The University of Connecticut, in collaboration with Penn Center, the Georgia Historical Society and other sites in the Coastal Lowlands, will present two one-week NEH Landmarks of American History and Culture Workshops in Savannah, GA on July 7-12 and July 14-19, 2019. We invite  K-12 teachers, librarians, administrators, substitute teachers, and classroom professionals to join us for this exciting educational and artistic opportunity.

The sessions will examine the artistic expressions of the Gullah, direct descendants of slaves who worked the rice plantations on the coastal islands off the shores of South Carolina and Georgia. Their history, stories, beliefs, and creative expressions are critical antecedents to African-American culture and the broader American mosaic, as we know it today. The workshop format will follow the African tradition, where the arts are studied as interrelated living experiences rather than as separate entities. Participants will be guided through the process of thinking about and using the arts to teach the humanities. For example, how a specific song connects groups of people over time and demonstrates the viability of music as a tool for measuring continuity and change in cultural behavior. To more fully understand the Gullah culture from a holistic perspective, immersion experiences will take place at Penn Center, St. Helena Island, SC; Sapelo Island, McIntosh County, GA; the Georgia Historical Society and Pinpoint Heritage Museum, Savannah, GA; and with the Georgia Sea Island Singers and the Geechee Gullah Ring Shouters. Additional research activities will include primary and secondary sources, written and oral texts, scholarly and personal narratives, photographs, videos and recordings.

We welcome your interest in this program! Application Deadline: March 1, 2019

This was a truly unique experience that certainly was developed with a love for the people, subject and place. More importantly, it honored the spirit of the Gullah culture.”

Summer Scholar Evaluation, 2015


Project Director
Dr. Robert Stephens
Professor of Music

Funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities
Any views, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in this website do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities.