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Karen L. Cox is Professor of History at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte and the founding director of the graduate public history program. She offers a variety of courses in southern history and culture, and offers graduate electives in public history.
Dr. Cox received her BA and MA in history from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, and her Ph.D. in 1997 from the University of Southern Mississippi. She is the author of two books and numerous essays and articles on the subject of southern history and culture. Her first book, Dixie’s Daughters: The United Daughters of the Confederacy and the Preservation of Confederate Culture, won the 2004 Julia Cherry Spruill Prize from the Southern Association for Women Historians for the Best Book in Southern Women’s History. Her second book, published by UNC Press in 2011, is Dreaming of Dixie: How the South Was Created in American Popular Culture. She is the editor of Destination Dixie: Tourism and Southern History (University Press of Florida, 2012), which won the 2013 Allen G. Noble Award for the best edited collection in North American material culture from the Pioneer America Society. Her latest book, entitled Goat Castle: A True Story of Murder, Race, and the Gothic South, was published by UNC Press in October 2017.
Dr. Cox has published op-eds in the New York Times, the Washington Post, CNN, TIME, and the Huffington Post and has appeared on C-Span, as well as several radio broadcasts including the BBC, Canadian Public Radio and, locally, The Mike Collins Show. She is also an OAH Distinguished Lecturer.
She has retired her blog Pop South: Reflections on the South in Popular Culture, but you can still access it. Visit her author page.
Southern history and culture, the South in American culture
Ph.D., University of Southern Mississippi, 1997; B.A. and M.A., UNC Greensboro
Her most recent project investigates the 1932 murder of Jane Surget Merrill, a descendant of the planter aristocracy in Natchez, Mississippi. The case, known locally as the “Goat Castle murder,” provides a unique opportunity to study the decline of the planter aristocracy after the Civil War, the influence of Jim Crow on southern justice, and of the Old South in the American imagination of the 1930s.