Organized through the Center for the Study of Southern Culture, the African American Studies Program, Center for Civil War Research, and the Department of History, the Gilder-Jordan Speaker Series is made possible through the generosity of the Gilder Foundation, Inc. The series honors Richard Gilder of New York and his family, as well as his friends, Dan and Lou Jordan of Virginia.
The 2013 Gilder-Jordan Lecturer in Southern History is Dr. Walter Johnson of Harvard. The lecture will take place on Wednesday, September 18 at 7 p.m. in Nutt Auditorium on the University of Mississippi campus. An important element of the lecture series is the opportunity for students to meet with leading scholars, so Dr. Johnson will spend time with Southern Studies and history graduate students while visiting Oxford.
Dr. Johnson’s most recent book is River of Dark Dreams: Slavery and Empire in the Cotton Kingdom, a study of slavery in the Mississippi Valley between the Louisiana Purchase and the Civil War. River of Dark Dreams brings to life the many characters of the Cotton Kingdom—land speculators, planters, gamblers, steamboat captains, and the tens of thousands of enslaved men, women, and children whose labor cleared the wilderness and planted the cotton that created a region of fevered if short-lived economic promise.
At once a political economy study of global chains of commerce and a searing account of the lived experience of the enslaved and enslaving, River of Dark Dreams builds on Johnson’s first book, Soul by Soul: Life in the Antebellum Slave Market, an examination of the New Orleans slave market. Among other honors, Soul by Soul received the John Hope Franklin Prize of the American Studies Association, the Avery O. Craven Award, and the Frederick Jackson Turner award of the Organization ofAmerican Historians.
Johnson is currently writing a book about the 1841 revolt aboard the slave ship Creole.
He received his B.A. from Amherst College and his doctorate from Princeton University. Before coming to Harvard, he taught History and American Studies at New York University.
The 2012 Lecture
On October 16, Grace Elizabeth Hale presented the 2012 Gilder-Jordan Lecture in Southern History. Professor Hale teaches history and American Studies at the University of Virginia and is the author of the 2011 A Nation of Outsiders: How the White Middle-Class Fell in Love with Rebellion in Postwar America as well as Making Whiteness: The Culture of Segregation in the South, 1890-1940.
Media and Documentary Projects recorded an interview of Dr. Hale by Dr. Ted Ownby of the University of Mississippi Center for the Study of Southern Culture. See the interview here:
The 2011 Lecture
On November 16, Bancroft Prize-winning historian David Blight of Yale University presented the 2011 Gilder-Jordan Lecture in Southern History. Watch a video of the film, provided by Media and Documentary Projects, here.
Media and Documentary Projects also recorded an interview of Dr. Blight by Dr. John Neff of the University of Mississippi Department of History. See the interview here:
To read more about Dr. Blight’s lecture, click here.