Program Details

The South: Exploring an American Idea

Stephen Engle
History / Other

Course Description

It has been said that we may not know where the American South is anymore, but we know when we are in it. Historians are fascinated by the region, its people, its culture, and its impact on the development of the American republic. The South, wrote Wilbur Joseph Cash, in his classic work, The Mind of the South, “is not quite a nation within a nation but the next thing to it.” Yet, it is an inescapable part of the United States, which often led to tensions and conflict resulting in the Civil War that left an indelible mark on the nation. In the aftermath, the relationship between black and white southerners shaped an enduring Reconstruction that powerfully influenced its history. Much new scholarship has surfaced in recent decades, and it is important, in our modern media-driven age, to examine the great quest to understand the American South and why it matters. Perhaps, now more than ever, the South has attracted new interest in helping us understand our current political culture. By surveying the South and reassessing the region, the people, and the region’s cultural identity, Dr. Engle examines the gap between the appearance and the reality of what we have come to believe about this fascinating region.

About the Instructor

  • Dr. Stephen D. Engle is professor of history, and Director of the Alan B. and Charna Larkin Symposium on the American Presidency at Florida Atlantic University. He is a past Fulbright Scholar, an Andrew Mellon Fellow, a Distinguished Lecturer for the Organization of American Historians, and a lecturer for the Smithsonian Associates program at the Smithsonian Institution. In 2016, he was named Florida Atlantic University’s Distinguished Teacher of the Year. His recent book, Gathering to Save a Nation, received the 55th Annual Barondess/Lincoln Award.

Upcoming programs presented by Stephen Engle.

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