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"Rethinking King Cotton: George W. Lee, Zora Neale Hurston, and Global/Local Revisions of the South and the Nation," in Arizona Quarterly (forthcoming). This essay analyzes the writings of Hurston and the understudied African American author George W. Lee through the frames of ecocriticism and the “global South.” Their interpretations of agrarianism, I demonstrate, give new depth and context to the place of persons of color in constructions of “local” and “global” environments, proposing alternative visions of subjectivity, cultural and social allegiance, and environmental praxis in American literature. These visions hold forth the promise of extending and deepening critical imaginations of agriculture, ecology, and race, I argue, from the (un)confines of the American South to the “manywheres” of the “glocal” South. In sum, their texts deconstruct binaries of local and global in search of tenable sites of resistance as they reimagine raced, rural identity with both cultural and environmental agency and complexity.

"Zora Neale Hurston: Environmentalist in Southern Literature," in Deborah Plant, ed., Reading Zora Neale Hurston: Critical Essays (Praeger Publishers, forthcoming). This essay rejects the racist, regionalist, and misogynist assumption that Hurston cannot be both a black southern woman and an environmentalist. Drawing on her letters, autobiography, and fiction, juxtaposed against white masculinist representations of the environment of Florida during the 1930s and 1940s, I explore the revolutionary environmental imagination Hurston creates and disseminates.

  © 2009 | Last revised May 6, 2009 |