Emily Suzanne Clark
In case you missed it, a couple weeks ago Mercer University's Southern Studies Program made a huge announcement, as in $500,000 huge. Mercer received a National Endowment for the Humanities $500,000 challenge grant for the establishment of a Center for Southern Studies. What does a Center for Southern Studies at Mercer have to do with the Journal of Southern Religion? A lot. Editor Doug Thompson is an associate professor of Southern Studies there, and to quote Doug, "the Journal of Southern Religion and digital humanities played a significant part in the grant narrative." And the journal was not just a buzzword for the grant proposal (as "digital humanities" sometimes is); rather, the new center at Mercer will help provide solid institutional support and stability for the JSR. And this means great things for our readers. Most journals have some financial backing, while the JSR hasn't had much. With this financial support, Doug and I get to brainstorm some big ideas.
So happy holidays to the JSR! (Thanks NEH and Mercer!) And happy holidays to you from the JSR! And to those of you planning your syllabi for American religion classes in the spring, consider assigning one of the JSR's many articles. We got everything from gender to politics to theory to race to law to violence to natural disasters to literature to etiquette. I've used Donald Mathews's "The Southern Rite of Human Sacrifice" before. It's an "oldie" (from 1999 and about three web designs ago), but it certainly still engages students.