Blogging My Way Through Comprehensive Exams
I know this will be tremendously interesting to exactly no one, but I have decided to blog my way through comprehensive exams by posting thoughts on some of the books I am reading. Definitely not all-but my favorites or books that I have kept me thinking.
This past week i read two books-Chained in Silence by Talithia Leflouria and Creating a Confederate Kentucky by Anne Marshall. I didn't think they would have much in common besides residence on my Southern exam list, but I loved them and found engrossing similarities. Leflouria's book argues that black women's incarcerated labor built "new south modernity" while Anne Marshall's argues that post Civil War racial violence in many ways created they mythic Kentucky of the confederacy. These books are not really speaking to each other, but say a lot about the myth's we invoke about the south were created in racial violence after the Civil War-and not only the myth's of the lost cause-but ideas about modernity and industrialization.
I also loved the focus in Leflouria's book on the important distinctions between slavery and post Civil War incarceration. She really emphasizes the importance of the differences and the line between slavery and freedom. A lot of activist rhetoric-and even the rhetoric of academics-can flatten these important historic distinctions.