Click for a Brief Biography of Harry Crews.
American Studies 430  
The South 
11:00-12:25, T-Th
Spring, 2001
Roger Williams University
Michael R. H. Swanson
Office:  CAS 111
Hours: 9:00-10:00 M, T, Th, F
or by appointment
Phone:  401 254 3230
Welcome back from Spring Break. I hope you had a memorable time.

.. tonight is "To Kill a Mockingbird" in the Penny Arcade Series.  7:00 in Lecture Hall 129, South Hall of the Feinstein College of Arts and Sciences.  See you all there.
"To Kill a Mockingbird (1962) is a much-loved, critically-acclaimed, classic trial film, a dramatic tour-de-force of acting, a portrayal of childhood innocence, and a progressive, enlightened 60s message about racial prejudice, moral tolerance and courage. The Academy Award winning screenplay was faithfully adapted by
screenwriter Horton Foote from the 1960 Pulitzer Prize-winning novel of the same name by Harper Lee - who had written a semi-autobiographical account of small-town Southern life. Lee grew up in Monroeville, Alabama where an almost identical copy of the courtroom in the film exists.

The film was nominated for eight Academy Awards, including Best Picture (losing to Lawrence of Arabia (1962)), Best Director (Robert Mulligan), Best Supporting
Actress (Mary Badham), Best B/W Cinematography (Russell Harlan), and Best Music Score - Substantially Original (Elmer Bernstein). It was honored with three
awards - Gregory Peck won a well-deserved Best Actor Award for his solid performance as a courageous Alabama lawyer, Horton Foote won the Best Adapted Screenplay Oscar, and the team of Art Directors/Set Decorators also received the top honor." For a complete synopsis of the film visit
For Thursday, March 29

Thursday we'll spend about half the class discussing the film. The film is set in the depression era, but was created at the beginning of the modern civil rights era. One thing which we'll want to consider is whether the film is more representative of 1930s views or 1960s views.

The rest of the class I'd like to spend working with a short story from your book, Growing up in the South.  The story is Harry Crews, "A Childhood: The Biography of a Place" pp. 3-19. As you read it I'd like to have you think about how children acculturate into the southern community. You may want to compare the children in the story with the children in To Kill A Mockingbird. How does Atticus Finch try to resist the acculturating forces in his community?

For More Information about Harry Crews visit
Those of you preparing for a teaching career might be interested in looking at a lesson plan created by the Library of Congress for a four to five week unit on To Kill a Mockingbird.  You can find it by clicking on the photograph to the left.