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 three books, the editor or co-editor of two volumes of southern history, and she has written 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 and the co-editor of Reassessing the 1930s South (LSU Press, 2018)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 written op-eds for the New York Times, The Washington Post, CNN, TIME magazine, Publishers Weekly, and the Huffington Post. Her expertise on the American South has led to interviews with the Los Angeles Times, Newsweek, The Daily Beast, Mic, The Atlantic, the Wall Street Journal, Slate (France), the Atlanta-Journal Constitution, the Houston Chronicle, and the Charlotte Observer, as well as international newspapers in Germany, Denmark, Ireland, and Japan. She has also appeared on CNN with Brooke Baldwin, BBC Newshour, Black Politics Today, The Mike Smerconish Show (Sirius XM), C-SPAN, Canadian Public Broadcasting, Minnesota Public Radio, Georgia Public Radio, and Charlotte Talks.
Cox is originally from Huntington, West Virginia.
Southern history and culture, the South in American culture
Ph.D., University of Southern Mississippi, 1997; B.A. and M.A., UNC Greensboro
Her current project, “Fire in the Rhythm Club: Race, Tragedy, and Neglect in World War II America,” investigates a club fire that took the lives of 209 African Americans in April 1940.