The New Encyclopedia of Southern Culture

Volume 8: Environment

Edited by Martin V. Melosi

Charles Reagan Wilson, General Editor

314 pp., 6.125 x 9.25, 26 illus., bibl., index

  • Paperback ISBN: 978-0-8078-5856-1
    Published: November 2007
  • E-book EPUB ISBN: 978-1-4696-1660-5
    Published: February 2014
  • E-book PDF ISBN: 979-8-8908-8098-7
    Published: February 2014

New Encyclopedia of Southern Culture

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From semitropical coastal areas to high mountain terrain, from swampy lowlands to modern cities, the environment holds a fundamental importance in shaping the character of the American South. This volume of The New Encyclopedia of Southern Culture surveys the dynamic environmental forces that have shaped human culture in the region--and the ways humans have shaped their environment. Articles examine how the South's ecology, physiography, and climate have influenced southerners--not only as a daily fact of life but also as a metaphor for understanding culture and identity.

This volume includes ninety-eight essays that explore--both broadly and specifically--elements of the southern environment. Thematic overviews address subjects such as plants, animals, energy use and development, and natural disasters. Shorter topical entries feature familiar species such as the alligator, the ivory-billed woodpecker, kudzu, and the mockingbird. Also covered are important individuals in southern environmental history and prominent places in the landscape, such as the South's national parks and seashores. New articles cover contemporary issues in land use and conservation, environmental protection, and the current status of the flora and fauna widely associated with the South.

Sponsored by the Center for the Study of Southern Culture at the University of Mississippi

About the Author

Martin Melosi is Distinguished University Professor of History at the University of Houston. He is author of several books, including the award-winning The Sanitary City: Urban Infrastructure in America from Colonial Times to the Present.
For more information about Martin V. Melosi, visit the Author Page.


"More of a good thing, well timed, and in a more accessible package."--The Register of the Kentucky Historical Society

"Will appeal to a broad range of scholars, students, and those interested in the southern environment."--Journal of Mississippi History

"A fascinating read on the broad range of natural features that define our regions."--Our State

"Almost all the essays are sufficiently self-contained to provide a good overview, gently crafted to engage someone with only a beginner's knowledge, of topics often breezed past in college textbooks--an ideal combination for an encyclopedia."--Western Folklore

"Both instructive and entertaining--a job well done."--The North Carolina Historical Review

"After years of neglect, Melosi and others have reestablished the southern environment as a central theme in the region’s history. Like grits in the pantry, this volume will be a staple for those who hunger to comprehend basic concepts. And like grits with breakfast, the essays are smooth and satisfying."--Craig E. Colten, Carl O. Sauer Professor of Geography, Louisiana State University