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English professor co-edits book of essays on Appalachian culture

Seeking Home
Dr. Jürgen E.Grandt and Dr. Leslie Worthington, dean of academic programs and services at Gadsden State Community College in Alabama, have collaborated on "Seeking Home: Marginalization and Representation in Appalachian Literature and Song," a collection of essays that explores Appalachian cultures.

Dr. Jürgen E. Grandt, associate professor of English at the University of North Georgia (UNG), has co-edited a volume of essays exploring a region of the country rich in culture but destitute in nearly everything else.

Grandt and Dr. Leslie Worthington, dean of academic programs and services at Gadsden State Community College in Alabama, have collaborated on "Seeking Home: Marginalization and Representation in Appalachian Literature and Song," a collection of essays that explores Appalachian cultures.

The anthology peels away the layers of stereotypes to present a rich, diversified culture; the region's music, poetry, storytelling, letters, and fiction by a wide variety of artists are examined, including works by Barbara Kingsolver, Frank X Walker, Charles Frazier, and Ron Rash.

Grandt said he and Worthington agreed that the anthology would be theoretically sophisticated and reflect the cultural and racial diversity of the region.

"I did not want this to be the same-old, same-old about dueling banjos and squealing pigs and illegal moonshine, another installment of what I call ‘Lost Cause criticism’ that seems to be still thriving in certain corners of the discipline," Grandt said.

Grandt teaches African-American literature, early American literature and English composition at UNG. He is the author of two critically acclaimed monographs, "Kinds of Blue: The Jazz Aesthetic in African American Narrative," and "Shaping Words to Fit the Soul: The Southern Ritual Grounds of Afro-Modernism."

"Seeking Home," published by the University of Tennessee Press, has been nominated for the C. Hugh Holman Award, presented annually by The Society for the Study of Southern Literature for the best book of literary criticism, literary history or scholarly editions in the field of Southern literature.

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