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Colin Woodard discusses regional cultures of North America

written by Megan Conley, CAS communications intern

"There has never been one America, but several Americas. And today there are eleven," said Colin Woodard, who gave the department of geography's McConnell Lecture April 25.

The award-winning author and journalist informed a packed classroom at Shideler Hall of how recognizing regionalism is vital to understanding the composition and goals of the nation.

According to Woodard, existing state lines do not take into account the reality of cultural divisions in America. In his book, American Nations: The Eleven Rival Regional Cultures of North America and Their Effect on American History, Identity, and Politics, Woodard explores the ramifications of these divides.

Among the 11 cultures, regions range from the traditional aristocratic order of the Tidewater region to the utopian social reform of Yankeedom. Even in Ohio, Woodard argues that three distinct cultures can be found within the state borders: Yankeedom, Midlands and Greater Appalachia.

As explained in his presentation, these cultures have existed since colonial times when a wide range of people settled in North America. These cultures can then be traced as they migrated west towards the Pacific. Even during the mass immigration of the 1900s, people sorted themselves among existing regions, Woodard said.

Today, evidence of these regions still reveals itself through the analysis of county-by-county election maps from almost any presidential election of the past two centuries. According to Woodard, understanding these regional fractions is essential in modern political campaigning and polling.

Woodard has published three other books including The Republic of Pirates: Being the True and Surprising Story Of The Caribbean Pirates And The Man Who Brought Them Down, which will be the basis of the forthcoming NBC series “Crossbones.”

Woodard currently serves as the state and national affairs writer for the Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram, where he earned a 2012 George Polk Award for investigative reporting.

Since the start of his career, Woodard has traveled around the world and reported on six continents. Woodard also writes for the Washington Monthly, The Christian Science Monitor, and The Chronicle of Higher Education and he reviews books for The Washington Post.

The lecture was co-sponsored by the departments of political science and history.

Locations
Luxembourg
West Chester
Middletown
Hamilton
Oxford
  • Luxembourg
    Luxembourg

    John E. Dolibois European Center, Luxembourg

    One of Miami's oldest continuous study abroad programs, the Miami University John E. Dolibois Center (MUDEC) in Luxembourg offers students the opportunity to enroll in Miami classes taught by European-based and Ohio-based Miami faculty. Students enjoy a unique combination of first-class academics, engagement in the local community, and various faculty-guided and independent travel opportunities.

    Contact and emergency information for the Luxembourg Campus. Starting with general contact info on the left; additional contact and emergency information on the right.

    Château de Differdange
    1, Impasse du Château
    L-4524 Differdange
    Grand Duchy of Luxembourg
    luxembourg@MiamiOH.edu
    MiamiOH.edu/luxembourg

    217-222 MacMillan Hall
    531 E. Spring Street
    Oxford, Ohio 45056, USA

    Directions

    Main Operator: 011-352-582222-1
    Oxford-based Coordinator: 513-529-5050
    Emergency info: MiamiOH.edu/emergency

  • West Chester
    West Chester

    Voice of America Learning Center

    Located midway between Cincinnati and Dayton along I-75, the Voice of America Learning Center (VOALC) offers undergraduate and graduate courses and programs drawn from Miami's Regional and Oxford campuses. Home to Miami's MBA program, the Learning Center provides ready access to graduate programs for area educators and courses leading to the BIS degree for undergraduates.

    Contact and emergency information for the Voice of America Campus. Starting with general contact info on the left; additional contact and emergency information on the right.

    7847 VOA Park Dr.
    (Corner of VOA Park Dr. and Cox Rd.)
    West Chester, OH 45069
     
    voalc@MiamiOH.edu
    MiamiOH.edu/voalc

    Printable Floor Plan
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    Main Operator: 513-895-8862
    (From Middletown) 513-217-8862
    Emergency info: regionals.MiamiOH.edu/emergency

  • Middletown
    Middletown

    Middletown Regional Campus

    Nestled on 141 acres near I-75, Miami University Middletown offers bachelor's degrees, associate degrees, and beginning coursework for most four-year degrees. Nearby Greentree Health Science Academy immerses Miami's nursing and health information technology students in the health care experience while taking classes.

    Contact and emergency information for the Middletown Campus. Starting with general contact info on the left; additional contact and emergency information on the right.

     4200 N. University Blvd.
    Middletown, OH 45042
    regionalwebmaster@MiamiOH.edu
    regionals.MiamiOH.edu

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    Main Operator: 513-727-3200
    (Toll-free) 1-86-MIAMI-MID
    Office of Admission: 513-727-3216
    Campus Status Line: 513-727-3477
    Emergency info: regionals.MiamiOH.edu/emergency

  • Hamilton
    Hamilton

    Hamilton Regional Campus

    A compact, friendly, commuter campus, Miami Hamilton offers bachelor's degrees, associate degrees, and beginning coursework for most four-year degrees. Small class sizes, on-site child care, and flexible scheduling make Miami Hamilton attractive to students at all stages of life and career.

    Contact and emergency information for the Hamilton Campus. Starting with general contact info on the left; additional contact and emergency information on the right.

    1601 University Blvd.
    Hamilton, OH 45011
    regionalwebmaster@MiamiOH.edu
    regionals.MiamiOH.edu

    Printable Campus Map
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    Main Operator: 513-785-3000
    Office of Admission: 513-785-3111
    Campus Status Line: 513-785-3077
    Emergency info: regionals.MiamiOH.edu/emergency

  • Oxford
    Oxford

    Miami University, Oxford Ohio

    Nationally recognized as one of the most outstanding undergraduate institutions, Miami University is a public university located in Oxford, Ohio. With a student body of 16,000, Miami effectively combines a wide range of strong academic programs with faculty who love to teach and the personal attention ordinarily found only at much smaller institutions.

    Contact and emergency information for the Oxford Campus. Starting with general contact info on the left; additional contact and emergency information on the right.

    501 E. High St.
    Oxford, OH 45056

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    Main Operator: 513-529-1809
    Office of Admission: 513-529-2531
    Vine Hotline: 513-529-6400
    Emergency info: MiamiOH.edu/emergency