Last week, we hosted a three-day documentary workshop for 11 incoming and current MA students in Southern Studies and students in the new MFA in Documentary Expression program. Documentarians Andy Harper, John Rash, and Rex Jones of the Southern Documentary Project and Ava Lowrey and Sara Wood of the Southern Foodways Alliance taught the workshop.
The Center for the Study of Southern Culture had its first event in 1977, so we’re planning a birthday event to celebrate forty years of Southern Studies. Save the date for the evening of Friday, September 22 through the afternoon of Saturday, September 23. There will be events in Barnard Observatory and in Oxford.
John Rash is a filmmaker, photographer, and video artist who earned his M.F.A. in Experimental and Documentary Art from Duke University in 2014. He has worked as a freelance photographer and college instructor for more than 15 years and comes to the University of Mississippi after spending the past three years in Shanghai, China.
My fellow Southern Studies MA alum John T and I over many years have talked about how food, shelter, and clothing hold the keys to learning about the lives of southern people, many of whom embody the collision of necessity and creativity that is at the root of cultural studies. In this interview about his new book, The Potlikker Papers: A Food History of the Modern South, we discuss the tension between the essential and the complex, something he brilliantly struggles with as a founder of the academic discipline of foodways, and something I’ve thought about in my own past work in the building arts and research on clothing and fashion in the South.