University of Mary Washington Associate Professor of English Gary Richards will discuss images of the U. S. South in Broadway musicals during an interview scheduled to air on the “With Good Reason” public radio program. The show, “The Gospel Roots of Rock and Roll,” will air beginning Saturday, Feb. 16.
During the program, Richards will argue that despite the popularity of musicals like Porgy and Bess and Showboat, musicals with southern themes tend to have a negative view of the region and don’t reflect its diversity today. As part of the program, Longwood University professor Chris Kjorness will discuss the legacy of gospel musician and singer Sister Rosetta Tharpe.
Richards, who serves as chair of the Department of English, Linguistics, and Communication, is an expert on southern literature and culture, American fiction, contemporary drama and sexuality studies. His book Lovers and Beloveds: Sexual Otherness in Southern Fiction, 1936-1961 was named Choice Outstanding Academic Title in 2005. He has written several book chapters, including most recently “Everybody’s Graphic Protest Novel: Stuck Rubber Baby and the Anxieties of Racial Difference” in Comics and the U.S. South. His articles and essays have been published in Journal of American Studies, North Carolina Literary Review and Mississippi Quarterly, among other publications.
Richards earned a Ph.D. and an M.A. from Vanderbilt University and a bachelor’s degree from Trinity University (San Antonio). His understanding of various southern cultures draws in part on his years of residence in several major southern cities, including Dallas (1969-1987), San Antonio (1987-1991), Nashville (1991-1997), New Orleans (1997-2008), and now Fredericksburg.
“With Good Reason” airs weekly in Fredericksburg on Sundays from 1-2 p.m. on Radio IQ 88.3 Digital. To listen from outside of the Fredericksburg area, a complete list of air times and links to corresponding radio stations can be found at http://withgoodreasonradio.org/when-to-listen/.
“With Good Reason” is the only statewide public radio program in Virginia. It hosts scholars from Virginia’s public colleges and universities who discuss the latest in research, pressing social issues and the curious and whimsical. “With Good Reason” is produced for the Virginia Higher Education Broadcasting Consortium by the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities and is broadcast in partnership with public radio stations in Virginia and Washington, D.C.