Campus News

American South historian to deliver Founders Day Lecture

James C. Cobb

In observance of UGA’s 228th anniversary, James C. Cobb, the B. Phinizy Spalding Distinguished Professor in the History of the American South, will present the 11th annual Founders Day Lecture on Jan. 30 at 2 p.m. in the Chapel.

Cobb’s talk is titled “I Don’t Believe I’d a’ Told That! Understanding the South Through Humor.”

“My predecessors at the podium have set a very high standard,” said Cobb, a faculty member in the Franklin College of Arts and Sciences. “I can only hope that, as we celebrate our university’s rise to national and global prominence, my remarks will affirm the importance of staying in touch with its cultural roots as well.”

Cobb is one of the foremost scholars of Southern history and culture and among the first to write broadly about the South in a global context.

His latest book, The South and America Since World War II, was published in 2010 by Oxford University Press. Cobb is also a former president of the Southern Historical Association.

The student response will be given by Charles Gowen Spalding, a senior from St. Simons Island majoring in history and minoring in philosophy.

Students from the Hugh Hodgson School of Music will provide pre-lecture entertainment, followed by an official welcome by the UGA Alumni Association and university leaders.

The Founders Day Lecture recognizes the date the university was established in 1785, when the Georgia General Assembly adopted a charter establishing UGA as the country’s first state-chartered institution of higher education.

The event is sponsored by the UGA Alumni Association and the Emeriti Scholars, a group of retired faculty members known for their teaching abilities who continue to be involved in the university’s academic life through part-time teaching, research and service assignments.

“Lectures delivered by UGA alumnus and professor Jim Cobb are always outstanding,” said Deborah Dietzler, executive director of the UGA Alumni Association. “The Alumni Association is delighted that he has agreed to deliver this year’s Founders Day Lecture.”

As part of Founders Week, the UGA Alumni Association is sponsoring a T-shirt and button giveaway Jan. 28 at 10 a.m. on the Tate Plaza and a cupcake giveaway Jan. 31 at campus dining halls. In addition, several alumni chapters will host gatherings to celebrate the university’s founding.