WANDA RUSHING - During the 2005-2006 academic year, I received a professional development assignment
to complete a book manuscript. As a result of spending the year continuing to research
archival materials and to write, I achieved my primary objectives. I now have a draft
of all chapters and have completed major revisions of all chapters except one. During
the fall 2006 semester I will submit the manuscript to UNC Press, in fulfillment of
our contract in advance. The book will be included in a series of scholarly publications,
“New Directions in Southern Studies,” co-edited by David Perry at UNC Press and Charles
Reagan Wilson at the University of Mississippi Center for the Study of the South.
The PDA allowed me to immerse myself in my own research on place, globalization
and the South, to read recently published theoretical and historical literature in
greater depth, and to explore future project possibilities. During my PDA I presented
a paper on my research at the Southern Sociological Society meeting in New Orleans.
Also, I submitted a paper for an interdisciplinary conference on Race, Ethnicity and Place. The paper was accepted and I will present it at a meeting in San Marcos, Texas
in November 2006. Further, I have been invited to write an article for The New Encyclopedia of Southern Culture.
The PDA provided an excellent opportunity for me to complete a major research project,
to regenerate creative and intellectual energies, make new interdisciplinary contacts,
and refocus my research efforts. The program offers faculty a wonderful resource
for renewal and productivity.