Program Directors

Sarah Gardner, Professor of History and Director of Southern Studies at Mercer University: Dr. Gardner studies the social and cultural history of the American South, specializing in the history of women. She is the author of Blood and Irony: Southern White Women's Narratives of the Civil War, 1861-1937 and co-editor of Voices of the American South. She is currently working on a book titled “Reviewing the South: The Politics of Southern Literature and National Reviews, 1920-1950.”

David A. Davis, Assistant Professor of English at Mercer University: Dr. Davis studies modern southern literature and culture. He edited Not Only War by Victor Daly and Hard Times on the Southern Chain Gang by John L. Spivak, and he is currently writing a book about World War I and southern modernism.

Doug Thompson, Associate Professor and Chair of Interdisciplinary Studies: Dr. Thompson joined the faculty at Mercer in 2001 as a Post-Doctoral Teaching Fellow in the Lily Endowment funded University Commons. His dissertation examines the roles that clergy and churches played in Richmond, Virginia, during mid to late 1950s. He is currently working on an article for Virginia Magazine of History and Biography concerning a Richmond ministers' association direct challenge to politicians and the massive resistance laws. He is also co-editor with Wil Platt, Jr. of Jesse Mercer's Pulpit: Preaching in a Community of Faith and Learning.

Visiting Faculty

Visiting faculty are experts on specific topics who will lead daily workshops.

Charles Aiken, Professor of Geography, emeritus, at the University of Tennessee-Knoxville: Dr. Aiken's teaching interests are primarily in rural geography and regional geography, with emphasis on the American South. He is the author of The Cotton Plantation South since the Civil War and William Faulkner and the Southern Landscape.

David Carlton, Associate Professor of History at Vanderbilt University: Dr. Carlton studies the history of the southern textile industry. He is the author of Mill and Town in South Carolina, 1880-1920.

Joseph Crespino, Assistant Professor of History at Emory University: Dr. Crespino studies political and social history of twentieth-century America and southern history since Reconstruction. He is the author of In Search of Another Country: Mississippi and The Conservative Counterrevolution, and he is currently writing a biography of Strom Thurmond.

Bobby Donaldson, Assistant Professor of History and African American Studies at University of South Carolina: Dr. Donaldson teaches courses in United States history and African American intellectual and cultural studies. His book, 'In Our Own Defense": New Negro Intellectuals in the Jim Crow South, is forthcoming.

James Giesen, Assistant Professor of History at Mississippi State University: Dr. Giesen's interests are the agricultural, rural, and environmental histories of the U.S., with a particular focus on the South in the twentieth century. He is writing a book titled Boll Weevil Blues: Cotton, Myth, and Power in the American South.

Robert Jackson, Assistant Professor of English at University of Tulsa: Dr. Jackson specializes in the early history of film, especially southern film. He is the author of Seeking the Region in American Literature and Culture, and he is writing a history of southern film.

Houston Roberson, Professor of History at Sewannee: The University of the South: Dr. Roberson's research interests are religion, race and culture in the 20th century South and the American Civil Rights Movement. He is the author of Fighting the Good Fight; The Story of Dexter Avenue King Memorial Baptist Church 1865-1977 and co-editor of Teaching the American Civil Rights Movement.

Andrew Silver, Page Morton Hunter Associate Professor of English at Mercer University: Dr Silver studies 19th-century American Literature, southern literature, and religion and literature. He has written two plays, Combustible/Burn and The Disciples, and he is the author of Minstrelsy and Murder: The Crisis of Southern Humor, 1830-1930. He was selected as Georgia's Professor of the Year for 2003.

John Vlach, Professor of American Studies and Anthropology at the George Washington University: Dr. Vlach studies material culture, folklore, and the African Diaspora. He has published several books, including Back of the Big House: The Architecture of Plantation Slavery and The Planter’s Prospect: Privilege and Slavery in Plantation Paintings.

Charles Reagan Wilson, Kelly Gene Cook Professor of History at the University of Mississippi: Dr. Wilson studies southern religious history and popular culture. He is the author of Judgment and Grace in Dixie: Southern Faiths from Faulkner to Elvis and general editor of The Encyclopedia of Southern Culture.