Outside the Classroom

About the Spencer B. King, Jr. Center for Southern Studies

The mission of the Spencer B. King, Jr. Center for Southern Studies is to promote critical interdisciplinary examination of the Southern region of the United States. We follow the propositions that the South means different things to different people and that the region is constantly changing. We cultivate open, engaging dialogue that represents multiple perspectives and experiences and we strive to make this dialogue accessible to scholars, students, and members of the community. As a Center situated in a liberal arts college, our primary focus is teaching, and the Southern Studies major is the core of the Center’s work. The Center is named in honor of Dr. Spencer B. King, Jr., late Professor of Southern History at Mercer University.

The Center hosts several lecture series and programs that bring important scholars and writers to Mercer to share their work with students and the Macon community. The Center awards the Sidney Lanier Prize for Southern Literature, which is presented to writers who have made significant contributions to writing about the South over the course of their careers. The Center also publishes the Journal of Southern Religion.

Southern Studies


Byington Lecture

Examine the contemporary American South in the Laurie Byington Lecture Series

Lamar Lecture

The Lamar Lecture series promotes the preservation of Southern culture, history, and literature.

The Jesse Mercer statue on the Macon campus


Study and research the unique culture and history of the South under the direction of our expert faculty. Learn the research techniques and critical thinking skills that will prepare you for your next steps.

Administration building spire

Southern Semester

Study the South in the South. Students from American and international universities may apply to spend a semester at Mercer taking classes with scholars of the South and earning college credit.

Hay House in downtown Macon, Georgia


Discover the complex economy, music, literature, and history while visiting historic locations throughout Georgia. Our faculty also works to pair you with an excellent internship based on your specific interests and passion.

Graduate's mortar board with words

Postgraduate Opportunities

When you graduate with a Southern Studies degree from Mercer University, you will be prepared to reach your goals, whether it’s directly entering the workforce or enrolling in a graduate program.