A new grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation will enable Sewanee to move forward with an ambitious program in Southern Studies. This new grant follows on a grant from 2012 that helped Sewanee work with Yale University to establish an innovative Southern Appalachian Studies minor, which focuses on child, family, and community development and cultural assets in Southern Appalachia, particularly the Cumberland Plateau.
The new grant will establish a Southern Studies workshop, which will be a tool for supporting and energizing scholarship and teaching about the South. Through the auspices of the grant, Sewanee will become a convener for inter-institutional discussions of Southern intellectual history as well as race relations.
The grant also helps Sewanee build its capacity for research and teaching related to the emerging field of digital humanities. Faculty will work to develop communications channels that will allow the public to access the insights and findings from rigorous scholarship. The grant includes funds to hire a program manager with digital humanities experience as well as a postdoctoral fellow in a field related to Southern Studies who has experience in digital humanities. A second postdoctoral fellow in historical archaeology will help study cultural resources that have been discovered in recent fieldwork and will also lead new fieldwork on the Domain.
“We are enormously grateful for the support of the Mellon Foundation,” says Vice-Chancellor John M. McCardell, Jr. “The value of the contributions of the foundation to the University of the South over the years cannot be overstated. I am confident that among the intellectual assets at Sewanee in the future will be a distinctive approach to higher education that seeks the universal through a careful and intentional observation of the local and regional, in our case, our own region. I believe we have already put some parts of such an approach together at Sewanee; this project represents a next and critical step in this process.”