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College of Arts and Sciences


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Institute for Southern Studies

As the state where the Civil War began, South Carolina has always been at the forefront of the history of the American South. The Institute for Southern Studies (ISS) at the University of South Carolina helps tell this important story.

The Institute facilitates research and teaching in the area of Southern Studies and supports a variety of projects that deepen our understanding of the American South.  These projects include a series of classic works on the South published in collaboration with the South Carolina Society and the University of South Carolina Press.  In addition, ISS sponsors lectures, conferences, and public programs – such as a Southern Writers Series -- about the American South.  A program jointly produced by the Institute and the local PBS affiliate, called “Take on the South”, was aired on South Carolina ETV in 2008.

The ISS helps students who minor in Southern Studies at Carolina  make use of outstanding research resources on campus, such as the collections of the South Caroliniana Library, the Thomas Cooper Library, and the McKissick Museum.  The Institute also provides ready access to other important research facilities, such as the State Archives. 

 The ISS interdisciplinary academic program connects undergraduates to these resources, and a number of ISS scholarly initiatives connect the university to the international research community that focuses on the South.  Outstanding faculty members teach such courses as Southern Music, Southern History, Southern Literature, Southern Politics, and  Southern Religion.  Longtime ISS Director Walter B. Edgar edited The South Carolina Encyclopedia, a massive work about the Palmetto State.

 Please peruse our website to see all that the Institute for Southern Studies is and does.