Thank you for your generous support!
While this project has ended, you can still make a gift at https://umfoundation.com/ignite.
Thank you so much to all of our friends and alumni for giving so generously to this fund. You can still honor Dr. Wilson, and even though our online project has ended we still gladly accept donations to the fund. As the fund increases we'll be able to support more students in their research endeavors. Please visit www.umfoundation.com/CRWfund. Thank you!
During his 33 years as a professor, Dr. Charles Reagan Wilson has been a mentor for many University of Mississippi students studying southern history and culture. His scholarship on history and memory continues to shape the field, and his ability to teach and engage students is unmatched. His work on the Encyclopedia of Southern Culture demonstrated a broad and inclusive approach to scholarship he has shared with students.
In honor of Dr. Wilson's retirement in May 2014 after a long career of supporting and guiding students, we have created the Charles Reagan Wilson Graduate Student Support Fund, which will provide financial support for graduate students engaged in research in southern history. Students from both the UM Department of History and the Southern Studies program will benefit from these funds.
Gifts to this fund will allow graduate students studying the South in the University of Mississippi History Department and in the Southern Studies program of the Center for the Study of Southern Culture to pursue research with financial support to travel to archives and to develop documentary projects (film, photography, and oral history).
Charles Reagan Wilson was the Kelly Gene Cook Sr. Chair of History and Professor of Southern Studies at the University of Mississippi, where he taught from 1981-2014. He worked extensively with graduate students and served as Director of the Southern Studies academic program from 1991 to 1998, and Director of the Center for the Study of Southern Culture from 1998-2007. Wilson received bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Texas at El Paso and earned his PhD in history from the University of Texas at Austin. He taught at the University of Wurzburg, Germany, the University of Texas at El Paso, and Texas Tech University before coming to Oxford. Wilson is the author of Baptized in Blood: The Religion of the Lost Cause, 1865-1920 (1980), a study of the memory of the Confederacy in the post-Civil War South, Judgment and Grace in Dixie: Southern Faiths from Faulkner to Elvis (1995), which studies popular religion as a part of the culture of the modern South, and Flashes of Southern Spirit: Meanings of the Spirit in the U. S. South (2011). He is also coeditor (with Bill Ferris) of the Encyclopedia of Southern Culture (1989), which received the Dartmouth Prize from the American Library Association as best reference book of the year and is also general editor of the 24-volume New Encyclopedia of Southern Culture (2006-2013). He is editor or coeditor of Religion and the American Civil War (1998), The New Regionalism (1996), and Religion in the South (1985).
The mission of the Center for the Study of Southern Culture is to investigate, document, interpret, and teach about the American South. The Center emphasizes the interdisciplinary investigation and documentation of the South as a region of cultural, historical, geographic, and demographic complexity.
At the heart of the Center’s mission is the academic program. Its undergraduate and graduate curricula incorporate traditional disciplines of the arts, humanities, and social sciences to form an interdisciplinary framework for studying the South. The Center promotes research on the South’s varied cultures by supporting the work of its faculty, staff, students, alumni, and visiting scholars. It offers opportunities for increasing understanding of southern culture through publications, conferences, lectures, and documentary media. Because of its location, the Center focuses much of its work on Mississippi and the Deep South, while at the same time exploring the region as a whole, both in its American and global contexts. Interests of Center faculty, staff, and students are always changing, and particular emphases include documentary studies, literature, history, religion, foodways, music, race and ethnicity, and globalization and identity.
Over the last quarter century the Center has become a focal point for innovative education and research on the American South, strengthening the University’s instructional program in the humanities, promoting scholarship on many aspects of southern culture, and encouraging public understanding of the South as a diverse and complex space.
The graduate program in Southern Studies at the University of Mississippi is the only one of its kind in the world. It offers an intense interdisciplinary course of study for a Master of Arts degree touching on all facets of Southern life, history, and culture. Students can study an array of Southern topics and issues, from Faulkner to the blues, from the Civil War to the civil rights movement, from folk art to fundamentalism.
Undergraduate students may pursue a major or minor in Southern Studies, and the Master of Arts program in Southern Studies remains the only M.A. program of its kind in the world. Students take a combination of Southern Studies courses and those in other fields aligned with their scholarly interests, receiving a truly interdisciplinary degree.Southern Studies faculty typically have a joint appointment in Southern Studies and another field, such as English, History, Sociology, or Anthropology.
Since the 1980s over 300 students have completed Southern Studies degrees, and many more University of Mississippi students have taken Southern Studies classes.
The Arch Dalrymple III Department of History at the University of Mississippi offers programs of graduate study leading to the masters and doctoral degrees. The department includes faculty members from all over the United States and from Europe, and their interests span the full chronological sweep of American and European history, as well as much of the histories of Africa, Latin America, and East Asia. A number of faculty study the history of the American South.
In its masters and doctoral programs, the department emphasizes both rigor and flexibility in designing a course of study to fit the individual interests of each graduate student. The Graduate Advisory Committee administers the program. Each graduate student designs a program of study in consultation with the Graduate Advisory Committee and other faculty members of the department. Approximately sixty students from a wide variety of backgrounds are currently pursuing graduate degrees in the department.
Dr. Wilson giving the Last Lecture in May of 2014.
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Dr. Wilson at the Southern Studies Graduation Lunch, May 2014.
In addition to your monetary gift, you can make an impact by becoming an ambassador for the UM Charles R. Wilson Fund Ignite Campaign and sharing our message with your family and friends via email and social media. Please share our project link: ignite.olemiss.edu/CRWFund and use #CRWFan.
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For more information, contact the Center for the Study of Southern Culture's Associate Director for Projects, Becca Walton, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you so much for your support of Dr. Wilson's legacy as a teacher.
Dr. Wilson taught this class for many years, often ending the semester with dinner and class on his deck, with dog Biscuit attending.
Many Southern Studies and history students took this class with Dr. Wilson.
Named for Dr. Wilson's 1995 book "Judgment and Grace in Dixie: Southern Faiths from Faulkner to Elvis," which explored popular religion as part of the culture of the modern South.
Named in honor of this 1989 work, edited by Dr. Wilson with Bill Ferris.
Named in honor of Dr. Wilson's 2011 book, "Flashes of Southern Spirit: Meanings of the Spirit in the U.S. South."
Named for Dr. Wilson's 1980 book, "Baptized in Blood: The Religion of the Lost Cause, 1865-1920."
Dr. Wilson is known as a great teacher of writing that demonstrates each individual's agency, thus he allowed no passive voice.
Dr. Wilson often used the imagery of paper church fans produced by funeral homes and businesses as a way to understand southern culture.