The ideological culture war that has resulted in the vilification of all things Southern and the elimination of the distinctly Southern interpretation of American history and identity is not going to change overnight. Those who created it are tenured, and will dominate in higher education for at least a generation-- and even longer since they are disposed to hire and tenure only their own.
Even so, there are many scholars in America and abroad who take inspiration from the Southern tradition, and many others who are open to what it has to teach. Students too are open. Many feel they are somehow encountering on campus a profound intellectual and spiritual disorder, but they do not know how to think about it. What is needed is an association of faculty and students outside the university--but connected to it--where new questions can be raised and new lines of research explored. Students who attend Institute events discover faculty with national and international reputations who have a different, and more thoughtful conception of the Southern tradition and of its place in the increasingly contested question of American identity. Armed with scholarly understanding and the lineaments of a different program of research, students return to the university better able to engage in fruitful debate with their teachers and fellow students. In addition to education, the Institute provides a circle of fellowship for students and faculty. We keep in touch with students, providing academic support, and advising them about programs of study, graduate schools, scholarships, fellowships, and grants. After graduation from their respective colleges or universities, we provide assistance in getting them placed in teaching, research, or other professional positions.