Individual Presentation or Panel Title

Southern Hunting Culture and Academic Life: Explorations of a Hybridized Location

Abstract

In this essay, the author autobiographically explores his perceived hybrid location of southern place in the space of academic life. Homi Bhabha’s concept of hybridity is deployed to illustrate the competing identities of a burgeoning critical scholar and native to the rural South. The culture of hunting in the South, particularly as it applies to the author’s early identity formation and familial relations is contrasted to a university life in which hunting is a foreign or competing narrative for value and importance. Although the issues of race relations and inequality in the American South were not the intended focus of this work, the author’s investigation revealed the degree to which this history of prejudice and racism pervades even the most seemingly unrelated of activities, such as hunting. The author interprets this discovery as further indication for the development of a contradictory space in which personal and professional values have become further estranged from prior beliefs and understandings. The importance of this revelation is to offer an example of a critical analysis that challenges previous thinking patterns about oneself, while also highlighting how the personal beliefs held by instructors may unintentionally impact the modeling and development of a critically conscious, border crossing, or culturally relevant classroom. The author concludes by reiterating the duality of southern identity, even when that dualism may differ for each individual or goes unrecognized by others.

Presentation Description

This introspective analysis of the meaningfulness of southern hunting culture for inhabitants of the rural South is presented as a potential obstacle for critical pedagogues who do not identify as hunters themselves. The author describes the hybridized position he has perceived, as a self-described "hunter," while working and studying in the academy. The author's personal hunting background is explored with attention to early identity formation, as well as a brief historical review of southern hunting culture, the inescapable shadow of the region's history of racial injustice, and what this may mean for a young scholar's identity as he seeks a socially just practice.

Keywords

Curriculum, Southern space, South, Hunting, Ambivalence, Hybridity, Race

Location

Forsyth

Publication Type and Release Option

Presentation (Open Access)

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Jun 10th, 5:15 PM Jun 10th, 6:30 PM

Southern Hunting Culture and Academic Life: Explorations of a Hybridized Location

Forsyth

In this essay, the author autobiographically explores his perceived hybrid location of southern place in the space of academic life. Homi Bhabha’s concept of hybridity is deployed to illustrate the competing identities of a burgeoning critical scholar and native to the rural South. The culture of hunting in the South, particularly as it applies to the author’s early identity formation and familial relations is contrasted to a university life in which hunting is a foreign or competing narrative for value and importance. Although the issues of race relations and inequality in the American South were not the intended focus of this work, the author’s investigation revealed the degree to which this history of prejudice and racism pervades even the most seemingly unrelated of activities, such as hunting. The author interprets this discovery as further indication for the development of a contradictory space in which personal and professional values have become further estranged from prior beliefs and understandings. The importance of this revelation is to offer an example of a critical analysis that challenges previous thinking patterns about oneself, while also highlighting how the personal beliefs held by instructors may unintentionally impact the modeling and development of a critically conscious, border crossing, or culturally relevant classroom. The author concludes by reiterating the duality of southern identity, even when that dualism may differ for each individual or goes unrecognized by others.