Chapter 16
A Community of Tennessee Writers, Readers & Passersby

Peter Kuryla

Not Just Another Word

Jefferson Cowie explores the troubling history of racist anti-statism in the South

FROM THE CHAPTER 16 ARCHIVE: With Freedom’s Dominion, Jefferson Cowie spins a dark, intricate tale of white, racist, anti-statist ideas of freedom in Alabama, revealing a sprawling history of white resistance to federal power. The book recently received the 2023 Pulitzer Prize in history.

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Raise the Roof for Tennessee Women and Title IX

Mary Ellen Pethel celebrates the lives of 50 Tennessee women athletes

In Title IX, Pat Summitt, and Tennessee’s Trailblazers, historian Mary Ellen Pethel measures the impact of 50 years of Title IX legislation on Tennessee women’s athletics in higher education. Pethel will discuss the book at the Tennessee State Museum in Nashville on March 11.

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Reckoning as an Act of Love

Emily Bingham exposes the tortuous, white supremacist history behind a familiar song

In My Old Kentucky Home: The Astonishing Life and Reckoning of an Iconic American Song, Emily Bingham reveals the strange career of revisions, evasions, lies, mythmaking, and forgetting behind Stephen Foster’s iconic ballad.

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Empowering People for the Long Haul

Stephen Preskill revisits the story of Myles Horton and the Highlander Folk School

Stephen Preskill’s Education in Black and White revisits the history of the Highlander Folk Center and its longtime director Myles Horton. The author weaves the stories of several activist-educators who, as they learned together at Highlander, imagined possibilities for participatory democratic life. Preskill will discuss the book at a virtual event hosted by Parnassus Books in Nashville on May 12.

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Skin Deep

Nell Irvin Painter talks with Chapter 16 about The History of White People, the relationship between sex and beauty, and the necessity of the Black Lives Matter movement

Prior to her 2015 lecture at Rhodes College, historian Nell Irvin Painter talked with Chapter 16 about how the concept of race entered human consciousness, why notions of beauty are so inextricably linked to sex, and how contemporary readers should accommodate for historical wrong-headedness. 

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Seeing the Extraordinary in the Ordinary

William Eggleston’s photographs illuminate Southern spaces in surprising ways

The Beautiful Mysterious: The Extraordinary Gaze of William Eggleston, collects 55 of the artist’s works from the 1960s through the 1980s. Primarily everyday scenes from the South during a transitional period in the region’s history, Eggleston’s photographs make the ordinary extraordinary or even dreamlike, capturing time and place but not without significant historical allusions.

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