Campus News

Flagpole Publisher Pete McCommons to speak in Global Georgia series Feb. 6

Pete McCommons is editor and publisher of Flagpole magazine in Athens.

Athens, Ga. – Pete McCommons, editor and publisher of Flagpole magazine, will give a talk on Feb. 6 at 4 p.m. in the University of Georgia Chapel. The talk, entitled “The Stuff of Journalism: Death, Kudzu, and the Unexamined Life,” is the second installment in the 2014 Global Georgia Initiative, a program of the Jane and Harry Willson Center for Humanities and Arts.

McCommons co-founded the weekly Athens Observer newspaper in 1974. In 1994, he became publisher of Flagpole, which was founded in 1987. The alternative weekly covers local music and other arts, as well as news and politics, billing itself as “The Colorbearer of Athens, Ga.”

“After 40 years of writing against a weekly deadline, the occasion of this talk has goaded me into connecting the dots, to see if larger patterns may overarch the constant round of local issues,” McCommons said.

McCommons earned a degree in political science from UGA and studied political philosophy at Columbia University. He then worked in the UGA Institute of Government (now the Carl Vinson Institute of Government), heading the State Government Section.

McCommons said “Pub Notes,” his weekly editorial column in Flagpole, is “composed of observations on the local political scene, eulogies, occasional attempts at humor and, when nothing else presents itself, reminiscences on growing up in a small Georgia town.”

James C. Cobb, B. Phinizy Spalding Distinguished Professor in the History of the American South, will introduce McCommons at the Chapel. Cobb’s column, “Cobbloviate,” is regularly featured in Flagpole.

The Global Georgia Initiative is a series of lectures and conversations organized by the Willson Center. Its goal is to present global problems in local context by addressing pressing contemporary questions, including the economy, society and the environment, with a focus on how the arts and humanities can intervene.

The remaining guests in the 2014 series are Nathalie Handal, an internationally renowned poet, playwright and scholar; author, historian and educator Paul Pressly, whose new book, “On the Rim of the Caribbean: Colonial Georgia and the British Atlantic World,” was published by the University of Georgia Press; and the acclaimed author and filmmaker Xiaolu Guo.

For more information on the Global Georgia Initiative, see

Willson Center for Humanities and Arts
The Jane and Harry Willson Center for Humanities and Arts is a unit of the Office of the Vice President for Research at UGA. In the service of its mission to promote research and creativity in the humanities and arts, the Willson Center sponsors and participates in numerous public events on and off the UGA campus throughout the academic year. It supports faculty through research grants, lectures, symposia, publications, visiting scholars, visiting artists, collaborative instruction, public conferences, exhibitions and performances. For more information, see