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“What would Lee do?”: Internal orientalism in the U.S. and the moral geographies of “Southern” nationalism
Vassar College.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-5123-1357
2006 (English)Conference paper, Abstract (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This paper employs the framework of internal orientalism to explore the conceptions of the moral geographies of Southern identity among members of the Southern nationalist organization the League of the South. Internal orientalism in the U.S. involves the construction of an American national identity through the othering of the South. A primary aspect of the othering of the South involves the assumption that “the South” is the moral antithesis of “America,” in that the moral deficits that beset “the South” are not only characteristic of the region’s essential nature but also largely absent from the moral landscape of “America.” Through interviews with members of the League of the South I investigate the influence of internal orientalism on the imagined moral geographies of Southern nationalism. For League of the South members, it is the South that is the moral bedrock of the nation in contrast to a degraded and depraved America. The South’s morality inheres in its commitment to, among other things, Christianity, agrarianism, and proper gender roles. This study reveals the centrality of moral judgments to the ongoing process of internal orientalism and shows the ways in which it is refracted by the effects of race and power.

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Human Geography
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URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-287546OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-287546DiVA: diva2:922906
Annual Meeting of the Association of American Geographers
Available from: 2016-04-25 Created: 2016-04-25 Last updated: 2016-04-25

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Jansson, David
Human Geography

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