About the Athenaeum Press

The Athenaeum Press is a student-driven publishing lab that focuses on telling regional stories in innovative ways. Rather than accepting completed manuscripts for publishing, the press accepts project proposals that will be intensely developed by an interdisciplinary, collaborative group of students and faculty. The Press seeks these proposals from all corners of the community, including non-profit organizations, community members, faculty and students at other institutions. Project initiators, or those that submit project proposals, will extensively collaborate with the Press team to design, build and produce professional-quality content using unique and innovative technologies and media formats.

Located in the Thomas W. and Robin W. Edwards College of Humanities & Fine Arts at Coastal Carolina University, The Athenaeum Press is entering into its third year of production. The Press offers students hands-on opportunities within the publication process, from project-based historical research to exhibit design. Students determine the form of the project based on the subject, and we constantly are seeking new and innovative ways to produce projects. While many of our projects have extensive academic research, we produce content that is accessible, engaging and challenging.

Our projects are organic to this region, but we draw our regional map widely. From retelling the story of 19th century explorer from the northeast as he travelled down the Lowcountry waterways to the spirituals that emanated from the South Carolina sea islands, the sheer diversity of the stories within this region hold national significance as treasures, but are of local import.

The Role and Scope of the Press

The Athenaeum Press has three commitments: quality, education and community engagement.


The Athenaeum Press concentrates on a small list of carefully selected projects. Projects are selected based on four factors: innovation, ability for multi-media development, growth potential and concentration on experiential student learning. Once selected, project initiators are matched with a wide variety of students and faculty from across the humanities and fine arts to undergo a one- to two-year collaborative development process. Final products will take full advantage of emerging digital platforms and media alongside traditional print publications. Due to the interdisciplinary nature of the development process, projects with The Athenaeum Press will speak to multiple audiences at the local, regional and national level.


The Athenaeum Press is a student-centered laboratory for document design, editing, publishing, and digital media development and dissemination. Located in the Thomas W. & Robin W. Edwards College of Humanities & Fine Arts at Coastal Carolina University in Conway, South Carolina, the educational mission of The Athenaeum Press requires that every step of each publication project—from research to writing, conception to design, production to promotion—involve and enhance student skills.

Community Engagement

The Athenaeum Press aims to produce projects of local, regional and national interest. Its flagship project, Chasing the Paper Canoe embodies the press’ engagement with the local culture and history in Conway, SC. The press actively seeks submissions from local and regional community members, and its production process involves close collaborations between the university and wider community. The Athenaeum Press also pairs its book releases with local community events, such as the RiverRead.

About the Edwards College of Humanities and Fine Arts

The Edwards College of Humanities and Fine Arts is committed to providing a transformative liberal arts education for all university students through the core curriculum and to preparing majors in humanities and fine arts for positions of leadership and stewardship in the complex, diverse, and highly interdependent world of the 21st century.

In its continuous emphasis on students as makers of the world they inhabit, the College serves its ultimate goal: to prepare each student to live a thoughtful and fulfilling life as a responsible and responsive human being.

About Coastal Carolina University

Coastal Carolina University is a dynamic, public comprehensive liberal arts institution located in Conway, just minutes from the resort area of Myrtle Beach, S.C. The University offers 56 areas of study toward the baccalaureate degree and seven masters degree programs in education, writing, coastal marine and wetland studies, and the MBA. Ten new undergraduate degree programs were recently added, including biochemistry, economics, graphic design, information systems, musical theatre, theatre arts, as well as criminology, health and aging, and social justice tracks in sociology.