MACON – Dr. Sarah Gardner, professor of history and director of the Center for Southern Studies in Mercer University’s College of Liberal Arts, was recently selected as a Brown Foundation Scholar at The University of the South in Sewanee, Tennessee, for the upcoming spring semester.
As a Brown Scholar, Dr. Gardner will teach a four-credit-hour course, titled “The Muse of War,” engage with students outside of class time, participate in new faculty orientation and offer at least one public presentation related to her research. She will also continue work on her current book project, Reading During Wartime, which explores the reading habits, practices and choices of the American people during the Civil War.
“Dr. Gardner is a first-rate scholar in Southern history, and this honor reflects the respect she has earned from colleagues in her field,” said Dr. Anita Olson Gustafson, dean of the College of Liberal Arts. “Her leadership in Mercer’s Center for Southern Studies has elevated it to become one of the premier undergraduate programs of its kind in the country.”
Dr. Gardner studies the intellectual and cultural history of the American South, specializing in the late-19th and early-20th centuries.
Her first book, Blood and Irony: Southern White Women’s Narratives of the Civil War, 1861-1937 (University of North Carolina Press, 2004), shows how Southern white women’s narratives of the war demonstrate the dynamic nature of Lost Cause ideology. She also co-edited Voices of the American South (Pearson Longman, 2004), a comprehensive survey of pivotal works in the Southern literary tradition.
Dr. Gardner recently finished her second book, Reviewing the South: The Literary Marketplace and the Making of the Southern Renaissance, which is forthcoming from Cambridge University Press. She has also signed on to co-edit a forthcoming series from the University of Georgia Press, titled “Print Culture in the American South,” and to author another book from the University of North Carolina Press, which will explore intellectual life in the Civil War-era South.
In addition to being named a Brown Scholar, in the past year alone, Dr. Gardner has received fellowships from the New York Public Library, the Gilder-Lehrman Institute for American History, and the Southern Historical Collection at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.
She has previously received Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Fellowships from the Virginia Historical Society and from the Huntington Library, an Earhart Foundation Fellowship from the William L. Clements Library at the University of Michigan and a Harrison Institute Fellowship in American Literature from the University of Virginia, in addition to several other highly competitive fellowships and research grants from the William R. Perkins Library at Duke University, the Institute for Southern Studies at the University of South Carolina, the Newberry Library and the Harry Ransom Center for the Humanities at the University of Texas, Austin.
In addition to history, Dr. Gardner teaches courses in Africana studies, women’s and gender studies and the Great Books Program. She also directs the Lamar Lecture, the most prominent lecture series on Southern history and culture in the U.S.
The Brown Foundation Tutorial Fellowship was established at Sewanee in 1971 through a gift from the Brown Foundation of Houston, Texas. An endowed fund enables the University to appoint distinguished scholars to teach for a limited period of time in one of the disciplines represented in the College of Arts and Sciences.