This talk will use several important texts in Southern literature as a means for understanding contemporary events.

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Exclusion, Resistance, and Populism - Contemporary U.S. through the Lens of Southern Literature

Lecture / Free admission


The focus will be on the marginalization of poor whites and how that marginalization has led to a backlash against traditional social and political structures. Works to be looked at include Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird and Go Set a Watchman, William Alexander Percy’s Lanterns on the Levee, James Dickey’s Deliverance, Cormac McCarthy’s Child of God and Robert Penn Warren’s All the King’s Men.


Professor Brinkmeyer will show that the literary representation of the conflict between society’s outcasts and its ruling elite suggests that the forces of exclusion can be just as destructive as the violent backlashes that have often ensued from those being marginalized.

Robert H. Brinkmeyer, Jr. is Director of the Institute for Southern Studies, Emily Brown Jefferies Professor of English, and Claude Henry Neuffer Professor of Southern Studies at the Department of English Language and Literature at the University of South Carolina.

Organizers: Amerika-Institut LMU München, Bavarian American Academy