Tuesday, September 30


A couple of weeks ago we shared news of the passing of oyster tong maker Albert "Corky" Richards. Today we learned of the passing of oyster tag printer and proprietor of the Franklin County Press, Genaro "Jiggs" Zingarelli, pictured above. From The Times (Apalachicola & Carrabelle):

For over six decades, the Franklin County Press hummed with the sounds of printing and conversation.

Monday through Friday, the antique presses came to life, roaring over the steady chatter of old friends who gathered each morning to talk politics, economics and whatever else came to mind.

Today, the presses are silent and the chairs, empty.

On the door, a floral wreath marks the passage of a man and an era in Apalachicola's history.

Genaro "Jiggs" Zingarelli, the Franklin County Press' founder and proprietor, passed away on Sept. 10 in Port St. Joe.

He was 93.

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Read the rest of this beautiful tribute to the man and his work here.
Read our oral history interview with Jiggs here.

Friday, September 12


SEPTEMBER 19-28, 2008

Experience the connection between farmer, chef, and winemaker at this new food and wine festival. From butter churning and beekeeping, to 30-minute sommelier classes and the musings of foodwriters including NPR's Roy Blount, Jr., you'll have a delicious time. This event is included in the regular price of Biltmore admission.

Explore the "field" aspect of this festival, learning how plants and animals are raised, used, and developed into food. Also learn the story behind Biltmore's historical and ongoing legacy of sustainable agriculture. Visit the winery to explore the "table" part the festival. See how produce from the farm is prepared, transformed, and enjoyed. Enjoy cooking demonstrations with Biltmore chefs, artisans, children's grape stomps, red wine and chocolate seminars, a 30-minute sommelier class, and cookbook signings.

Learn about food, cooking, and wine from passionate foodies as they wax poetic about the joys of homemade biscuits, North Carolina wines, and other regional legacies. Speakers include notables from the Southern Foodways Alliance, Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project, and celebrated community figures.

For a complete schedule of events, click here.


Mr. Ramsey's suit for Mardi Gras Day 2006 commemorated the lost history of the Corner Bar. The names of all the old bars that no longer exist post-Katrina are listed on his suit. Courtesy of photographer, Courtney Egan, and Hurricane Digital Memory Bank.

The Cultures of Rebuilding in Post-Katrina New Orleans
November 6-8, 2008

The Midlo Center for New Orleans Studies, the University of New Orleans Graduate School, and the Louisiana State Museum are collaborating with graduate students from Cambridge University for a conference that seeks to address the complex interplay between culture, heritage, and the rebuilding process. Timed to coincide with the three-year anniversary, the conference assumes that many of the primary rebuilding efforts will have been in place long enough to merit sustained analysis and critique. Taken broadly, we ask: how are culture and cultural heritage transformed, in both material and immaterial ways, following a natural disaster? How do culture and cultural heritage contribute to the rebuilding of a society following a disaster, and what are the processes by which culture and cultural heritage themselves are rebuilt? For more information on this event, including how to submit a paper for consideration, visit http://history.uno.edu/crnola.cfm

Thursday, September 11


It is with great sadness that we share the news of the death of Albert "Corky" Richards, oyster tong maker and part of our oral history project documenting Florida's Forgotten Coast, who passed away in July at the age of 66 after a battle with lung cancer. From The Times (Apalachicola & Carrabelle):

In his life, Albert "Corky" Richards built oyster tongs, furniture for million dollar homes and everything in between.

Self-taught, self-made and self-reliant, the former fisherman crafted work that mirrored his character - frank, straightforward and unpretentious.

He used the finest materials, favoring centuries-old deadhead cypress pulled from the Apalachicola River, which he admired for its tight, straight grain and resiliency.

Nothing gave Richards greater pleasure than a job that challenged his imagination and put his skills to work.

He left the slap-dash work to others.

"You could always tell his work by the quality of what he did," remembered his wife, Margaret. "The quality is what stood out, the beauty and the quality."

After a long battle with lung cancer, Richards, 66, passed away on July 8 at the Apalachicola home he built with sons Rodney and Buddy.

The many timeless, well-crafted pieces Richards left behind serve as monuments to his life as a master craftsman.

