Alabama's Public Liberal Arts University

Jon Smith, Ph.D.


Associate Professor of English
Comer Hall, Station 6420
University of Montevallo
Montevallo, AL 35115
tel: (205) 665-6424 fax: (205) 665-6422


1997                School of Criticism and Theory, Cornell University

1994                Ph.D. English, University of Virginia

1989                M.A.  English, University of Virginia

1989                M.Ed. English Education, University of Virginia

1985                B.A.  Philosophy, Yale University




Ed. and introduction, with Deborah Cohn.  Look Away! The U.S. South in New World Studies.  Includes essays by Jesse Alemán, Robert W. Brinkmeyer and Debra Rae Cohen, Leigh Anne Duck, Wendy Faris, Earl Fitz, Kirsten Silva Gruesz, George Handley, Steve Hunsaker, Dane Johnson, Richard King, Jane Landers, John T. Matthews, Stephanie Merrim, Helen Oakley, Vincent Pérez, John-Michael Rivera, Scott Romine, Ilan Stavans, Philip Weinstein, and Lois Parkinson Zamora.   Durham: Duke UP, 2004.

Alabama and the Future of American Cultural Studies.  Rejecting both cultural studies' narcissistic preoccupation with "the new and the now" and Southern studies' narcissistic preoccupation with memory and "the presence of the past," and paying particular attention to hipster/early adopter appropriations of Southern culture, examines structural relays between bicoastal hipster/avant-garde culture and the idea of the South (both as what marketing theorists call "populist worlds") in American popular culture.  Includes chapters on hipster melancholy and Johnny Cash; the Georgia Confederate flag debates and Ruben Studdard's American Idol victory; William Faulkner and Greenwich Village; the Project Alabama fashion line and The Quilts of Gee’s Bend; Neko Case; O Brother, Where Art Thou?; and an afterword on Southern gardening in the age of global warming.  Estimated completion date, December 2007.


“Growing up and out of Alt-country: On Gen X, Wearing Vintage, and Neko Case.”  In Old Roots and New Routes: A Reader on Alt.Country Music and 'Alternative' Cultural Consumption, ed. Barbara Ching and Pamela Fox.  Ann Arbor: U of Michigan P, forthcoming.

“Faulkner, Metropolitan Fashion, and ‘The South.’”  Faulkner’s Inheritance: Faulkner and Yoknapatawpha 2005. Ed. Joseph R. Urgo and Ann J. Abadie.  Jackson: UP of Mississippi, 2007.  82-100.

"The U.S. South and the Future of the Postcolonial."  The Global South 1:1 (Winter 07), 153-8.

"The Rhetoric of Uneven Modernization: Hybrid Cultures in 'The South.'" American Literature 78:4 (Dec 06), 707-09.

“Hot Bodies and ‘Barbaric Tropics’: The U.S. South and New World Natures.”  Southern Literary Journal 36:1 (Spring 2003).  104-20.

“Southern Culture on the Skids: Punk, Retro, Narcissism, and the Burden of Southern History.”  In South to a New Place, ed. Suzanne Jones and Sharon Monteith.  Baton Rouge: Louisiana State UP, 2002. 76-95.

“John Dos Passos, Anglo-Saxon.”  Modern Fiction Studies 44:2 (Summer 1998) 282-305.

“Faulkner, Galsworthy, and the Bourgeois Apocalypse.”  The Faulkner Journal (Fall 1997/Spring 1998), 131-45.  (Special Faulkner the Reiver [Faulkner and intertextuality] issue, ed. Joseph Urgo.)

 Essay Reviews:

“Postcolonial, Black, and Nobody’s Margin.”  [Rev. of 5 books of Southern literary studies.]  American Literary History 16:1 (Spring 2004), 144-61.

“Feminism, Politics, and the Southern Woman Writer.”  [Rev. of Eudora Welty and Politics: Did the Writer Crusade?, ed. Harriet Pollack and Suzanne Marrs, and Revising Flannery O’Connor: Southern Literary Culture and the Problem of Female Authorship, by Katherine Hemple Prown.]  Southern Literary Journal 37:1 (Spring 2004).  167-72.

“The Welty Boom!”  Contemporary Literature 36:3 (Fall 1995), 553-69.  [Review of 8 books of Eudora Welty criticism.]

Special Journal Issues:

Ed. and introduction, “Rethinking the U.S. South.”  Special Issue of Forum for Modern Language Studies.  40:2 (April 2004).  New York: Oxford University Press. 

Ed., with Kathryn McKee and Scott Romine, “Postcolonial Theory, the U.S. South, and New World Studies.”  Special double issue of Mississippi Quarterly (56:4 and 57:1, Fall 03 and Winter 04) culled from December 2002 conference of the same name.

Ed., “Ecocritical Approaches to Southern Literary History,” cluster of 4 essays in Mississippi Quarterly 55:4 (Fall 2002).

