Megan Hunt

Megan Hunt

I'm an Associate Lecturer in Humanities at Northumbria University, currently finishing up my PhD on the American South in Hollywood film. I am specifically interested in the civil rights era.

Location Newcastle upon Tyne

Activity

  • Wilson was a proud southerner and unfortunately needed little persuading to endorse the KKK. He also resegregated some aspects of the federal government, reversing previous integration policies.

  • Thank you for sharing this, Emily. I wasn't aware of the documentary.

  • You're certainly right, Annie. I guess, as you suggest, what we are really trying to prompt is a discussion about how and why Native groups have so often been removed from the dominant narrative that is told and taught, rather than the actual events.

  • It sure is great to see such a diverse range of learners from across the world, Nancy! And yes, even scholars of the South can get into something of a tangle when trying to define the region's geographical limits!

  • Thanks for your contribution, Jennifer. How the South is presented in popular culture is really important in terms of setting expectations around the world. Obviously none of us are advocating that any of those books or films are of a documentary nature, but they have a hold all the same. I hope you enjoy exploring the course with us.

  • Good point, Paul. If we could refrain from calling anyone an idiot, the MOOC would be a better place!

    Thanks for sharing both those shows Mark and Elaine, some definite food for thought!

  • That's a very good point, David. There's certainly more than a little to get uncomfortable about in True Detective! That said, it's interesting to think about the reasons why TV and film producers set these shows/films in the South, or why they use southern locations to explore some of the darker sides of American history and culture. That certainly doesn't...

  • I guess that 'idiot' would be me, Robert.

    I'm not sure you've really understood the point of this step, but it's designed to get people thinking about how the South is represented on television. That certainly doesn't mean True Detective is the best or the most authentic representation, but given the huge popularity of the show and its considerable...

  • That's certainly true, Greg. It can take a while to tune into, but it's definitely worth it.

  • The piece was designed to give people an introduction to the very divided critical reception the film received on its release (no doubt exacerbated by its Oscar nominations and controversies surrounding the federal response to Katrina). And we would have loved to have included some clips in the video, but due to copyright restrictions, that just wasn't...

  • Hi Claire. I'm glad you had the time to watch the film. It's a stunning piece of cinema: the visuals and sound especially memorable around the firework sequence before the storm. The video/introduction was designed to give a sense of how the film's content and message divided critics at the time of its release, and how the film was received in a post-Katrina...

  • Hi Carol. So glad you enjoyed the course. The election certainly did enhance what was already a lively debate! Enjoy your further reading and listening.

  • Thanks for posting these links, Emma. They pose a lot of interesting questions and certainly complicate the usual ideas of who supports the flag. I happened to see the Virginia Flaggers outside the Fine Arts Museum in Richmond, VA in the spring, which is the group the woman in the first article is a member of. I hadn't realised there was such a sustained...

  • Thank you for sharing this really interesting link!

  • Hi Graham. Thanks for your comments, and I'm glad you enjoyed the course. We certainly tried to cram a lot into the five weeks, and many have suggested perhaps too much. That said, many enthusiastic learners have asked for more material and further reading, so it's a hard balance to perfect! We're very grateful for all the feedback, especially that which is...

  • That's a really good question, Caroline. Most of the coverage I've seen of Haley's appointment suggests that most Republicans think it's a good thing because it keeps enemies close etc. I've even heard comparisons to Lincoln's decisions when lining his cabinet at a time of great division over slavery. That said, the Republicans interviewed are all political...

  • Good point, Richard! Apologies for that!

  • Definitely. When he passes comment on the evangelical revival tent, Marty turns to him and says something like, 'Can you see Texas up there on your high horse?' There's a strong emphasis on Cohle being from Texas and therefore an outsider, which poses interesting questions about southern identity.

  • The second series moves to Los Angeles, and was less of a hit with critics. I think there's definitely something to be said for how the first season's southern-setting made for a more interesting programme. I think the market is already fairly saturated with LA-based cop dramas, while Season 1 in Louisiana clearly struck more of a cord with viewers and critics.

  • The comment was clearly a critique of the show, Gary, not an endorsement.

  • Hi Jane, the idea was to have a recent depiction of the South. Thelma and Louise is 25 years old, and Blue Velvet was released in 1986. Beasts of the Southern Wild is a direct commentary on many of the issues raised by Hurricane Katrina, so it was hoped that learners could make some interesting links between the two. As for my missing 't's, I can only...

