The south seems on the cusp of something new. No longer looking backward, we incline our bodies forward in a gesture that seems to mimic or at least expect progress. Across its work in the many interdisciplinary modes of American Studies, southern studies is poised to look to its future once again. The Society for the Study of Southern Literature reaches the half-century mark in the spring of 2018, and its annual call to meeting involves an invitation to those who might not consider themselves “southernists.” This journal turns fifty in 2018, a milestone we have prepared for by inclining ourselves toward more interdisciplinary scholarship and developing a social media presence.
By all accounts, the Presidential election of November 2016 has opened up a host of reflections, national and otherwise. As scholars across the region take stock of the new normal, something like expand and contract is occurring. Movement. This edition of south returns us to in-print book reviews, a format that we will be continuing in subsequent issues. We will still showcase brief opinions on books in our online section, “What We’re Reading Now.”
Expansion and contraction looks forward to crisis and opportunity (our special issue 50.1). We nest in place, realizing that the dream of the warmth of other suns is not only ever elusive but also, more than ever, impossible.
Sharon P. Holland