Nobody’s Home: Modern Southern Folklore is an online anthology of nonfiction works about beliefs, myths, and narratives in Southern culture over the last fifty years, in the late 20th and early 21st centuries.  The project, created in 2020 by writer-editor Foster Dickson, collects personal essays, memoirs, short articles, opinion pieces, and contemplative works about the ideas, experiences, and assumptions that have shaped life below the old Mason-Dixon Line since 1970. 

Nobody’s Home mixes the literary anthology format with aspects of the blog, news aggregator, curriculum resource, and listserv formats, while throwing in reviews and recommendations, too.  Access is free, and while the project is intended for a general readership, teachers are encouraged to share the works in the anthology with their students and use them in their classrooms.

About the Editor

Foster Dickson is a writer, editor, and teacher, whose published books include Children of the Changing South, an anthology of memoirs about growing up during and after the Civil Rights movement, and most recently Closed Ranks, about a police-shooting controversy in the mid-1970s. Foster began his writing and editing career at independent publisher NewSouth Books, where he worked in both the business and creative sides of company’s operation. He then began teaching in 2003, and during his twenty  years in the classroom has been awarded grants, residencies, or fellowships from the Southern Poverty Law Center, the Gannett Foundation, the Surdna Foundation, the Lillian E. Smith Foundation, the Center for Arts Education at the Boston Arts Academy, the Alabama State Council on the Arts, and the Alabama Bicentennial Commission. Foster was named the state’s Teacher of the Year by the Alabama PTA in 2010, and more recently, he received a Literary Arts Fellowship from the Alabama State Council on the Arts in 2021.

Contact the editor

Myth and the South

Fiscal responsibility, attendance at church, and commitment to family: these were the qualifications for office, and every candidate met the test.

from Abigail Thernstrom’s Whose Votes Count? (1987)

Myths are something more than advertising slogans and propaganda ploys rationally connected to a specific purpose. They have a subtle way of permeating the thought and conditioning the actions even of those who may be rationally opposed to their consequences.

from Paul Gaston’s The New South Creed (1970)

Tell us your side of the story.