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Renowned historian and Lincoln scholar named Burroughs Professor at CCU

November 14, 2007

Vernon Burton, distinguished historian and author of the critically-acclaimed "The Age of Lincoln," has been named Burroughs Distinguished Professor of Southern History and Culture at Coastal Carolina University, effective fall 2008. Burton was selected for the position after a national search. He will succeed Charles Joyner, who retired early this year after holding the professorship since it was created in 1988.

Burton will visit the Coastal campus to give a talk on Lincoln on Wednesday, Nov. 28 at 4 p.m. in Wall Auditorium. The event, which is free and open to the public, is sponsored by Coastal's Department of History and Phi Alpha Theta, the history honor society, and will take place following the society's annual honor induction ceremony.

A native of Royston, Ga., Burton grew up in Ninety Six, S.C. He is a graduate of Furman University and he earned a Ph.D. in history from Princeton University. Burton is currently completing his last year as professor of history and sociology at the University of Illinois, where he is director of the Illinois Center for Computing in Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences. His research and teaching interests focus on the American South, especially race relations, family, community, politics, religion and the intersection of humanities and social sciences.

Nationally recognized for his teaching, Burton was named the 1999 U.S. Research and Doctoral University Professor of the Year, an honor presented by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching and by the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE). In 2004 he received the American Historical Association's Eugene Asher Distinguished Teaching Prize.

He is the author or editor of 14 books and hundreds of articles. His "The Age of Lincoln," published in June 2007 by Hill & Wang, has received considerable notice for its bold interpretation of 19th-century American history from multiple perspectives-political, social, religious, military and economic. The book has been praised by America's leading historians for its fresh approach to Lincoln's character and for its expert and original analysis of the Civil War-Reconstruction era.

A champion of the role of computers in social sciences research, Burton is a senior research scientist at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications, where he is associate director for humanities and social sciences. He is also executive director of the College of Charleston's Carolina Lowcountry and Atlantic World program.

The Burroughs Distinguished Chair in Southern History and Culture was created in 1988 by the late Henry Burroughs Sr. of Conway to stimulate the study and preservation of the history and culture of South Carolina's Waccamaw region.