UNC Music Professor Jocelyn Neal, co-editor of the journal Southern Cultures and a scholar of commercial country music and American popular music, has been appointed director of the Center for the Study of the American South, effective July 1, 2012.
Neal is associate professor of music and adjunct associate professor of American studies. She is the author of The Songs of Jimmie Rodgers (Indiana University Press, 2009), which won the ASCAP Deems Taylor Award. Since 2009, Neal has served as co-editor of Southern Cultures, a noted journal published by the Center for the Study of the American South. She has been a fellow at the Mannes Institute for Advanced Studies in Music Theory and has served as chair of the Popular Music Group for the Society of Music Theory.
Neal replaces Professor Harry Watson, a major historian of the antebellum South and Jacksonian America, who has directed the Center since 1999, developing it into a leader in the field.
The Center for the Study of the American South, which became part of the College of Arts and Sciences on January 1, 2012, is among the foremost centers of its kind, widely respected for promoting research, teaching, and public dialogue on the history, culture, and evolving global importance of the southern United States.