Center for the Study of the American South
This Center for the Study of the American South (CSAS), part of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, focuses on providing the University and surrounding community with research, lectures, scholarships, conferences, and numerous cultural events focusing on the American South. A noted program under the direction of CSAS is the Southern Oral History Program, one of the leaders in oral history innovation, with an impressive archival collection containing myriad interviews touching on diverse topics relating to the history of the South. The Center also boasts numerous lecture series and is known for "Southern Cultures," an award-winning, peer-reviewed quarterly journal. The Center is headquartered in the historic Love House, dating to 1887.
Backstory and Context
The lot became part of Chapel Hill village after the university was founded in 1793. During the early nineteenth century, the home of UNC’s president was located on this lot. Presidents Joseph Caldwell and David L. Swain were the only two university presidents to live in the house. The president’s home built on the lot, commonly known as the Second President’s House, burned down in a fire on Christmas Eve of 1886. In 1887, James Lee Love, assistant professor of mathematics at the university, leased a portion of the lot to construct his home. He named the new construction “The House of the Seven Gables.”
Currently inhabited by the Center for the Study of the American South, this academic center offers a number of programs and publications
available to the public. This includes a lecture series, known as the Hutchins,
Chandler, and Charleston lectures. The Center's premiere publication, Southern Cultures, is released quarterly and contains articles
pertaining to the history and various cultures of the U.S. South. Furthermore, the Southern
Oral History Program, which was founded in 1973, seeks to preserve the stories and
perspectives of the South’s past by conducting interviews with individuals.
Those interviewed include diverse representations of southern lives and cultures, from mill workers to civil rights leaders to future Presidents of the United States. The breadth of people interviewed ensures that an ever-evolving and increasingly detailed and accurate history of the South is recorded for posterity. The
number of interviews the SOHP has collected exceeds five thousand.
"About," Southern Cultures, http://southerncultures.org/about/
Southern Oral History Program, http://sohp.org/