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Welcome to the LSA Institute Workshop on Changing perceptions of Southernness! 
Organized by Jennifer Cramer (jennifer.cramer@uky.edu) and Dennis R. Preston (dennis.preston@okstate.edu)
July 19, 2017, 9-am-4pm, JSB 108

    The Southern United States is unique, in that, as a subculture within the larger tapestry of Americanness, Southernness is something everyone knows something, everything, and nothing about. With or without real exposure to Southernness, a picture of the South has been constructed in the national imagination, and this image is bifurcated – it is Gone with the Wind, Southern belles and front porch swings, or it is Beverly Hillbillies, “unkempt, bearded, and barefoot rifle-toting hillbillies drinking homemade moonshine” (Harkins 2015).
    Within American dialectology, few varieties have been given as extensive treatment, in terms of both perception and production, as those associated with the American South (e.g., Kurath and McDavid 1961, Preston 1989, Bailey 1997, Feagin 2000, Wolfram 2003, Nagle and Sanders 2003). Historically, perceptions of linguistic Southernness could be characterized as bifurcated along similar lines (though such perceptions tend to coexist): the speech is pleasant, friendly, and homey or it is incorrect, uneducated, and slow (e.g., Preston 1989, Hartley 1999, Cramer 2016). And while Southerners have been more kind to their own varieties (Preston 1998), the “friendly and stupid” notion exists amongst outsiders and insiders alike. 
    In the more global, highly-connected world (e.g., Favell et al. 2007) in which we live, where the potential for Americans to base perceptions in reality is greater, the question arises as to whether those perceptions of Southern American English have changed. Do Southerners still devalue their own speech? Do non-Southerners still denigrate Southern varieties? Are there new ideologies in circulation that shatter the old? 
    In this workshop, we will invite scholars from numerous subfields (such as perceptual dialectology, social psychology, and sociophonetics) who have current research interests in perceptions of Southernness to explore the nuances of the current perceptions held about Southern varieties.
    The schedule for the day can be found below. Abstracts for individual papers can be found at Abstracts.

Schedule

9:00                 Welcome and introductory remarks

                        Jennifer Cramer and Dennis R. Preston

9:30                 Southernness and our Linguistic Planets of Belief

                        Paulina Bounds, Jennifer Cramer, and Susan Tamasi

10:00               Performing Southern Speech: Constraints and Consequences

                        Barbara Johnstone

10:30               The Contested Southernness of Appalachia

                        Kirk Hazen

11:00               The importance of Appalachian Identity: Two case studies in rootedness

                        Paul E. Reed

11:30               Lunch on your own

 

1:30                 The Changing Perceptions of Changing and Imagined Realities: The case of Southern US English

                        Dennis R. Preston

2:00                 Dismantling “The Master’s Tools” in the Southern Classroom: Moving Students Right to Their Own Language from Theory to Practice

                        Anne H. Charity Hudley

2:30                 Context, Voicing, and the Social Meaning of Southern Ain’t

                        Elaine Chun

3:00                 Keynote: Changing Perceptions of Language and Ethnicity in the South

                         Walt Wolfram

Subpages (1): Abstracts