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Charles R. Wilson on “The Southern Way of Life”

January 26 @ 5:30 pm - 7:30 pm

Charles R. Wilson will discuss his book, “The Southern Way of Life”. Join in-person on January 26th at 5:30 p.m. in Wilson Library’s Pleasants Family Assembly room.

This program is co-sponsored by UNC Press and the Center for the Study of the American South.

About the book:

How does one begin to understand the idea of a distinctive southern way of life—a concept as enduring as it is disputed? In this examination of the American South in national and global contexts, celebrated historian Charles Reagan Wilson assesses how diverse communities of southerners have sought to define the region’s identity. Surveying three centuries of southern regional consciousness across many genres, disciplines, and cultural strains, Wilson considers and challenges prior presentations of the region, advancing a vision of southern culture that has always been plural, dynamic, and complicated by race and class.

Structured in three parts, The Southern Way of Life takes readers on a journey from the colonial era to the present, from when complex ideas of “southern civilization” rooted in slaveholding and agrarianism dominated to the twenty-first-century rise of a modern, multicultural “southern living.” As Wilson shows, there is no singular or essential South but rather a rich tapestry woven with contestations, contingencies, and change.

In the second half of the program, Dr. Wilson will be joined by history professors, UNC History’s own William Sturkey (UNC-Chapel Hill) and UNC History Alumn Jessica Wilkerson (West Virginia University) to share in the complexity of research about the region.  An audience question and answer portion will follow.

To join this event virtually, register for the livestream:



January 26
5:30 pm - 7:30 pm