The Bohemian South

Creating Countercultures, from Poe to Punk

Edited by Shawn Chandler Bingham, Lindsey A. Freeman

360 pp., 6.125 x 9.25, 6 halftones, notes, bibl., index

  • Paperback ISBN: 978-1-4696-3167-7
    Published: June 2017
  • Hardcover ISBN: 978-1-4696-3166-0
    Published: June 2017
  • eBook ISBN: 978-1-4696-3168-4
    Published: May 2017

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From the southern influence on nineteenth-century New York to the musical legacy of late-twentieth-century Athens, Georgia, to the cutting-edge cuisines of twenty-first-century Asheville, North Carolina, the bohemian South has long contested traditional views of the region. Yet, even as the fruits of this creative South have famously been celebrated, exported, and expropriated, the region long was labeled a cultural backwater. This timely and illuminating collection uses bohemia as a novel lens for reconsidering more traditional views of the South. Exploring wide-ranging locales, such as Athens, Austin, Black Mountain College, Knoxville, Memphis, New Orleans, and North Carolina’s Research Triangle, each essay challenges popular interpretations of the South, while highlighting important bohemian sub- and countercultures. The Bohemian South provides an important perspective in the New South as an epicenter for progress, innovation, and experimentation.

Contributors include Scott Barretta, Shawn Chandler Bingham, Jaime Cantrell, Jon Horne Carter, Alex Sayf Cummings, Lindsey A. Freeman, Grace E. Hale, Joanna Levin, Joshua Long, Daniel S. Margolies, Chris Offutt, Zandria F. Robinson, Allen Shelton, Daniel Cross Turner, Zackary Vernon, and Edward Whitley.

About the Authors

Shawn Chandler Bingham is assistant dean of academic affairs of the Honors College and assistant professor of sociology at the University of South Florida. He is author of

Thoreau and the Sociological Imagination and co-author of Seriously Funny: Disability and the Paradoxical Power of Humor.
For more information about Shawn Chandler Bingham, visit the Author Page.

Lindsey A. Freeman is a sociologist who teaches, writes, and thinks about cities, memory, art, and sometimes James Agee. She is author of Longing for the Bomb: Oak Ridge and Atomic Nostalgia and assistant professor of sociology at Simon Fraser University.
For more information about Lindsey A. Freeman, visit the Author Page.


“Inspire[s] fruitful discussions on broadening our understanding of the South’s role in contemporary America and the need to resist seeing southern life as a monolith of increasingly extreme political conservatism and racial intolerance.”--The Journal of Southern History

“Timely, engaging, and necessarily eclectic. . . . Marks new trails in the study of ‘bohemian groves in Southern soils’ that will point scholars to new problems in the region’s quirky cultural history.”--Journal of Social History

“This diverse collection of essays. . . . Offers a little bit for everyone in terms of how the South was not and is not the Sahara of the South, including scholarly historical research, journalistic essays, and personal recollections of the South and her people.”--Georgia Library Quarterly

The Bohemian South is a landmark work that will have a significant, enduring impact. Each beautifully written essay explores in powerful ways the presence of bohemian worlds within the American South, and together they establish a new perspective to understand both tradition and change within the region.”--William Ferris, author of The South in Color: A Visual Journal

“This is a remarkable, timely, and illuminating volume, both paradoxical and exceptionally revealing, with much to interest scholars across a range of disciplines. The quality of the essays is uniformly excellent.”--Richard Lloyd, author of Neo-Bohemia: Art and Commerce in the Postindustrial City