"'It ain't bragging if you can prove it.'"
As you might have already guessed from Doug Marlette’s cartoon, a wonderfully playful jab at one of our two coeditors, this issue of Southern Cultures is a little different.
John Shelton Reed retired this summer after thirty-one years at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Fortunately for us, John is not leaving Southern Cultures, but his decision to shift gears has put the rest of us in an awkward position, for this is no ordinary retirement. During his years at Carolina, John rose through the ranks from instructor to Kenan Professor of Sociology. He has also been the beloved teacher of thousands of undergraduates, director of the Odum Institute for Research in Social Science, founder of the UNCCenter for the Study of the American South, president of the Southern Sociological Society, board member of the National Endowment for the Humanities, and holder of more fellowships, guest lectureships, and visiting professorships around the world than we have space to name. Everywhere, as Larry Griffin puts it, John Reed has been recognized as “beyond doubt the most accomplished and influential living sociologist of the U.S. South.”