Southern Studies

CottonThe Mercer University Southern Studies Center examines the complex history and culture of the U.S. South.

The center offers an interdisciplinary undergraduate major that studies the region from multiple perspectives including courses in African American studies, English, history, political science, and cultural studies.

The center also offers Southern Semester, a unique opportunity for students from American and international universities to learn about and to experience the people, history, and culture of the U.S. South.

The center hosts the Lamar Memorial Lecture Series, the most prestigious scholarly lectures on southern history, literature, and culture. John T. Matthews, Professor of English at Boston University, gave the lectures in 2016.

The Sidney Lanier Prize for Southern Literature recognizes significant career contribution to southern writing. The winner for 2016 is Wendell Berry.

Pulitzer-prize winning author Hank Klibanoff will give the first annual Laurie Byington lecture on the Contemporary South, “Shot Dead in Macon: A Georgia Civil Rights Cold Case,” on Thursday, January 19, and 6:00 pm in the Medical School Auditorium.

Dr. Regina Bradley will give the talk “When the Heroes Eventually Die: Creating Sonic Genealogies of Blackness in the Hip Hop South” on Thursday, February 2, and 6:00 pm in Stetson 251.

Dr. Matt Harper will give the talk “Redemption and Exile” on Wednesday, March 29, at 6:00 pm in Stetson 251.

The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) awarded Mercer University's Center for Southern Studies a $500,000 challenge grant to support establishment of an endowment for programming and outreach activities. NEH challenge grants are capacity-building grants, intended to help institutions and organizations secure long-term support for their humanities programs and resources. Through these awards, recipients have been able to increase their humanities capacity and secure the permanent support of an endowment. The $500,000 grant will be matched by $1.5 million that will be raised by the University as part of its recently launched Aspire capital campaign, ultimately establishing a $2 million endowment for the center. To support the fundraising effort, contact Todd Smith in University Advancement.

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