University Honors Program

University Honors Program

Exploring the Low Country in Fiction and Personal Experience

ENGL3091: From Charleston to Hilton Head: The Low Country Experience
BoKs - DC, HU

Spring semester 2013 honors seminar with study tour to South Carolina & Georgia - March 16 - March 22

Designed for students in all majors, this interdisciplinary place-as-text course will focus on the history, culture, ecology, and changing nature of the region from Charleston to Hilton Head and Savannah. We’ll study the area through three of popular author Pat Conroy’s books and the films based on his works and discuss the unique ecology of the region and the struggle to maintain its ecosystems in the face of growing population and economic pressures for development. We’ll also examine excerpts from other authors and film makers who employ the Low Country as a setting. Why? Because the region is crucial to understanding its people and its role in American affairs and because the characters you’ll meet will offer you greater insight about human behavior, family relations, education and regional culture and environment.

The class will feature a required spring break trip beginning in Charleston and ending at Hilton Head and Savannah so you will have the opportunity to experience the Low Country and its people and places first-hand. You’ll travel by bus so you can sleep the night away and be ready to go in the morning. In Charleston, you’ll tour a plantation, sample Southern food and discover its origins, have tea in a mansion on Charleston’s High Battery, visit the places Conroy wrote about and maybe even meet some of his “characters.” You’ll have time to unwind after winter on the beach at Hilton Head and take the boat to the primitive island of Dafuskie, where many of the Gullah people lived in semi-isolation for decades after the Civil War. In Savannah, America’s “most haunted city,” you’ll take tours that explore its history, the story of Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, and—by popular demand from past trips—its ghosts. Even with all the planned activities, one-third to a half of most days will leave you free to explore the America’s Low Country.


March 15   Fly to Charleston

March 16   Meet in lobby of Embassy Suites Historic District.
                    Presentation on the history of Southern food and lunch at Hyman’s, Restaurant, 215 Meeting Street
                    Meet in lobby of hotel for Charleston bus tour (city landmarks, Citadel, Aiken Rhett house, St. Phillips church and graveyard, tea at Palmer house on the Battery etc.)
                    Remainder of day and evening free to explore Charleston (Old City Market, the Battery, Waterfront Park, historic houses and churches, museums, carriage rides, College of Charleston, areas of special interest)

March 17    Complimentary hotel breakfast; free time and lunch on your own
                    Tour of Middleton Place Plantation
                    Late afternoon and evening free.
                    Optional group dinner at Gilligan’s   

March 18   Complimentary hotel breakfast
                    Leave Charleston for Beaufort
                    Spirit of Old Beaufort City, Gullah Cemetary and Shout Tour
                    Lunch at the Shrimp Shack on the Gullah Island Tour
                    Tour of Parris Island and Marine Corps Museum
                    Leave Beaufort for Savannah
                    Check in at Hampton Inn, Historic District, Oglethorpe and MLK Boulevard.
                    Free time and dinner on your own
                    Meet on Madison Square for private tour of Savannah Walks: History/Architecture/Ghost Tour for the Educated Traveler 
Following tour, free time on your own

March 19   Complimentary hotel breakfast
                    Lunch at Pirate’s House, 20 East Broad Street
                    Remainder of day free to explore Savannah area (e.g. Forsyth Park.
                    Telfair Museum, Savannah School of Art and Design, historic houses and churches, museums, rides, River Street, Paula Dean restaurant/store etc.)
                   Travel to Hilton Head

March 20   Free day and night (down time for beach, shopping etc.)

March 21   Broad Creek Marina for Calibogue Cruise boat trip to                     Dafuskie Island for lunch and ecology, history, Gullah, and Conroy bus tour
                    Return to Hilton Head; free time and dinner on your own

March 22   Leave for home


Total expected cost paid to UC is $700. The actual cost for UC is $1400, but this will be offset by a $700 grant from University Honors, making the actual total expected cost around $700. All participants will receive the grant.

Costs include bus transportation, accommodations, group dinner, tours and guides, and entrance fees.

Costs do not include some lunches and dinners, any additional tours that you choose to go on, and other personal expenses.


The course numberis ENGL3091 and meeting time for this seminar will Thursdays from 5:00 - 7:45.

Space is limited; the class can only accommodate 20 students. If you are interested, be sure to enroll early!

UC undergraduates not in the University Honors Program are welcome and encouraged to participate, provided they have cumulative university GPAs of 3.4 or above. Graduate students are not eligible to enroll. If you are a UC undergraduate and would like to enroll, contact André Durham in the University Honors Program who can give you permission to enroll online.


If interested, contact Professors Billie Dziech or Mary Fox. Or, contact André Durham in the University Honors office.