University of Hertfordshire

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Photo-Text Topographics: Memory and Place in Sally Mann's Hold Still

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Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of American Studies
Early online date5 Feb 2020
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 5 Feb 2020


This article explores Sally Mann's memoir Hold Still (2015) as a complex photo-text that excavates, mediates and shapes memories, both of her family and of the US South more broadly. Theorizing photo-text topographics, the article argues that various landscapes (regional, memorative, aesthetic) are mediated by the interrelation between word and image. Mann's depictions of her children, southern location, and – most explicitly – black–white relations in the United States will be shown to reveal how the past can never be “held still.”


© Cambridge University Press and British Association for American Studies 2020. This paper has been accepted for publication and will appear in a revised form, subsequent to peer-review and/or editorial input by Cambridge University Press. This manuscript is made available under the terms of the Creative Commons Non-Commercial No-Derivatives License (CC-BY-NC-ND). For further information please see:

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