Category Archives: The South

Pulvis et Umbra

A final shot from Mine 21, a beautiful image of miners’ headlamps which flicker like stars about to go out. Nos ubi decidimus quo pater Aeneas, quo dives Tullus et Ancus, pulvis et umbra sumus. –Horace, Odes 4.7.14-16 When we … Continue reading

Posted in Cemeteries & Funerals, Classics, Mythology, Poetry, Tennessee, The South, Time | Leave a comment

The Drunken Pat Argument

A fine piece by Adam Gopnik in this week’s New Yorker on Frederick Douglass indicates that there was tension between the movements to enfranchise women and blacks, with a remark on how anti-Irish sentiment was used by either side: [Elizabeth … Continue reading

Posted in Ireland, Race, Slavery, The South | Leave a comment

The legacy of lynching

From Oprah Winfrey’s 60 Minutes feature, “Inside the Memorial to Victims of Lynching,”  about Bryan Stevenson’s memorial and museum in Montgomery, Alabama. Here she is discussing the photos that show white people “in their Sunday best” surrounding the hanging bodies … Continue reading

Posted in Race, Slavery, Statues & Monuments, The South, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

You have heard of Gettysburg, but does it haunt you?

It was just about two years ago that my late friend Michael, about whom I’ve written before, and I had the following exchange on Facebook chat. He was very Southern and conservative in his manner, and I am very neither. … Continue reading

Posted in Cemeteries & Funerals, Family, Ireland, Military, Sewanee, Slavery, The South, Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Damnatio Memoriae Sevaniae

A year or so ago, I had an exchange with the United Daughter of the Confederacy about the monument to CSA General Edmund Kirby-Smith on the campus of the University of the South in Sewanee, TN, where I teach. My … Continue reading

Posted in Cemeteries & Funerals, Classics, Emblems, Military, Race, Sewanee, Slavery, Statues & Monuments, The South, Time, Uncategorized | 6 Comments

What’s in a Place-name?

Metonomasia is an obscure term– it’s not even found in the OED!– but it’s a real thing, the alteration of a place-name. Very often this takes place for political reasons: think of the change of St. Petersburg to Leningrad and … Continue reading

Posted in Drama, England, Ireland, Language & Etymology, Military, Sewanee, Slavery, The South, Uncategorized | 4 Comments

To Hear About a Martyr and a Hero

I had been prepared yesterday to talk about kings and prophets, but instead got to hear about a martyr and a hero. Friday was the day before Fall Break here in Sewanee, and my last class of the week was the … Continue reading

Posted in Bible, Education, Music, Poetry, Race, Saints, Sewanee, Statues & Monuments, The South | Leave a comment