The February/March 2017 issue of Living Blues features Hill Country bluesman Cedric Burnside on the cover. The grandson of the late R. L. Burnside, Cedric’s star is on the rise, and he is dedicated to keeping the sound of the Hill Country alive. Guitarist Kenny Brown was also raised in the tradition, and he shares his memories of playing with the Burnsides, Junior Kimbrough, Joe Callicott and others.
Brian Foster, Assistant Professor of Sociology and Southern Studies, is teaching Honors Southern Studies 102 this semester. The interdisciplinary course is structured as an examination of southern protest culture, and organized like a mixtape. See excerpts from his syllabus below. This is part of an occasional series in which we share syllabi from Southern Studies courses.
There has been a Jewish community in Natchez, Mississippi for 175 years—and Robin Amer’s family has been part of it for 160 of them. But now the number of Jews in Natchez has dwindled to only a handful. In this audio story, Robin returns to learn what culinary culture might disappear when they’re gone.
We’ve just published a new MISSISSIPPI STORY on our documentary media website, mississippistories.org. In 2015, Southern Studies graduate student Mary Blessey taught a digital photography class to children ages 9-12 enrolled in the summer program at Tutwiler Community Education Center in Tutwiler, Mississippi.
After being a constant in Barnard Observatory for thirty-five years, Sarah Dixon Pegues will retire from the Center for the Study of Southern Culture. As the Center’s administrative assistant since 1980, she handles all financial matters, including budgets, payroll, travel requests, procurement, and purchasing, as well as processing grant applications and helping with reports for externally funded projects.
The best-known setting for William Faulkner’s work is of course the fictional Yoknapatawpha County, set in the hills of North Mississippi, but Faulkner also spent time in the Mississippi Delta, both in person and on paper. In various ways, Delta natives and those with close ties to the alluvial region—such as Ben Wasson, William Alexander Percy, and Phil Stone—significantly affected Faulkner’s life and career. As a result, the Mississippi Delta’s impression on Faulkner influenced much of his fiction in the 1930s and ’40s. The Delta crops up in novels such as The Wild Palms, Go Down, Moses, and Absalom, Absalom! and in stories such as “The Bear,” “Red Leaves,” “A Justice,” and “A Courtship.” Unfurled, these novels and stories present a Faulknerian history of the Delta, and in “The Delta and Yoknapatawpha: The Layering of Geography and Myth in the Works of William Faulkner,” Phillip Gordon bridges the narrow divide between these two Mississippi regions that were so significant to the work of Mississippi’s most celebrated author.
The Center for the Study of Southern Culture announces a $1,000 research grant to advance scholarship on The Radical South: Southern Activism, Past and Present. The Center will also provide travel expenses for the selected scholar-in-residence to visit the University of Mississippi campus and present her or his work in a lecture during a month-long series of events in April 2017. The scholar-in-residence’s work will be subsequently published in the Center for the Study of Southern Culture’s online journal, Study the South.