* * *

Read the rest of this beautiful tribute to the man and his work here.
Read our oral history interview with Corky here.

Wednesday, September 10


Call for Papers
8th Annual Louisiana Conference on Literature, Language and Culture
Hilton Garden Inn ~ Lafayette, Louisiana
March 5-7, 2009

Conference Theme: "Beyond Pleasure: The Force of Desire in Text and Culture"

Desire is central to human pursuits, and the determination to understand its function continues to drive inquiries into how we think, what we make and do, and what makes us who we are as individuals, families, cultures, and nations. Contemporary scholarship attests to a continuing preoccupation with desire and a commitment to laying bare its cultural machinations.

In one form or another, desire acts across forms of media, from novels to the network news, and even in the most "scientific" of research studies. Narrative is driven by desire, and literary texts and other cultural artifacts testify to the desires of those who write, compose, or imagine them. Yet desire also exceeds expressivity, driving not only the work of imagination and composition, but also emerging in the actions and attitudes of those who read, use, or make meaning of them throughout their existence in the public sphere. Not only manifest in an author's choices, desire is equally apparent in the processes of publication, in the systems of exchange which give it value, and in the imaginations of readers.

Meanwhile communities develop around shared desires and the practice of traditions determines how each new generation will reconcile its own desires with the desires of those who came before. The diversity of contemporary approaches to the examination of desire has grown in scope from purely psychological analysis to include projects which probe the personal, the political, the economic, and even the technological.

Submission of Abstracts
The conference welcomes the submissions of 350-500 word abstracts on the topic of desire from the following fields: Literary Studies, Travel Literature, Rhetoric and Composition, Creative Writing (fiction, poetry, creative nonfiction, drama, and travel writing), Folklore, Linguistics, Modern Languages, History, Cultural Studies, Gender Studies, Critical Theory, Cognitive Science, Cybernetics and Information Sciences.

For more information, write langlit2009@louisiana.edu. Submission deadline is October 15, 2008.

Friday, September 5


Discovering Identity Through Food

Tupelo Room Barnard Observatory University of Mississippi
6:30 p.m. Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Each year, the SFA in partnership with the Viking Range Corporation, will present the Viking Range Lecture Series featuring writers, chefs, poets, or artists. Each lecturer, using food as a vehicle, will explore a greater understanding of self, community, culture, or art.

In this inaugural year of the lecture series, we are pleased to bring two noteable authors to campus: Bich Minh Nguyen and Monique Truong. Nguyen and Truong will read from their work and will discuss the discovery and exploration of identity through food. Katie McKee, McMullan Associate Professor Southern Studies and associate professor of English, will serve as interlocutor for this discussion.

Bich Minh Nguyen received an MFA in creative writing from the University of Michigan and currently teaches creative nonfiction, fiction, and Asian American Literature at Purdue University. She lives in Chicago and West Lafayette, Indiana, with her husband, Porter Shreve. She is the author of Stealing Buddha's Dinner which received the PEN/Jerard Award from the PEN American Center. The memoir was also recognized as a Chicago Tribune best book of 2007, a Kiriyama Prize notable book and a Book Sense pick. Nguyen writes about growing up in a Vietnamese household in an "All-American" city in the deep 1980s. She shares her often poignant tale of becoming American through junk food, classic children's literature, and 80's pop radio.

Monique Truong is coeditor of the anthology Watermark: Vietnamese American Poetry and Prose. The Book of Salt, her first novel, was inspired by a brief mention of an Indochinese cook in The Alice B. Toklas Cook Book. Monique Truong was born in Saigon in 1968 and moved to the United States at age six. She graduated from Yale University and the Columbia University School of Law, going on to specialize in intellectual property. The Book of Salt, a national bestseller, was awarded the 2003 Bard Fiction Prize, the Stonewall Book Award-Barbara Gittings Literature Award, and the Young Lions Fiction Award, among other honors. Granting Truong an Award of Excellence, the Vietnamese American Studies Center at San Francisco State University called her "a pioneer in the field, as an academic, an advocate, and an artist." Truong now lives in Brooklyn, New York.

The SFA Viking Range Lecture series is free and open to the public.