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Visiting Speaker: Professor Amy Clukey: “Speculative Souths”

April 17, 2019 @ 3:30 pm - 5:00 pm


The South is a problem. The New Southern Studies has spent nearly twenty years critiquing the idea that the region known as the south has actually existed and continues to exist in some coherent form. And yet theories about the region are still dogged by a monolithic and homogenous “South.” In this talk, Dr. Amy Clukey argues that Jeff VanderMeer’s Southern Reach trilogy imagines “speculative souths,” frameworks that develop alternative regionalist perspectives. For instance, VanderMeer forecasts post-Anthropocene futures in which alien forces erase human impacts on the natural world. Further, VanderMeer’s work explores the permeability of regional and planetary boundaries, how human bodies transform when in contact with terrestrial and alien forces, and how archives fail to maintain these borders. VanderMeer presents a sparsely-populated gulf coast that is not so much post-southern as it is post-Earth. So doing, his south camouflages something much more strange than “region,” as southernists and Americanists often think of it.


Amy Clukey is Associate Professor of English at University of Louisville. Her research encompasses global modernism, Southern studies, and Irish literature. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in The New Hibernia Review, Modern Fiction Studies, American Literature, and Twentieth-Century Literature, among other venues. She is currently completing a monograph entitled Plantation Modernism: Transatlantic Anglophone Fiction 1890-1950.





April 17, 2019
3:30 pm - 5:00 pm


Morgan Hall 301
Morgan Hall
Tuscaloosa, AL 35487 United States


James McNaughton