Feb 20th 2017

The American South (FutureLearn)

Explore the fascinating history and culture of the American South from colonial times to the 21st century. The American South is arguably the most important, yet frequently most misunderstood section of the United States. On this course you will unwrap the paradoxes of this complex region and get to grips with its fascinating history.

Discover the history and culture of the American South

Through this course you’ll develop a keen understanding of debates around the sources, extent, nature, and even existence of something we call “The American South”. We’ll explore many different aspects of southern life, culture, and history including examining the history of slavery, the Confederacy, and the South’s defeat in the Civil War. You’ll also learn how and why Jim Crow laws solidified in the South, how reactions to racial segregation developed in southern culture and learn about the history of the civil rights movement.

Explore the American South of today

Once we have a solid understand of the South’s past, we’ll move to it’s present. By the end of the course you should understand the major features of southern life in the 21st century and come to some conclusions about the nature and extent of southern distinctiveness.

Understand misconceptions of the American South

The American South has a peculiar reputation for violence, racism, sexism and other forms of intolerance and bigotry, but also has a reputation for friendliness, hospitality and a strong commitment to family, heritage, and community. Paying close attention to the South’s unique place in the popular imagination, the course will also examine how various understandings and misunderstandings of the South, its characteristics and connections to the rest of the United States and the rest of the world, came into being and have changed over time.

Learn from experts in the field

The Institute of the Humanities at Northumbria has a large cohort of American Studies scholars, of which many are experts on the American South in particular: from politics and identity, to civil rights and evangelicalism.

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