James C. Cobb, B. Phinizy Spalding Distinguished Professor in the History of the American South, is widely recognized as one of the foremost scholars of Southern history and culture—and among the first to write broadly about the South in a global context.
Cobb has written more than 40 articles and 12 books, mostly about the impact of changing economic conditions on the South. Two of these, Away Down South: A History of Southern Identity and The Most Southern Place on Earth, his book about the Mississippi Delta, are considered classics in the field. The latter quickly became a model for studying other regional cultures and subcultures, such as those of Appalachia and New England. Committed to reaching beyond the scholarly community, Cobb has written pieces for The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, The Wall Street Journal, the New Republic, The Times Literary Supplement, and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
His new book, The New America: The South and the Nation Since World War II, is published 2010 by Oxford University Press. Cobb’s work has won him a string of awards and prizes, named lectureships, offices in professional associations, most notably the presidency of the Southern Historical Association—and a dedicated audience of both academics and lay history buffs who eagerly follow his work.