Willson Center’s Global Georgia Initiative begins with lecture by James C. Cobb

James C. Cobb

Athens, Ga. – James C. Cobb, a University of Georgia professor known for his expertise on the history of the American South, will kick off the Global Georgia Initiative, a new series that brings world-class thinkers to the podium on the UGA campus. On Jan. 29 at 4 p.m., Cobb will discuss “De-Mystifying Dixie: Southern History and Culture in Global Perspective” in the UGA Chapel.

“My hope is to demonstrate that much of the South’s perceived weirdness relative to the rest of the United States falls away when it is viewed in global context,” said Cobb of his lecture. “In other words, seen as ‘a part of the world,’ it seems less ‘a world apart.'”

Cobb, the B. Phinizy Spalding Distinguished Professor in the History of the American South, is the author of 12 books, including “Away Down South: A History of Southern Identity” (Oxford University Press, 2005), “Georgia Odyssey: A Short History of the State” (UGA Press, 2008) and “The South and America Since World War II” (Oxford, 2010). His articles have appeared in the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, the Wall Street Journal and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Cobb also is a past president of the Southern Historical Association.

The Global Georgia Initiative is a series of lectures and conversations organized by the UGA Jane and Harry Willson Center for Humanities and Arts. Its goal is to present global problems in a 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.

“I am delighted that James Cobb will be the first speaker in the Global Georgia series,” said Nicholas Allen, Franklin Professor of English and director of the Willson Center. “Professor Cobb is one of the university’s treasures and truly represents the spirit of the initiative.”

The lecture is presented in partnership with Flagpole, Athens’ alternative weekly magazine. Pete McCommons, Flagpole editor and publisher, will introduce Cobb, whose “Cobbloviate” column is featured regularly in the magazine.

The 2013 Global Georgia Initiative lecture series will run through March 5. The remaining speakers in the series are Barry C. Smith, director of the Institute of Philosophy in the University of London’s School of Advanced Study; John Lowe, Barbara Lester Methvin Distinguished Professor of English at UGA; Bertis Downs, entertainment lawyer and longtime adviser to R.E.M.; Ntone Edjabe, writer, journalist, disc jockey and founding editor of the pan-African literary and political journal Chimurenga; and Valerie Babb, professor of English and African American Studies and director of the Institute for African American Studies at UGA.

For more information on the Global Georgia Initiative, see http://willson.uga.edu/programs/public-programs/global-georgia-initiative/.

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 http://willson.uga.edu/.