A History of the Southern Studies Forum (1988 to 2007)


“Valeria Gennaro Lerda, one of the founders, kindly has written a short history of the Forum, aimed especially at new members:


The Southern Studies Forum of the EAAS has been active since 1988, the year of its launching in West Berlin, Germany.


The SSF purposes are: to facilitate the exchanges of ideas and experiences among scholars interested in the South and to be interdisciplinary and multinational. Cooperation with southernists from the United States and from all over the world has made it possible to create a community of scholars, who have developed their research, discussed their results, and created a network of friends.


The European co-founders were (in alphabetical order): Jan Nordby Gretlund (Denmark), Lothar Hoennighausen (Germany), Valeria Gennaro Lerda (Italy), and Tjebbe Westendorp (The Netherlands). From the start and in every phase of the life of the Forum, Tom Inge (United States) has contributed his encouragement, his scholarship, and his friendship.


The list of the events organized by the members of the SSF shows both the participation in the EAAS biennial conferences with workshops on the South, and the independent symposia of the Forum.”[1]





1990- The United States South: Regionalism and Identity.

University of Genoa, Italy. Organizer: Valeria Gennaro Lerda.


1991- Rewriting the South: History and Fiction.

University of Bonn, Germany. Organizer: Lothar Hoennighausen.


1993- Southern Landscapes.

University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC (United States). Organizer: Walter Edgar.


1995- The Configuration of Race in the South.

University of Cambridge, Cambridge (Great Britain). Organizer: Tony Badger.


1997- The Contemporary South and Its Background.

University of Odense, Aero Island (Denmark). Organizer: Jan Nordby Gretlund.


1999- The Many Souths: Class in Southern Culture.

University of Vienna, Vienna (Austria). Organizer: Walter Zacharasiewicz.


2002- The South as Another Place.

University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC (United States). Organizer: Walter Edgar.


2003- Southern Ethnicities.

Aristotle University, Thessaloniki (Greece). Organizer: Youli Theodosiadou.


2005- Poverty and Progress in the South.

The Roosevelt Study Center, Middelburg (The Netherlands).Organizers: Anneke Leenhouts and Cornelis Van Minnen.


2007- The (Un)Popular South

Palacki University, Olomouc (Czech Republic). Organizer: Marcel Arbeit.


2009- (to be announced)

Université de Versailles St Quentin (France). Organizer : Jacques Pothier



WORKSHOPS at EAAS Conferences


1988- West Berlin (Germany). EAAS Conference: Looking Inward, Looking Forward: The United States from the 1930s through the 1940s.

SSF Workshop:

The Social and Cultural Scene in the American South in the 1930s and the 1940s. Chair: Valeria Gennaro Lerda.


1990- London (Great Britain). EAAS Conference

SSF Workshop:

From Victorian Thought to Modern Thought in the South: Chair: Jan Nordby Gretlund.


1992- Seville (Spain). EAAS Conference: The American Columbiad: Discovering America, Inventing the United States.

SSF Workshop:

Inventing the South: A Mentality in the Making. Chair: Francois Pitavy.


1994- Luxembourg. EAAS Conference: The Insular Dream: Obsession and Resistance.

SSF Workshop:

Regional Obsessions: Criticism and Self-Criticism in the American South. Chairs: Ineke Bockting and Waldemar Zacharasiewicz.


1996- Warsaw (Poland). EAAS Conference: American Culture and its Impact (1946-1996).

SSF Workshop:

The Americanization of the South: Change and Continuity in Southern Cultures and Society since 1945. Chairs: Stuart Kidd and Lothar Hoennighausen.


1998- Lisbon (Portugal). EAAS Conference: Ceremonies and Spectacles: America and the Staging of Collective Identities.

SSF Workshop:

The Staging of Southern Identity. Chairs: Tony Badger and Jan Nordby Gretlund.


2000- Graz (Austria). EAAS Conference: Nature’s Nation Reconsidered: American Concepts of Nature from Wonder to Ecological Crisis.

SSF Workshop:

The Land in Southern History and Cultures: Myths, Metaphors, and Reality. Chairs: Valeria Gennaro Lerda and Daničle Pitavy-Souques.


2002- Bordeaux (France). EAAS Conference: The United States of/in Europe: Nationhood, Citizenship, Culture.

SSF Workshop:

Southern Culture(s): The American South and/in Europe. Chair: Waldemar Zacharasiewicz.


2004- Prague (Czech Republic). EAAS Conference: America in the Course of Human Events: Presentations and Interpretations.

SSF Workshop:

The Forging of Southern Exceptionalism. Chairs: Jacques Pothier and Stuart Kidd.


2006- Nicosia (Cyprus). EAAS Conference: Conformism, Non-conformism, and Anti-conformism in the Culture of the United States.

SSF Workshop:

Acquiescence, Dissent, and the South.

Chairs: Jan Nordby Gretlund and Valeria Gennaro Lerda.


2007- Oslo (Norway). EAAS Conference: E Pluribus Unum, or E Pluribus Plura?

SSF Workshop (proposed)

South or Souths? The American South and the shaping of its singular or plural identity/ies

Chairs: Susanna Delfino and Jacques Pothier



The Southern Studies Forum Newsletter is edited by:

. University of Southern Denmark                                    

. University of Santiago                                      


[1] Updated from the Dec 2005 newsletter of the Southern Studies Forum.