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What Is Preface?    

Preface is a first-year reading program that introduces students to the joy of academic inquiry. As such, it combines guided reading of a selected text with co-curricular events in which students discuss questions raised by the text with university, community and national experts. During this program, first-year students read the Preface text in English 101 and most University 101 courses and attend related events in both English 101 and 102.  

While Preface is geared primarily toward first-year students, it offers a calendar of events that are relevant to a wide range of university courses as well as the community. Therefore the events are planned in close cooperation with various departments and offices of USC Upstate and most events are free and open to the public. This fall, first-year writing students will read Out Loud: The Best of Rainbow Radio, edited by Rev. Candace Chellew-Hodge and Dr. Ed Madden.  

Out Loud: The Best of Rainbow Radio

Edited by Candace Chellew-Hodge and Ed Madden

Rainbow RadioFrom a small radio studio in the heart of the Deep South, the voices of gay and lesbian Southerners suddenly filled the AM airwaves. “For far too long,” the announcer stated, “talk radio airwaves have been dominated by the people who talk about us. Starting this fall, we speak for ourselves!” What began as an experiment—Rainbow Radio, South Carolina’s first gay and lesbian radio show—has grown into a grassroots-driven community radio show that, since 2005, has offered diverse, accurate, and often unparalleled stories of gay and lesbian Southerners, their families and their friends.

Citadel cadets and drag queens, a slam poet from Columbia and a Spartanburg school teacher, a seminary student in Atlanta and a gay Army vet just back from the Middle East, West Columbia rednecks and rural Texas tomboys, as well as South Carolina’s first lesbian Congressional candidate. A young man talking about his gay uncle and a retired attorney talking about her gay son. Two boys who dare to dance at the prom, a psychic who may be attuned to the gay agenda, and a dying man who makes his last visit to church on Christmas.

These voices have now been collected in a book, Out Loud: The Best of Rainbow Radio, edited by Ed Madden and Candace Chellew-Hodge. This fall, first-year writing students will have the opportunity to read, think, and write about this stories. Out Loud: The Best of Rainbow Radio is an especially appropriate text in the wake of the Supreme Court’s decision on homosexual marriage and the constitutional rights involved therein. The events in the Preface series are designed to improve our understanding of the book and help us think in depth about the questions it raises.

About the Editors

Candace Chellew-Hodge
The Rev. Candace Chellew-Hodge is a recovering Southern Baptist and founder/editor of Whosoever: An Online Magazine for GLBT Christians (whosoever.org). Her first book, Bulletproof Faith: A Spiritual Survival Guide for Gay and Lesbian Christians, published by Jossey-Bass, is now available at bulletproofbook.com. She currently serves as associate pastor at Garden of Grace United Church of Christ in Columbia,SC. Candace is a media veteran with more than 20 years of experience in radio and television and is the co-host of Rainbow Radio.

Ed Madden
Ed Madden is a poet, political activist, and associate professor of English and Women's Studies at the University of South Carolina. He grew up in Newport, Arkansas, got his B.A. from nearby Harding University, and received his Ph.D. in literature from the University of Texas, Austin. He is the author of Signals, a poetry collection that won the South Carolina Poetry Book Prize. He teaches English at the University of South Carolina.

Preface Goals

The intent of this series of programs is to help USC Upstate first-year students make connections to each other and to the University, to practice skills that contribute to success in college, and to discuss how a deeper understanding of a shared reading can inform the way we make personal decisions and influence public policy today.

For more information about previous Preface Program readings and events, see the Preface Program Archive.


Dr. Peter Caster
Department Chair

Monika Shehi
Preface Coordinator

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