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

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 — stunning in its scope — of white resistance to federal power.

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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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Revisiting the Movement

Robert Penn Warren’s 1964 interviews with civil-rights activists get an updated look

With Free All Along: The Robert Penn Warren Civil Rights Interviews, editors Stephen Drury Smith and Catherine Ellis encourage a new community of readers to revisit the ideas and experiences of civil-rights activists and thinkers during the movement’s height.

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