UGA Press has another winner with “Dixie Emporium”

4 Sep

Dixie Emporium
Tourism, Foodways, and Consumer Culture in the American South
Edited by Anthony J. Stanonis

A region explained through its tourist attractions and souvenirs This collection of ten essays focuses on how southerners have marketed themselves to outsiders. The cultural ironies and contradictions that have arisen from southerners’ efforts to commodify their identity reveal regional anxieties about consumerism, tourism, and memory.

The book’s first section looks at southern souvenirs as abstractions of regional culture. Essays on such topics as Confederate imagery on consumer goods and the tacky figurine known as the Horny Hillbilly unpack the often incongruous meanings bestowed on souvenirs by their owners. Locales like Branson, Missouri, and the South of the Border tourist complex in South Carolina are discussed in the second section’s essays, which consider how tourist sites can both exploit and depend on local culture. Recognizing the deep cultural meanings associated with food and eating, the final group of essays looks at the Krispy Kreme donut franchise, the themed Baltimore eatery Café Hon, and other manifestations of southern foodways.

Viewing a region often at odds with itself on matters like race and religion, Dixie Emporium identifies spaces, services, and products that construct various Souths that exaggerate, refute, or self-consciously safeguard elements of southernness.

Anthony J. Stanonis is a lecturer in modern U.S. history at Queens University, Belfast. He is the author of Creating the Big Easy: New Orleans and the Emergence of Modern Tourism, 1918-1945 (Georgia).

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