Cities, Rivers, and Cultures of Change: Rethinking and Restoring the Environments of the Global American South

The 2014 Global American South Conference is presented by The Center for Global InitiativesThe Center for the Study of the American South, and The Institute for the Environment.

Profound shifts in the way we think, use and protect water, rapid immigration and demographic change (the ‘graying’ and ‘browning’ of the United States), and immense urbanization have made the American South a bellwether of environmental change for both America and the world at large.

Cities, Rivers, and Cultures of Change: Rethinking and Restoring the Environments of the Global American South aims to bring together graduate students, faculty, independent scholars, and a broader public audience to share current research that explore these themes from the point of view of 1) southern culture, history, and ethics, 2) efforts to restore natural and built environments, and 3) the implications and connections between changes to the American South and the inter-connected global environment in which we live. 

Call for Proposals: information is posted here; proposals are due Friday, November 15, 2013.

Submission:  please send as a single PDF attachment to

  • a cover letter with name, institutional and departmental affiliation (if any), proposed presentation title, full contact information including email, phone, and mailing address, and status (faculty, student, independent researcher)
  • an abstract of no more than 350 words

Special Programming: Margaret Palmer (University of Maryland) will deliver the Chandler Lecture in Southern Business History as the conference keynote.

This two-day conference is part of the ongoing exploration of the globalization of the southern United States that the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill has been pursuing for over a decade. Each year this interdisciplinary conference focuses on a different theme to reveal the interplay of the global and the local, both the impacts of globalization on our region and the often surprising ways that local culture and experience influence distant communities and regions. 

Conference Program Committee:

Todd BenDor, Associate Professor of City and Regional Planning

Jocelyn Neal, Director, Center for the Study of the American South; Professor, Music

Niklaus Steiner, Director, Center for Global Initiatives

Larry Band, Director, Institute for the Environment; Voit Gilmore Distinguished Professor, Geography

Bland Simpson, Kenan Distinguished Professor, English and Creative Writing

Greg Characklis, Professor of Environmental Sciences & Engineering

Nikhil Kaza, Assistant Professor of City and Regional Planning


There will be no registration fee for this conference; decisions about proposals will be communicated by mid-December.