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College of Arts & Sciences
Institute for Southern Studies


Undergraduate Program

The undergraduate program in Southern Studies serves two purposes. First, it offers an intellectual framework for exploring the American South, providing undergraduates new perspectives on their learning and personal experiences while establishing a basis for lifelong learning about the region. Second, the program offers training in the methods of different academic disciplines and examines strategies for integrating complementary approaches, preparing students to excel in a variety of fields of concentration.

 

Southern Studies Courses—Fall 2017

 

Southern Studies Courses—Fall 2017

 

SOST 101 – TTh 10:05-11:20AM

The Literary South

Instructor: Robert Ellis

CAROLINA CORE AIU CREDIT

This course will introduce students to important literary texts of the American South, ranging from European contact through the 21st century. We will also emphasize the interplay of Southern literary output with and in reaction to important historical and political trends. Within the Carolina Core, this course meets the Aesthetic and Interpretative Understanding learning outcome in that students will be able to interpret the literature of the American South, which will help them understand the human condition as it is expressed through literary output.

SOST 101 – TTh 1:15-2:30PM

The Literary South

Instructor: Matthew Simmons

CAROLINA CORE AIU CREDIT

This course will introduce students to important literary texts of the American South, ranging from European contact through the 21st century. We will also emphasize the interplay of Southern literary output with and in reaction to important historical and political trends. Within the Carolina Core, this course meets the Aesthetic and Interpretative Understanding learning outcome in that students will be able to interpret the literature of the American South, which will help them understand the human condition as it is expressed through literary output.

SOST 298—TTh 4:25-5:40PM

Exotic Southerners

Instructor: Walter Liniger

This course examines the Blues both as a musical idiom appearing in the post-Civil War era and as a link between an existing southern oral culture and the emergence of the African-American literary voice. In addition to various course readings and writing, students will be expected to learn to play the harmonica (instruction provided).

 SOST 301– MW 2:20-3:35PM

Intro to Southern Studies: 1580-1900

Instructor: Eric Rose

This course explores the history and culture of the American South from the colonial period to the advent of the Jim Crow racial hierarchy. Using studies that focus on the American South produced by scholars representing a variety of academic disciplines, this course seeks to unpack the fundamental phenomena that shaped the region and facilitated its “uniqueness.” In particular, this course raises questions about the intellectual, cultural, social, political, and economic forces that distinguished the region from other parts of the nation. Paying close attention to overlapping and interrelated social constructs, this course looks to art, religion, folklore, literature, and historical narratives and events in order to uncover the origins of “the South” that dominates the American imagination.

 SOST 302 – MWF 12:00-12:50PM

Intro to Southern Studies: The 20th Century

Instructor: Courtney Lewis

The 20th-century South possesses a unique culture and complex history that has formed the foundation of the idea of Southern distinctiveness today. The purpose of this course is to investigate topics from Reconstruction to the Civil Rights Movement through lecture, visual media, and guided readings. Each interdisciplinary lecture will explore historical, literary, and popular culture representations of the region. Course themes will include past and present perspectives on topics such as industrialism, race, class, music, sports, and religion, among others.

SOST 500—T 2:30-5:00PM

The South and the West: Environment and Literature

Instructor: Robert H. Brinkmeyer

This course will explore the interplay of regional imagination and environment in the South and the West.  We will begin looking at the work of three writers to establish models for reading:  Wendell Berry, a Southerner committed to agrarian ideals; Rick Bass, a southern environmental activist who moved to the West; and Wallace Stegner, a western writer committed to the region and its history.  After reading two works by each of these writers, we will then look at a number of works in which the land and the environment loom large.