Constructing Townscapes: Space And Society In Antebellum Tennessee

ISBN13: 9780807847688
Release Date: March 15th 1999
Published by: University of North Carolina Press
Pages: 294

The antebellum South has been drawn largely as a map of contrasting extremes--a vast agrarian landscape punctuated by a few major cities. Small towns have either been viewed as sleepy villages that reflected the countryside or dismissed as urban microcosms. In Constructing Townscapes, however, the small town emerges from obscurity to reveal its distinctive and influential role in the southern landscape.
Using existing architectural evidence as well as photographs, maps, diaries, letters, and newspapers, Lisa Tolbert shows how residents of four county seats in antebellum Middle Tennessee rebuilt and reorganized their towns in response to changing social and economic circumstances. She also illuminates the ways in which three seemingly powerless groups--women, young men, and slaves--influenced the arrangement of town space, vividly retracing the footsteps of members of these groups as they traveled town streets to perform their daily routines.
Through careful analysis of the relationships between the material and social contexts of town life, Tolbert shows that small towns, whose stories have usually been considered incidental to the course of southern history, should actually be understood as important components of antebellum southern culture.

More work like this

On 'Bound in Wedlock'
Tera Hunter
'This Is Me Being A Moralist'
Eddie S. Glaude, Jr.
The South’s Changing Political Landscape
Imani Perry
From #BlackLivesMatter to the White Power Presidency
Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor

Upcoming Events

An Evening with Ta-Nehisi Cotes
Nov 28, 2018 @ 5:30 pm - 7:00 pm
The Danforth Lecture in the Study Of Religion with Albert J. Raboteau
Dec 3, 2018 @ 4:30 pm
How Do You Solve a ‘Problem’ Like Madea? Re/Reading Tyler Perry
Dec 6, 2018 @ 4:30 pm
Anita Hill Lecture
Apr 10, 2019 @ 4:30 pm