Arts & Humanities

Welcome to Southern Futures

A new podcast explores the diverse and changing American South.

Center for the Study of the American South at dusk.
The Center for the Study of the American South. (photo by Donn Young)

The College of Arts & Sciences and the Southern Futures initiative announce the launch of Southern Futures, a podcast to reimagine the American South.

The six-episode series, airing weekly, will bring together UNC-Chapel Hill and other scholars in the humanities and different fields for authentic and accessible conversations about the diverse and changing region of the South.Southern Futures logo

The Southern Futures logo features the word “Southern” above “Futures” with a swirly series of arrows in the top right corner. The Southern Futures initiative is a collaboration between the College of Arts & Sciences, its Center for the Study of the American South, UNC Libraries and other campus partners.

“Questions about the South of today and of tomorrow are important to the University and the communities we serve,’’ said College Dean Terry Rhodes. “This engaging podcast tackles those questions with candid conversations.”

The first episode, “The Push and Pull of the South” is available now, and it features Tyree Daye, teaching assistant professor and poet in the department of English and comparative literature. The conversation with Daye reveals his fascination with the poetry of ordinary life, black family heritage and memory.

Listeners can tune in and subscribe to Southern Futures on Soundcloud, Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Play Music and Stitcher.

The producers of Southern Futures are Malinda Maynor Lowery and Melody Hunter-Pillion with the Center for the Study of the American South.

Malinda Maynor Lowery

Malinda Maynor Lowery

Lowery directs the Center and is a professor in the department of history, an author and an award-winning documentary filmmaker. Hunter-Pillion, the podcast host and an associate director at the Center, is a former broadcast news journalist, currently working on her doctoral degree in public history with a focus in the oral histories of African American farmers and fishermen. Both producers have deep roots in rural North Carolina.

Future episodes include:

Melody Hunter-Pillion

Melody Hunter-Pillion

“Where the Past and Future Meet”: Just as the American South is home to some of the nation’s core injustices, it also holds the courage to make change. Historians from two of the UNC System’s flagship campuses, Malinda Maynor Lowery of UNC-Chapel Hill and Blair L.M. Kelley of NC State University, discuss the conversations we must have about our past in order to achieve a shared future.

“Storytelling in Crisis: COVID-19 Framed by the Great Depression”: From TV newscasts to social media, so much of what we know about COVID-19 is shaped by narratives. Courtney Rivard, a professor of English and comparative literature, demonstrates how compelling stories similarly shaped our perception of the South during the Great Depression. The conversation explores the power of storytelling during times of crisis.

Learn more at http://southernfutures.unc.edu.