Project Abstract

This project is to develop a Southern Politics course to be regularly offered in the Department of Politics. Quite simply, the University of the South needs to offer a course on the politics of the south. The region remains distinctive in its culture, economics, and especially its politics. The relevance of southern politics has only been heightened by contemporary trends in political discourse and attitudes, public opinion and policy, and voting behavior and outcomes. A Southern Politics course would offer far-reaching curricular and co-curricular contributions: the Identity and Diversity concentration of the Department of Politics; the American Studies program; the Africana and African American Studies program; the Southern Appalachian Studies program; and the Project on Slavery, Race, and Reconciliation.

Project Alignment with the Collaborative for Southern Appalachian Studies

This project merits support by the Collaborative for its contributions to understanding the politics of southern Appalachia. Specifically, the course will consider relevant policies such as the creation of the TVA as well as the strategic decision by LBJ to highlight rural poverty in Appalachia to gain support for many of his Great Society programs. Most recently, the current emphasis on the revival of coal for the Appalachian economy has had real political effect in activating the region’s support for Donald Trump.

Project Impact

The goal of the project is to design a course on Southern Politics. That design will include a completed syllabus, including relevant readings and assignments.

The impact of the course will be far-reaching. It will draw students from multiple departments and programs (e.g., Politics, History, American Studies, Africana and African American Studies, Southern Appalachian Studies), and although that impact is not numerically measurable, it will allow an enrollment of 25 students at each offering. This course has the potential to deliver effects across the campus and community by engaging speakers and events on southern politics.

The first likely offering of the course will be in Fall 2019 or Spring 2020.