The course will examine the ways in which the regional identity of the U.S. South has shaped itself within the era of globalization. In particular, it will focus on the ways in which texts and institutions have created and contested understandings of "southernness." Looking at writing from the colonial, antebellum, Reconstruction, modern and postmodern eras, we will try to understand how representations of the U.S. South have been used to stage certain hypotheses regarding race, class, economic and political relations, and social values. After examining diverse literary genres such as the slave narrative, the plantation romance, literary adaptations of folklore and blues, the grotesque, etc. we will consider how writers in more recent decades have challenged, shifted or recapitulated earlier genres. Moreover, in foregrounding cultural similarities between the U.S. South and the global South, we will address questions of historical trauma, diasporic identity, cultural assimilation, and reconceptualize exceptionalist notions of nation and region by placing the U.S. South in a transnational perspective. Finally, we will ask what the changing genres and geographies of contemporary southern fiction reveal about the literary uses of the region today.