Each issue of the Southeastern Geographer includes a front-cover photograph of the American South by a member of SEDAAG accompanied by a short essay. To solicit images for the upcoming year, the Southeastern Geographer has accepted submissions for a virtual photo contest to select potential covers for the four issues.
Attendees are asked to vote by noon on Saturday, November 7th, with the results to be announced at the SEDAAG Awards Ceremony. Thank you for your participation!
Go Here to Vote:
Festival Lights in the Scruffy City
Pictured here is the patio space of Balter Beerworks in the urban center of Knoxville, Tennessee. The “Scruffy City” has seen rapid redevelopment of its downtown, and a robust yet gentrifying local economy has taken root. Prominently pictured here is an ornamental accompaniment to this festive urban space: decorative string lights. These string lights are not, however, passive additions to the space’s décor but are rather active, material placemaking agents through the work they do to create a atmospheres of festival, spaces of extra-normal fun, and a getaways from the ordinary and routine. We should furthermore critically consider the work that these festival lights do. Hipster establishments can proliferate gentrification by using décor like festival lights in areas of urban redevelopment to perform an aura of uniqueness and authenticity. So, while festival lights do work to beautify and create spaces of festivity, they also can unevenly perpetuate gentrification.
In 1894 the State of Mississippi adopted a state flag with a Confederate Battle Flag in its canton. It was utilized as a message of White unity against the Populist movement that had united poor African-American and White farmers across the state in the 1890s. On July 1, 2020, Mississippi’s governor signed legislation retiring that flag and initiating a process of creating a commission that would propose a new flag for the state that would be voted upon in November 2020. In the period between July and November 2020, the state lacked an official state flag leading to the odd occurrence of empty state flag flagpoles in front of government buildings. This photo displays the empty state flag pole on the right at the Jones County Courthouse in Ellisville, MS.