline Levander

Levander's article examines the historical connections between Cuba and the United States, arguing that U.S. policies towards Cuba reveal a larger, raced aspect of an American imperialism which claims to export freedom and liberty to subjugated countries abroad.


Rachel Pierce

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