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Learning about the South

Meet Dr. Michael Patrick Cullinane who explains what the South means to him and how students should approach the course work.
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Hello, my name is Mike Cullinane, and I’m a reader in US history of Northumbria University. And as Brian points out, an interloper of sorts. I was born and raised in New Jersey, a state considered firmly ensconced in the Northeast and far from the American South. Now I always knew when traveling south from New Jersey that degrees of southerness existed. We vacationed in North Carolina most years. And along the eight hour drive through the mid-Atlantic, we passed the Mason-Dixon line, a colonial boundary that acted as the demarcation of slave and free states. We also passed the so-called Dixie line somewhere in Virginia, the historic border between the Confederate States of America and the Union during the Civil War.
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And by the time we reached North Carolina, one thing more than any was the food that gave away the location. For me, I associate those holidays with hushpuppies– balls of sweet buttermilk cornbread deep fried to a golden brown. So on this course, inevitably we will talk about food, but also borders, climate, demographics and culture. And as Brian has explained there’s a five week scope that allows us to look at the question of whether the South is a distinctive region in the United States. You will learn by taking part in discussions, watching videos, and reading articles. And each one of these steps gives you an opportunity to have a conversation about the American South.
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There are quizzes along the way that will test your knowledge and a summative assignment which will challenge you to think about the overarching question of the course. You can follow the course, week by week, activity by activity, and step by step, marking off those steps that you’ve completed along the way. You can follow the discussions on the FutureLearn platform, or if you tweet– by using #FLamericansouth to contribute on social media. Brian and I and a group of leading experts at Northumbria’s Institute of the Humanities look forward to joining you on your journey through this region of the United States– its paradoxes and its gripping history.
In this step you will meet Dr. Michael Patrick Cullinane who explains what the South means to him and how students should approach the course work.
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The American South

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