Global mass culture, mobile subjectivities, and the Southern landscape: the bicycle in the New South, 1887-1920

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Abstract

At the end of the nineteenth century, the modern safety bicycle and the cultures that surrounded it were global in scale. In tracing the use and adoption of the bicycle in the South, this article reveals the ways in which the everyday experiences of local culture intersected with the world. It argues that the subjectivity of riding a bicycle transformed the ways in which white southerners experienced, thought of, and imagined their region. The article contributes to two shifts in southern studies and the historiography of the New South. It brings recent discussions of the South in the world to the level of the everyday by tracing the experiences of a new technological mobility and its social and cultural worlds. In demonstrating the ways white southerners took up cycling culture, it also integrates the region into the global trends of mass culture that move beyond histories of popular culture in the New South focussed mostly on the region's relationship to the nation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-28
Number of pages28
JournalJournal of American Studies
Early online date21 Apr 2022
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 21 Apr 2022

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