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Rhetoric & Culture: "A Sense of Place"

Welcome to our Rhetoric 370, Rhetoric & Culture, Travel Log! We are a group of seniors from Hampden-Sydney College in Farmville, Virginia participating in an experiential learning (EL) course, one of many offerings in the College's Compass EL initiative. Through hands-on learning, we are studying the Gullah Geechee Heritage Corridor, a National Heritage Area which spans the coast from North Carolina to Florida and includes our region of focus, the South Carolina Lowcountry and the Georgia Sea Islands.  Explore an interactive map of sites along the area here.

Sunset on Jekyll Island, photo by Sam McLean

Journey Across the Gullah Geechee Cultural Heritage Corridor

As we explore this region, we pay keen attention to the historic and cultural contributions of the Gullah Geechee people. The Gullah Geechee people are the descendants of West and Central Africans who were enslaved and brought to the lower Atlantic states of North Carolina, South Carolina, Florida, and Georgia to work on the coastal rice, Sea Island cotton, and indigo plantations.

 

Our goal is to explore what constitutes this unique region’s

sense of place.  

 

Three keys axes comprise a sense of place: lived experiences, contact with cultural memory, and topographical intimacy. Through these axes, we investigate aspects of this region’s identity, including its cultural expressions, natural and built environments, histories, and economies in order to understand and articulate the region’s distinctiveness.

 
We also focus on three major themes, Romance, Isolation, and Power, to interpret the identity of the region through a prism or along a continuum, illustrating that the region’s identity is not static; rather it is continually in flux depending upon context and audience.