Southern Studies Minor


The departments of English, History, and Political Science have been offering numerous courses with a broad southern focus for years, and in some cases, decades.  Consequently, students in each discipline often take several of these courses, thus creating an unrecognized and unofficial specialization in the American South.  In order to formalize and organize this practice and to maintain the high quality of the curriculum, the respective departments propose an interdisciplinary minor in Southern Studies. 

We propose that the minor in Southern Studies be administered by the Diane D. Blair Center of Southern Politics and Society and will be overseen by an interdisciplinary committee representing the departments of Political Science, English, and History. Committee members will be selected by the Director of the Blair Center in consultation with the Departmental Chairs. The Blair Center, established by an act of U. S. Congress in 2001, was intended to promote interdisciplinary scholarship, but it does not include, at this point, an undergraduate component.  Thus, this minor in Southern Studies would connect students with the resources of the Blair Center and it would reflects the academic model of its namesake, Diane Blair, who, in her own research and teaching examined the undercurrents of politics, history, and culture that shaped the South over time. All courses included most focus specifically on the South as a region. 


Students who minor in Southern Studies will be required to take Introduction to Southern Studies (SOST 2003), a 3-credit hour interdisciplinary course that explores the history, politics, literature, and culture of the U.S. South from the colonial era to the present.  The course will provide both a chronological survey of the southern experience as well as introduce different and sometimes competing theoretical frameworks that have been used to analyze the region. Debates will explore questions about the distinctiveness of the “many Souths” both past and present and examine the role that history, art, literature, pop culture, material culture, gender, sexuality, religion, race, and politics have played in shaping the region.

Students must also take an additional 15 credit hours (5 courses) from among numerous options listed below.  Only 6 credit hours (2 courses) will be allowed to count towards other degree programs including the students’ majors.

AAST 3233 & HIST 3233 African American History to 1877
AAST 3243 & HIST 3243 African American History Since 1877
AAST 4093 & HIST 4093 The History of African Americans and Social Justice
AAST 4293 & PLSC 4293 African American Politics
AAST 4383 & HIST 4383 The American Civil Rights Movement
AAST 4933 & PLSC 4933 African American Political Ideology
ANTH 3253 & PLSC 3273 Culture of the South
ENGL 3113 Folklore
ENGL 3863 Topics in Literature and Culture of the American South
ENGL 3853 Topics in African-American Literature and Culture
ENGL 5803 & AAST 499V Politics and Immobility in African American Literature
HIST 4503 History of the Political Parties in the United States, 1789-1896
HIST 4563 The Old South, 1607-1865
HIST 4573 The New South, 1860 to the Present
HIST 4653 Antebellum America, 1828-1850
HIST 4663 Rebellion to Reconstruction 1850-1877
HIST 4673 The American Civil War
PLSC 3213 The South and the Law: Race, Gender, and Citizenship
PLSC 4333 Southern Politics
HIST 4583 Arkansas in the Nation* or HIST 3383 Arkansas and the Southwest*
PLSC 3223 Arkansas Politics*

*a maximum of 6 hours can be taken in Arkansas-specific courses.

Contact Information

Angie Maxwell
University of Arkansas at Fayetteville
Department of Political Science 
506A Old Main
Fayetteville, Arkansas 72701