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OHL, Jessy J.

Winter 2020, 51.1, pages: 2-14

Of Beetles and Men: Public Memory, Southern Liberal Kitsch, and the Boll Weevil Monument at 100


This essay addresses the public memory of the Boll Weevil Monument in Enterprise, Alabama, as an exemplar of Southern liberal kitsch, a memory practice articulating regional identity through a playful discourse of progress that secures whiteness and deflects confrontation with historical racial injustice. Through a combination of archival research and fieldwork during the centennial celebration of the Boll Weevil Monument in 2019, I identify three rhetorical quirks underwriting Boll Weevil public memory that inform broader efforts to reimagine the past in greater service to contemporary political exigencies.



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