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Extended Study to the American Deep South

SOAN 313: Social Stratification in the American South

Director: Professor Angie Hattery, Department of Sociology and Anthropology
On-campus course: Spring 2009
Tentative travel dates: May 20 – June 9, 2009
Course credit: .05 credit


SOAN 312 or SOAN 323

The on-site component of this course is focused in three primary areas: ethnographic observation, service learning, and community experts. Specifically, we spend time living and learning in local communities and meeting with local “experts.”

The course begins on the campus of Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, for a week of preparatory work and meeting with Southern historians and sociologists. The program continues in Birmingham, Alabama, where we will meet the first African American woman appointed to the southeast circuit court. We will also meet with a local teacher who grew up on Dynamite Hill and will lead a guided tour that includes a visit to local citizens who lived there during the bombings and continue to live there today.

In Starkville, Mississippi, we will meet with the Social Science Survey Center faculty who will give a series of seminars on current locally based research projects as well as facilitate a multi-day visit to the Mississippi Delta region — including Cleveland, Merigold, and Sumner (the site of the Emmitt Till trial).

In Bay St. Louis, Mississippi, we will spend two days doing a service learning project with the Hancock County library.

Additional major sites will include New Orleans: a tour of the lower 9th Ward, meetings with ACORN (a local housing agency, also setting up “transitional” housing for returning residents who have been incarcerated, hospitalized for drug use, etc.), and a day-long tour and information session (including meetings with inmates) at Parchman prison farm (Parchman, Mississippi).