About Take on the South
TAKE ON THE SOUTH is a series of eight, one-hour, live-to-tape debates produced by the South Carolina Educational Television network for the University of South Carolina’s Institute for Southern Studies (ISS) under a grant provided by Watson-Brown Foundation, Inc. The Foundation’s mission is, “to improve education in the American South by funding its schools and students, preserving its history, encouraging responsible scholarship, and promoting the memory and values of our spiritual founders.” The grant for Take on the South was awarded to USC to bring serious academic argument to a wider audience. The first edition will air October 2008 and will be followed by another in the Spring of 2009. Among the topics that will be explored in those future editions are the economy, the environment and the arts and how they impact the South.
About the Host
Walter Edgar, the Director of the Institute for Southern Studies at the University of South Carolina, is a Carolina Trustee Professor, the Claude Henry Neuffer Professor of Southern Studies, the George Washington Distinguished Professor of History, and a Louise Fry Scudder Professor of Liberal Arts.
Born in Mobile, Alabama, he did his undergraduate work at Davidson College and his graduate work at the University of South Carolina. He is the author or editor of more than a dozen books on South Carolina and the American South, including his most recent publication The South Carolina Encyclopedia (2006) of which he was editor-in-chief. He is also the author of South Carolina: A History (1998) and Partisans and Redcoats: The Southern Campaign that Turned the Tide of the American Revolution (2001).
He is in much demand as a speaker and annually delivers twenty-five to thirty talks and lectures to a wide variety of audiences. In addition to his scholarly pursuits, he is the host of two programs on South Carolina Public Radio: “Walter Edgar’s Journal,” a look at contemporary events in context and “South Carolina from A to Z.”
He has been active in the community as an officer or board member of numerous organizations including the South Carolina Historical Society, the Governor’s Mansion Foundation, the South Caroliniana Society, the South Carolina Archives and History Foundation, the Palmetto Conservation Foundation, the Friends of the Richland County Public Library, the Columbia Museum of Art, and Heathwood Hall Episcopal School.
In 1995 he retired as a colonel in the Army Reserves after thirty years of commissioned service. Among his awards and honors are honorary degrees from Davidson College, the Citadel, Coker College, Newberry College, and Coastal Carolina University. In 2001 he received the Distinguished Alumnus Award from the University of South Carolina and in 2008 was inducted into the South Carolina Hall of Fame. He has been listed in Who’s Who in America since 1985.
He is married to Nela Danforth and they have four daughters and five grandchildren. He is an avid gardener, plays a pretty wicked game of squash, and enjoys spoiling his grandchildren.
For more information Take on the South, contact:
Renee Layson, Producer
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