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College of Arts and Sciences

Southern Studies Courses

Spring 2020 Course

SOST 101 – TTh 10:15-11:10AM
The Literary South
Instructor: Dr. 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 301– MW 2:20-3:35PM
Intro to Southern Studies: 1580-1900
Instructor: Dr. Jennifer Gunter
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 – TTh 1:15-2:30PM
Intro to Southern Studies: The 20th Century
CAROLINA CORE GLD/GHS CREDIT
Instructor: Dr. Matthew Simmons
This course will examine the ideas, political movements, economics, and people that shaped the South in the 20th century, chiefly through reading history, memoir, and fiction. Rather than strictly covering the years 1900-1999, this course will begin with the end of Reconstruction—the primary event that shaped the development of the South in the 20th century—and will conclude roughly with the presidency of Jimmy Carter (himself a Southerner). The late 1970s/early 1980s marked the beginning of a radical shift in the South’s demographics, politics, economics, and settlement patterns which resulted in a South very different from that of the preceding decades; this ‘contemporary South’ is covered in SOST305 (which I’m teaching this summer and next fall, if you’re interested).


SOST 298– TTh 4:25-5:40PM
Topics in Southern Studies/Southern Black Folklore
Instructor: Dr. Nancy Tolson
SOST 500 – TTh 2:50-4:05PM
Southern Discomfort: Public Health and the American South
Instructor: Dr. Mindy Spencer
The American South possesses a unique health and disease profile that has contributed to the idea of Southern distinctiveness. Throughout history, the South has experienced regional disparities that have largely gone unresolved, even with the public health revolution. The purpose of this 3-credit course is to investigate these topics through lecture, film, and guided readings. Each interdisciplinary lecture will cover a different aspect of health in the South, ranging from an examination of the endemic diseases of the antebellum period to the current HIV/AIDS crisis. We will also spend time discussing the ethical implications of the pellagra and
Tuskegee experiments and the lasting impact these experiments had on health-related research.


Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.

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