Georgia Southern University

Averitt Lecture Series features internationally acclaimed economic historian

Internationally acclaimed historian Peter A. Coclanis will present the 2006 Jack N. and Addie D. Averitt Lecture Series at Georgia Southern University on Monday and Tuesday, October 23 and 24. A faculty member at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, Coclanis studies, writes, and teaches in the fields of American, international, and Southeast Asian economic history.

His theme for the three lectures of the Averitt Series is ‘Home and the World: Perspectives on the Economic History of the American South.” The first, titled ‘People and Places,” takes place Monday, October 23, at 7:00 p.m.; the second, titled ‘Products,” will take place Tuesday, October 24, at 9:30 a.m.; and the third, titled ‘Processes,” will take place Tuesday, October 24, at 2:00 p.m. All three lectures will be held in the ballroom of the Russell Student Union, and they are free and open to the public.

Coclanis is the author of ‘The Shadow of a Dream: Economic Life and Death in the South Carolina Low Country, 1670-1920,” which won the Allan Nevins Prize from the Society of American Historians. His book charts the economic and social rise and fall of a small, but intriguing part of the American South: Charleston and the surrounding South Carolina low country. Spanning 250 years, Coclanis’s study analyzes the interaction of both external and internal forces on the city and countryside, examining the effects of various factors”the environment, the market, economic and political ideology, and social institutions”on the region’s economy from its colonial beginnings to its collapse in the 19th and early 20th centuries.

‘This book is the compelling story of the tragic rise and fall of the rice economy in the South Carolina Low Country,” wrote reviewers in the American Historical Review. ‘Coclanis has mastered an impressive array of primary and secondary sources … He presents his findings in clear, graceful prose.”

Coclanis became the Albert R. Newsome Professor and Associate Provost for International Affairs at UNC-Chapel Hill after serving as associate dean for general education and heading the history department there for ten years. He is the author or co-author of more than 100 scholarly articles and several books, and he has written 70 book reviews. He is currently completing a book titled ‘Distant Thunder: The Creation of a World Market in Rice and the Transformations it Wrought.”

Jack Averitt and his wife Addie established the Averitt Lecture Series in 1990 as a gift to Georgia Southern’s Department of History, Department of Literature and Philosophy, and Department of Writing and Linguistics. Jack Averitt was the first dean of Georgia Southern’s graduate school, which now bears his name. He funded the biennial Averitt Distinguished Service Award and now serves as dean emeritus.

The Averitt Lecture Series seeks to enhance on-campus academic and cultural life for students, faculty and community by bringing world-class scholars to the University to the University to speak on historical and literary subjects. The lectures are subsequently published by the University of Georgia Press.

For more information on the Averitt Lecture Series, contact Georgia Southern’s History Department at 912-681-5586 or send an e-mail to

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