Deep South Dystopias: Whiteness and Masculinity in U.S. Southern Political Culture

Zwiers, M., 18-Oct-2019.

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperAcademic

The U.S. South has often been depicted as a rural backwater, completely out of step with modern times, characterized by an antiquated plantation labor system and a gothic political culture. My paper takes a radically different approach to the region. In contrast with the traditional view that the white South was fighting a forlorn rearguard battle to maintain its segregationist (or Jim Crow) system after World War II, I argue that southern segregationists were fully immersed in Cold War modernity and actively sought to secure and advance their white-supremacist way of life through interregional and transnational alliances, making their impact global in nature. On the basis of three case studies, I will explain how agents of the southern racial order exported its racist ideology across regional borders to other parts of the world such as Europe, the Caribbean, and Latin America. Through dystopian narratives, spokesmen of southern segregation created a sense of crisis that legitimated their racialized agenda. They fused anticommunism, free-market capitalism, and whiteness into a powerful message to maintain white control, both at home and abroad. This message took on added significance within the context of the Cold War and decolonization.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 18-Oct-2019
EventRacial Orders, Racist Borders: 6th Annual Conference of the Amsterdam Centre for Globalisation Studies - University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, Netherlands
Duration: 17-Oct-201918-Oct-2019


ConferenceRacial Orders, Racist Borders


Racial Orders, Racist Borders: 6th Annual Conference of the Amsterdam Centre for Globalisation Studies


Amsterdam, Netherlands

Event: Conference

ID: 99519425