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PODCAST: Adolph Reed, Jr. and Barbara J. Fields: “Dysplacement” and The American South

Listen here In Episode Twenty-Six, of Ear the Pavement, Allison speaks with political scientist Adolph Reed, Jr. and historian Barbara J. Fields about the complexities of American South as a cohesive region, a collection of diverse local places, an identity, and an ideological construct. The American South has long been perceived as regionally distinct in ways that don’t apply to other parts of the country. At the same time, the region has undergone enormous changes over the past couple of centuries, and continues to evolve rapidly in ways that, as in the rest of the U.S., bring increasing economic precarity and instability, especially for working-class people. These contradictions raise important broader questions about the relationship between our increasingly threatened ability to forge strong place-based identities, and the survival of democratic politics. 


Barbara Fields is a professor at Columbia University specializing in the history of the American South. She has written extensively about American slavery and the Civil War. Her book Racecraft: The Soul of Inequality in American Life— was co-authored with her sister the sociologist Karen Fields, and critically examines how a commitment to the notion of race inflects class politics in the United States.


Adolph Reed is Professor Emeritus of Political Science at the University of Pennsylvania. His most recent book is No Politics but Class Politics—with Walter Benn Michaels. Reed has written extensively both academically and journalistically about U.S. class politics, and how they are influenced by concepts of race. Presently he is a columnist for the Nation Magazine and a regular contributor to the very excellent Class Matters Podcast.




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