Tour The South
Mercer southern studies faculty will lead a journey through the South, experiencing the region’s people, places, history, literature, music, food, and art. We will spend two nights in New Orleans, the center of America’s creole culture, the birthplace of jazz, and the South’s busiest port city. From there, we will visit the Mississippi Delta, the most southern place on earth. We will stay at the luxurious Alluvian Hotel and visit plantations, cotton fields, museums of delta culture, and famous restaurants. We will visit Faulkner's home in Oxford, Mississippi, and spend a night in Memphis near Beale Street. In Memphis we will see sites for cotton, civil rights, and southern music. We will pass through Tupelo, Mississippi, Elvis's birthplace, and on our last night, we will visit Birmingham, the Magic City of the New South, where coal and steel created a boom town that changed the South. The trip will involve moderate activity including walking tours of the French Quarter and other sites.
May 18: Leave Mercer's Atlanta campus at 9:00 am, visit the State House and Dexter Avenue Baptist Church in Montgomery, lunch at Wintzell's Oyster House, check in at Roosevelt Hotel in New Orleans, and dinner at Antoine's* in the French Quarter
May 19: Ogden Museum of Southern Art, walking tour of the French Quarter, and free evening in the French Quarter
May 20: Oak Alley Plantation near New Orleans, Longwood Plantation in Natchez, check in at the Alluvian Hotel in Greenwood, Mississippi, and dinner at Giardina's*
May 21: Museum of the Mississippi Delta in Greenwood, Parchman Penitentiary, lunch at Chamoun's Rest Haven in Clarksdale, B. B. King Museum in Indianola, and dinner at Doe's Eat Place* in Greenville
May 22: Faulkner’s home in Oxford, lunch on the town square, drive to Memphis, check in at Westin Memphis Beale Street, and free evening on Beale Street
May 23: Memphis Cotton Exchange Museum, Sun Records, lunch at Neely's Interstate Barbecue, Elvis's birthplace Tupelo, check in at the Tutwiler Hotel in Birmingham, and dinner at Highlands Bar and Grill*
May 24: Sloss Furnace, Birmingham Civil Rights Institute, and return to Mercer's Atlanta campus at 6:00 pm.
Itinerary is subject to alteration. Tour cost includes lodging, museum admission and tour costs, breakfasts and meals marked with an asterisk.
David A. Davis, Assistant Professor of English, teaches courses on southern literature and material culture. He has published several essays on modern southern literature and reprints of two novels, he co-edited a book on southern literature and foodways, and he is writing a book about southern modernism.
Sarah Gardner, Professor of History and Director of Southern Studies, is an expert on southern intellectual history. She is the author of Blood and Irony: Southern White Women's Narratives of the Civil War, 1861-1937, and several essays on southern history, and she is writing a book on southern book reviewing.
Doug Thompson, Associate Professor of Southern Studies, studies southern religious history and the civil rights movement. He has written essays on race and religion, and he is editor of The Journal of Southern Religion.