Editorial Statement

This is how we hold the South.

Our experience is shaped by the material world around us. The South is found in objects, foods, landmarks, and environments that bridge everyday lived experience with a broader shared imaginary of this place, its past, and its future. From the utilitarian—a skillet, or a worn shuttle—to the extraordinary—Scarlett O’Hara’s green dress—Southern things shape the nuanced substance of everyday life in the most cherished and reviled of American regions. Taken from the shelf or out of the kitchen, we seek to examine the singularity of these things, revealing unexpected encounters with a hidden iconography of the South.

A journal unlike any other, Southern Things serves as a bridge between thoughtful personal analysis and lived experience.

Through an ever-growing collection of essays, poems, and photographs we recapture the wonder of the first encounter, and we ask: how is it that things come to shape our experience, both lived and imaginary? We invite scholars, creative writers, and any captivated readers to contribute content for consideration. Published online and revisited annually, each volume of this open source journal will bring together a new set of things large and small, mundane and spectacular.

Through a piece-by-piece examination of historical, cultural, and personal significance, we will better understand how the material world shapes the Southern experience. These things are all part of an iconic, yet largely unremarked South: one that combines the contemporary and historic, the celebrated and the forgotten, as we examine anew a place, its people, and its things.

This is how our South is made. 

Woodblock Print
“1,000 Things” by Lauren Rose Kinney.