Jennie Lightweis-Goff earned a Ph.D. in English and Graduate Certificates in both Gender Studies and Africana Studies from the University of Rochester. Her dissertation, Blood at the Root: Lynching as American Cultural Nucleus, won the SUNY Press Dissertation / First Book Prize in African-American Studies, and was published by SUNY Press in 2011. Her current project, Temporary Housing: Slavery in the American City, examines the constrained literary archive of urban slavery in the South and beyond. Articles from this project have appeared in American Literature and Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society.
Presently, she is at work on a critical edition of Abraham Oakey Hall’s The Manhattaner in New Orleans (1851), a bald piece of economic propaganda encouraging Northern investment in Louisiana sugar slavery written by a one-time mayor of New York City. She has an essay on the status of the 19th century in the “New Southern Studies” forthcoming from Mississippi Quarterly, and an essay onThe Wireand Treme (David Simon’s two distinctly Southern shows produced for HBO) forthcoming in Small-Screen Souths: Interrogating the Televisual Archive (LSU Press). On the way to completing a book on captive cities in the 19th century, she has begun writing a series of meditations on modern and contemporary representations of the urban South (including John Berendt’s Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil and Margaret Mitchell’s Gone With the Wind) calledPeculiar and Characteristic: Reflections on the Southern Cityscape.