  • Well said, Jackie. Rosa Parks was a very political person, and fought injustice long before and after the bus boycott. She deserves to be recognised for her considered efforts, rather than simply as a 'tired seamstress.' That said, the image of her that was created was helpful to a cause that struggled to attract meaningful and sustained white support in a...

  • It's certainly interesting to think that Roosevelt asserted ‘that Americanism is a matter of the mind and the heart,’ rather than one of race in 1943, suggesting inclusivity just a year after he approved the mass incarceration of Japanese Americans!

  • Thanks for your kind words, Jennifer. I hope you enjoy the film!

  • Thanks Liz. King was very much aware that the law would not change people's hearts overnight, but he did say that while the 'law cannot make a man love me, it can keep him from lynching me, and I think that's pretty important!'

  • Certainly, David. Many studios were concerned that a film portraying black activism wouldn't sell in the South. Ironically, the desegregation of cinemas so important to the Kennedy administration in 1963 actually hurt some of the few black-centred films being produced at this time, as they previously would have had an audience in black-only theatres. Now the...

  • That's great timing, Mick! It's been re-released as part of the BFI's Black Star season I believe, as Sidney Poitier's performance was voted the best of all time by a black performer in a recent poll.

  • Thanks Colleen. I'll try and do that when I see good links being posted. There's so much lively debate going on, it's hard for us to even keep up sometimes!

  • It appears that NAACP leaders were searching for the 'perfect victim.' The decision to overlook Claudette Colvin was tinged with a lot of sexism. She was considered 'too feisty,' 'too emotional,' whereas it was assumed that Rosa Parks would be calmer and therefore 'more dignified' when arrested. Parks was well-trained for the action she took.

    There were...

  • Thanks for posting this Colleen. Charles Reagan Wilson has written prolifically on religion and southern history, and so it's really worth checking out this article for an introduction to some of his work.

  • Apologies if that wasn't clear Nicholas. I've now edited the text to make sure the organisation is named properly before we get into the acronyms!

  • Life magazine covered the desegregation of schools in Hoxie, Arkansas in 1955, and there is a very clear implication in the article that children know better than adults, and have yet to absorb prejudice. However, most segregationists were aware of the way they were being portrayed and the article provoked further outcry, galvanising segregationist support....

  • Carter has certainly become more popular as a former president than he was in office! His humanitarian and environmental efforts have seen him regain respect and support. He's authored several books and even won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2002!

  • Thanks for your comment, Jonathan, which emphasizes why African Americans were so keen to strive for the 'Double V' - victory against overseas fascism and racial segregation at home. As well as African American servicemen returning home to the South after serving abroad, it is also important to think about those northern blacks serving at military bases in the...

  • Hi Marlene, I'm sorry that you feel this way. The account given is that of a historian who has worked to present a non-biased presentation of some key events in the debate. I appreciate that some of the learner comments and discussion that have followed have been insensitive and dismissive of certain religious views. The level of religiosity evident in this...

  • Voter realignment in the South proved a crucial aspect of mid-20th century history, as white southerners began to abandon the Democrats for the Republicans during the civil rights era. We'll discuss this in more detail next week.

  • There is a history of armed black resistance in the South, where gun laws often proved even more precious than white fears of an armed black populace. A September 1954 proposal enabling Mississippi law enforcement officers to confiscate guns and ammunition ‘from those likely to cause us trouble’ was part of a wider segregationist backlash to the May 17th 1954...

  • Thank you for sharing this, Edward. The Green Book is an amazing resource, as it really hammers home just how much the mobility that we associate so much with American culture (the open road, fantasies of freedom etc.) was systematically denied to African Americans who had much more to fear when entering unknown territory. Hotels and restaurant options were...

  • I also had the pleasure of seeing Scottsboro Boys a couple of years back. A fantastic presentation of a dark period of history. I'm glad you're enjoying the course, Richard, and perhaps have a little more insight into the issues raised in the play.

  • They do indeed, Michael. I would urge anyone who thinks Creationism is a southern phenomenon to do a quick search for the Cabazon Dinosaurs: a roadside attraction outside Los Angeles, where evolution is presented as a myth invented by scientists.

  • The US Senate apologised in 2005 for failing to act on anti-lynching bills that were brought into the house at various points in American history. This was the first time that the Senate acknowledged any responsibility for atrocities inflicted on African Americans. While the House of Representatives had passed several anti-lynching bills in its history, they...

  • We'll cover voter re-alignment more in week 4, Margaret, and you'll see how white southerners began to abandon the Democrats for the Republican party following federal desegregation decisions in the mid-1960s.