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.
Graduate school comes to us all in different ways: you might read a book that piques your interest, you might have a passion for a particular cuisine, you might have a career goal that requires a higher degree. Or you could be like me, and apply to graduate school because you’re just not sure what’s coming next. Two years ago I was finishing up a student teaching internship that just wasn’t fitting and I found myself wondering what on earth would come next, often out loud and often to my dog.
Check out a slideshow of highlights from the SFA’s oral history programming so far in 2016, shown recently at the Fall Symposium. Led by Oral Historian Sara Wood, the SFA tells the stories of the farmers, fisherman, cooks, and entrepreneurs who feed the South, opening discussions of history and identity, and engaging with race, class, gender, and sexuality.
Brian Foster knows his way around the University of Mississippi. In fact, he won the Center’s Peter Aschoff Award for the best paper on Southern music in 2011 with his BA Honors thesis, “Crank Dat Soulja Boy: Understanding Black Male Hip-Hop Aspirations in Rural Mississippi.” This fall, the Center for the Study of Southern Culture and the Department of Sociology and Anthropology welcome him back as a new assistant professor of sociology and Southern Studies. Foster returns to the university from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where he earned his MA and began his PhD work. Prior to entering UNC-Chapel Hill Foster earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of Mississippi.