News Column

African American Veterans Focus of Athenaeum Press Project

August 4, 2014



CONWAY, S.C., Aug. 4 -- Coastal Carolina University issued the following news release:

Coastal Carolina University'sAthenaeum Press will produce a multimedia project on African-American veterans as the flagship production for the 2014-2015 academic year.

The project, which examines a range of topics including Jim Crow laws, integration into the military and the Civil Rights movement, will culminate in a digital archive with physical and virtual exhibitions.

Also in the works is a chapbook about William Van Auken Greene, an itinerant, one-armed photographer who traveled Horry County photographing the local community in the Depression years of the 1930s.

Drawing from nearly a decade's worth of research and oral histories, the flagship project will focus on the lives, memories and physical mementoes of African-American veterans. The project is directed by Maggi Morehouse, associate professor of Southern history and director of the Burroughs Fund for Southern Studies at CCU.

The interviews offer firsthand narratives and unique perspectives of these soldiers, nearly one million strong during World War II, whose stories are rarely documented or researched.

CCU's faculty, in partnership with the Lowcountry Digital Library and the College of Charleston's Avery Center, are working together on the project. Students will sort through photographs, oral histories and memorabilia to develop the project, gaining hands-on experience in historical research, archive work and digital development. The project is set to release in April 2015.

In its commitment to telling local stories, the Athenaeum Press will also develop a chapbook project around William Van Auken Greene, the one-armed photographer based in Horry County during the 1930s. Unlike other photographers in the South, Greene did not select his subjects because they were newsworthy or evocative. His subjects were paying customers, primarily people from rural communities in Horry County. A small group of students will restore the photographs, housed at the Horry County Museum, to tell the tale of the photographer and the community he photographed. This project is expected to be released in December 2014.

Alongside these two main projects, the Press will continue to develop its digital publication on Gullah spirituals of St. Helena Island and lay the groundwork for the next phase of the project in 2015. The press is also working on an audio CD version of its 2013 book," "My Life with Mickey" by Jane Spillane, to be released in November 2014 with bonus content.

Project proposals for 2015-2016 will be accepted beginning in September 2014, with notification of decision in January 2015. The Athenaeum Press' website may be viewed at http://theathenaeumpress.com.

About The Athenaeum Press

The Athenaeum Press is a student-centered laboratory for document design, editing, publishing, and new media development and dissemination. Located in the Thomas W. & Robin W. Edwards College of Humanities & Fine Arts at Coastal Carolina University in Conway, South Carolina, the educational mission of The Athenaeum Press requires that every step of each publication project -- from research to writing, conception to design, production to promotion -- be taken with an eye toward enhancing undergraduate and graduate student skills.

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