As a scholar interested in questions of identity, community, and power the impact of memory and narrative leveraged to defined the southern experience are crucial spaces of inquiry. In 2015 I participated in The Confederate Flag: 13 Flag Funerals, a public art project by John Sims. While that project garnered a great deal of interest, my concern with memory in the southern experience exists before that project.  Teaching about race and culture in the United States, I'm fascinated with the commodification of southern identity and commentary on race, class, and gender-linked to that process.  In particular, Garden and Gun has emerged as point of interest for me.  Started in 2007 and based in Charleston, S.C., G & G captures how some contemporary southerners (and northerners)  consume the southern history. In many ways,  G & G acts as a way to shape the social and political discourse linked to regional identity in the United States. The implications of these depictions are the source of much discussion for those concerned about the legacy of race in the United States. I have thought about ways to employ the critical making methodological I use in my classes to explore the challenge represented by G & G.  Driven by the question, "Would it be ok if it was called Plantation and Whip?"  I've been playing around with creating covers for an "Illustrated Magazine of Southern Mythology" called Plantation and Whip.

What if P & W existed during the Civil War?

How would P & W look at  the Lost Cause myth?

How would P & W react to fight against the KKK in 1871?

Would P & W have a special interest in Florida?

How would  P & W  react to the director of  Birth of a Nation?

Word Clouds as Art: 'Words to Live By?'  demonstrates, perhaps crudely, the importance of southern memory weighed against historical fact. The Cornerstone Speech (1861), Southern Manifesto (1956), and the emails asking for me to be fired for my participation in 13 Flags Event (2015)  shared many of the same words.  Of course, this is a direct legacy of a past misremembered and symbols that support that false memory. 

I've played around with a cover image for the P & W project.