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date: 12 November 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Nineteenth-century southwestern humor and the civil-rights-era sitcom The Beverly Hillbillies are best thought of as “series” media productions, rather than in terms of the more familiar “serial” fiction. This chpater uses the series/serial distinction, which is important to television studies, to understand a larger question: why is it that the American South is so often thought of as a static place impervious to the currents of progress? It argues that the diegetic content of the humor often associated with the American South works in tandem with its dissemination in a series format. Together they figure the South as a locality where time does not flow, but rather pools and stagnates. The chapter also emphasizes how the southern series produces a fantasy of southern locality with consequences as material as any actually existing southern reality.

Keywords: serial, southwestern humor, television, hillbilly, sitcom, periodical, series

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