“Cotton Culture in the South from the Civil War to the Civil Rights Movement” is a five-week school teacher institute for twenty-five participants on the South's cotton culture from the close of the Civil War to the rise of the civil rights movement. The institute presents a multi-dimensional view of the South’s cotton culture, explaining how cotton, a once-dominant crop based on slave labor, continued to influence the South for a hundred years after emancipation. It broadens teachers’ knowledge about a racial system of labor and exploitation that pervaded the post-Civil War period until emerging as a fountainhead of civil rights activities and artistic expression in literature, blues, jazz, country music, film, folk arts, and architecture. Three central themes are examined: Cotton from Plant to Product (week 1); Politics of Race, Class and Cotton Labor (weeks 2-3); and Cultural Production of Cotton (weeks 4-5). Before arriving, participants read All God’s Dangers, the oral history of sharecropper Ned Cobb. Additional readings are drawn from works by the Southern Agrarians, Richard Wright, James Agee, Flannery O’Connor, Edward Royce, Edward Ayers, C. Vann Woodward, and Taylor Branch, among others. In addition to the project director, a social and cultural historian of the South, lecturers include geographer Charles Aiken, agricultural historian James Giesen, economic historian David Carlton, political historian Joseph Crespino, religious historian Doug Thompson, intellectual historian Bobby Donaldson, literary scholars Andrew Silver and David Davis, social historian Fitz Brundage, civil rights scholar Houston Roberson, film scholar Robert Jackson, and anthropologist John Vlach. Site visits to the Jarell Plantation and a weekend trip to Savannah are included in the program.