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CCU professor named co-director of new Hobcaw Barony Institute

Coastal Carolina University anthropologist Carolyn Dillian has been named co-director of the new Belle W. Baruch Institute for South Carolina Studies at Hobcaw Barony near Georgetown.

CCU and Francis Marion University (FMU) signed a memorandum of understanding with Hobcaw Barony in late 2017 to create the Belle W. Baruch Institute for South Carolina Studies at Hobcaw Barony. The institute will offer students and faculty at CCU and FMU the opportunity to “engage in the study of the cultural and historical heritage of South Carolina with an emphasis on the relationship between humans and the coastal environment that has shaped our shared heritage.”

The three partnering entities will also develop and present public educational programs at the 16,000-acre research reserve located on the South Carolina coast near Georgetown.

Dillian is an associate professor who chairs CCU’s Department of Anthropology and Geography. As co-director of the Baruch Institute alongside FMU’s Lynn Hansen, she will facilitate collaborative and interdisciplinary research at Hobcaw Barony.


Photo of Carolyn Dillian

Carolyn Dillian

“I am very excited to join forces with a diverse group of scholars in my own work on the prehistoric archaeological sites at Hobcaw Barony,” said Dillian. “My archaeological research is focused on understanding the way in which Native American inhabitants of the region used coastal environments over the last few thousand years and the ways in which people adapted and innovated as coastlines changed through time. This interdisciplinary research will not only help us understand the lives of people along the South Carolina coast in the past, but will also contribute to our understanding of the expected outcomes of present-day sea level rise on our coastlines and communities.”

Hobcaw Barony, encompassing more than a dozen former rice plantations, was the hunting retreat of noted financier and presidential adviser Bernard Baruch (1870-1965). His daughter and heir, Belle Baruch (1899-1964), created a foundation to preserve the property after her death.

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