Wednesday Table Talk explores South's wealth of creativity

September 15, 2012 10:14:40 PM



University of Mississippi Professor of Southern Studies Charles Reagan Wilson is the upcoming speaker at Wednesday's Friends of the Columbus-Lowndes Public Library Table Talk. Dr. Wilson will explore the prolific creativity of Southern writers, artists and musicians. 


Wilson, who holds a Ph.D. from the University of Texas at Austin, has taught at Ole Miss since 1981. He was director of the Southern Studies academic program from 1991 to 1998, and director of the Center for the Study of Southern Culture from 1998-2007. 


He is the co-editor (with Bill Ferris) of the ground-breaking "Encyclopedia of Southern Culture," which received the 1989 Dartmouth Prize from the American Library Association as best reference book of the year.  


"Dr. Wilson is well-placed to speak on the abundance of Southern inventiveness in the arts," noted Friends member Jo Shumake. "He is currently overseeing the completion of the mammoth 24-volume 'New Encyclopedia of Southern Culture' as its general editor. If there's something one wants to know about the South, this is the go-to, gold standard for information." 


The winner of the 2010 Distinguished Research Award at Ole Miss, Wilson was praised for "anticipating, inspiring and facilitating a field of interdisciplinary research known as Southern Studies." 


Wilson is also the author of "Baptized in Blood: The Religion of the Lost Cause, 1865-1920," a study of the memory of the Confederacy in the post-Civil War South, and "Judgment and Grace in Dixie: Southern Faiths from Faulkner to Elvis," which studies popular religion as a part of the culture of the modern South. 


"If, like me, you've wondered why the literature and music of the South is so wonderfully evocative, I think Dr. Wilson will help us understand our unique contributions to world culture," Shumake added.  


Table Talks are held at the Columbus-Lowndes Public Library, 314 Seventh St. N. Doors open at 11:30 a.m. for those wishing to bring lunch and socialize before the program begins at noon. The Friends will serve iced tea. 


For more information on the September Table Talk series, contact the Friends at [email protected]