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Teaching the Works of Eudora WeltyTwenty-First-Century Approaches$
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Mae Miller Claxton and Julia Eichelberger

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9781496814531

Published to University Press of Mississippi: May 2019

DOI: 10.14325/mississippi/9781496814531.001.0001

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Teaching Welty’s A Curtain of Green in an American Studies Freshman Seminar

Teaching Welty’s A Curtain of Green in an American Studies Freshman Seminar

(p.41) Teaching Welty’s A Curtain of Green in an American Studies Freshman Seminar
Teaching the Works of Eudora Welty

Susan V. Donaldson

University Press of Mississippi

This essay focuses on introducing students in an American Studies intensive writing freshman seminar on southern women writers to the cultural context of Eudora Welty’s first volume A Curtain of Green (1942) and its recurring motifs of confinement and rebellion. The course begins with a showing of the film Gone with the Wind and Harriet Jacobs’s slave narrative Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl to introduce students to the cultural mythology of southern womanhood and its lasting impact upon American culture, from stereotypes of black and white womanhood reified in American culture by Hollywood to revisions and parodies produced by writers ranging from Zora Neale Hurston to Alice Randall and Eudora Welty herself. Hence the course situates Welty’s short stories within a tradition of southern black and white women writers critical of the region’s mythology of womanhood, the color line, and segregation’s hypervisual culture of surveillance.

Keywords:   Mythology of Southern womanhood, Color line, Black and womanhood, Surveillance, Zora Neale Hurston

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