Karen L. Cox is a professor of history at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte where she teaches courses in American history with a focus on southern history and culture. She is the author of Dixie's Daughters: The United Daughters of the Confederacy and the Preservation of Confederate Culture (2003), which won the Southern Association for Women Historians' Julia Cherry Spruill Prize, and Dreaming of Dixie: How the South Was Created in American Popular Culture (2011), as well as the editor of Destination Dixie: Tourism and Southern History (2012). A public intellectual, she has written op-eds for the New York Times, the Washington Post, cnn, Time, CNN, and the Huffington Post. She has been interviewed by journalists from around the world for her expertise on Confederate monuments and Confederate culture more broadly. Her latest book is Goat Castle: A True Story of Murder, Race, and the Gothic South (2017). Her new project will examine the Rhythm Club fire in Natchez, Mississippi. More than 200 members of the African American community perished in this fire in April 1940, leading the Chicago Defender to call it "the worst tragedy in the history of the race."
This lecture discusses the history of Confederate monuments and the historical context at the time the vast majority were built.