Selected Reviews:

Rev. of Haunted by Empire: Geographies of Intimace in North American History, ed. Ann Laura Stoler.  Journal of American History 93:4 (March 2007), 1273-4.

Rev. of The Postsouthern Sense of Place in Contemporary Fiction, by Martyn Bone. Mississippi Quarterly 59:2 (Spring 2006), 369-73.

Rev. of The American South in a Global World, ed. James L. Peacock, Harry L. Watson, and Carrie R. Matthews.  Journal of American History 92:4 (March 2006), 1501-02.

Rev. of A Sense of Things: The Object Matter of American Literature, by Bill Brown.  Forthcoming in ISLE (Interdisciplinary Studies in Literature and Environment).

Rev. of Reconstructing Dixie: Race, Gender, and Nostalgia in the Imagined South, by Tara McPherson.  Mississippi Quarterly 57:4 (Fall 2004), 666-71.

Rev. of Beyond Nature Writing: Expanding the Boundaries of Ecocriticism, eds. Karla Armbruster and Kathleen Wallace.  ISLE 10:1 (Winter 2003), 296-7.

Rev. of Practicing New Historicism, by Catherine Gallagher and Stephen Greenblatt.  ISLE 8:2 (Summer 2001), 284-5.

Rev. of The Narrative Forms of Southern Community, by Scott Romine.  Style 34:2 (Summer 2000), 329-32.

Encyclopedia and Newsletter Articles:

“Postcolonial Southern Literature.” The Encyclopedia of Southern Culture.  2nd ed.  Chapel Hill: U of North Carolina P.  Forthcoming.

O Brother, Where Art Thou?”  Mississippi Encyclopedia.  Jackson: UP of Mississippi.  Forthcoming.

“Postcolonial Theory, the U.S. South, and New World Studies.”  SSSL Newsletter (Fall 2002), 10-11.



"Branding and Cultural Studies."  Marcus W. Orr Center for the Humanities, U of Memphis.  Sept. 2005.

"Faulkner, Metropolitan Fashion, and 'The South.'"  32nd Annual Faulkner and Yoknapatawpha Conference (Oxford, MS), July 2005.

“Civic Branding and the U.S. South.”   Plenary talk, 2004 Southern Intellectual History Circle meeting (Charleston, SC).

“Postcolonial Theory, the U.S. South, and New World Studies.”  Keynote address, Southern Writers Symposium, Methodist College (Fayetteville, NC), September 2003.

“Film, Music, and the (O) Death of the Subject.”  Invited talk. University of Nottingham, England, May 2003.



“Johnny Cash and the Return of the Real.”  2006 MLA Convention (Philadelphia).

Fashion and the Globalized South.”  2005 NAAS (Nordic Association of American Studies) Convention (Vaxjo, Sweden).

“Trauma and the Globalized South.”  “Navigating the Globalization of the American South” conference, Chapel Hill, NC, 2005.

“Imperial Corduroy: On Viewing The Quilts of Gee’s Bend.” “Representin(g) the Black South” panel, 2004 American Studies Association Convention (Atlanta, GA).  [I assembled this panel, which also included Riché Richardson, Bruce Brasell, Tara McPherson and chair Kathryn McKee.]



International Service: Conference Director, Society for the Study of Southern Literature/American Literature Association 2002 International Symposium on “Postcolonial Theory, the U.S. South, and New World Studies,” Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.

National Service: Society for the Study of Southern Literature: Member, Executive Council (elected by SSSL membership), 2003-05.  Chair, Nominations Committee (elected by Executive Council), 2004.  Chair, Steering Group of Publications Committee (appointed by President), 2005.  Chair, Local Arrangements (appointed by President), 2006 convention (Birmingham).  Representative to the American Literature Association (arranged the SSSL panels at the 2001 and 2002 ALA National Conventions; elected by SSSL Executive Council), 2001-02.  Southern Literature Discussion Group of the Modern Language Association (2003-08; chair, 2007).

Selected editorial work: Series Co-Editor, The New Southern Studies (U of Georgia Press).  Editorial Review Board, Southern Spaces (2005-); Advisory Board, The Global South (2004-); Editorial Board, Mississippi Quarterly (2003-). Reader for University of Georgia Press (2004-) and University Press of Mississippi (2001).



2005    Fulbright Senior Scholar Award, Universität Dortmund, Germany, to teach three graduate courses and advise on startup of Ph.D. program in American Studies

2002        $1000 grant from the Center for the Study of Southern Culture, University of Mississippi, to fund keynote speaker for “Postcolonial Theory, the U.S. South, and New World Studies” conference, Puerto Vallarta, Mexico



Modern Language Association, American Studies Association, Modernist Studies Association, Society for the Study of Southern Literature, William Faulkner Society.



Spanish and German