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James L. Peacock

James L. Peacock, Kenan Professor of Anthropology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, was president of the American Anthropological Association from 1993 to 1995. In 1995 he was inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and in 2002 the American Anthropological Association awarded him the prestigious Franz Boas award for Exemplary Service to Anthropology. He conducted fieldwork in Indonesia on eve of “the year of living dangerously” and with Muhammadiyah, a Muslim organization with 30 million members. His most recent book was Grounded Globalism: How The U.S. South Embraces The World and his ongoing organizational work seeds that embrace. Find out more at

Instead of ten things he can’t do without, Jim offers four things the South might become and four things the South might eschew:

What the South Might Become

  1. Global, in that the South is emancipated from regional constraints, including oppositionality in its paralyzing aspect
  2. Local, in terms of affirming place, relationships, family, and humanity
  3. Liberal, in its concern for environment but not in a mode of inhuman environmentalism, and its show of advocacy of human rights but not in the mode of “one size fits all”
  4. Conservative, insofar as it affirms and preserves local history, tradition, and family values, excepting elements of oppression, cruelty, inequity

What the South Might Eschew

  1. Globalism, in the sense of unanchored globalism
  2. Localism, in terms of an insular, parochial localism
  3. Liberalism, in the vein of doctrinaire platforms violating context, community basis, and human basis
  4. Conservatism, in the style of paternalistic top-down control*

*Excerpted from Grounded Globalism by James L. Peacock (University of Georgia Press, 2007).