This workshop is intended to serve as an introduction and practicum in documentary methods for incoming and second year Southern Studies MA students. All skill levels welcome. The workshop will be taught by Ava Lowrey and Sara Wood of the Southern Foodways Alliance, and Andy Harper and John Rash of the Southern Documentary Project.
Contact Becca Walton (firstname.lastname@example.org) with questions.
The Book Friends of the University Press of Mississippi will host a celebration of the Encyclopedia on the evening of Thursday, August 17 in Jackson.
A panel discussion of The Mississippi Encyclopedia.
Presented by Donna and Jim Barksdale and the Mississippi Humanities Council
In celebration of the release of this all-encompassing work on Mississippi, editors of the Mississippi Encyclopedia come together to discuss this 20-year project in the making.
- Craig Gill, Director of the University Press of Mississippi, MODERATOR
- Odie Lindsey, Mississippi Encyclopedia
- Ted Ownby, Mississippi Encyclopedia
- James G. Thomas, Jr., Mississippi Encyclopedia
- Charles Reagan Wilson, Mississippi Encyclopedia
A discussion and reading of The Mississippi Encyclopedia, followed by a signing. Hosted by Reed’s GumTree Books and the Lee County Library.
A discussion and reading of The Mississippi Encyclopedia, followed by a signing and reception. Scholars speaking will include Emily Jones, Chuck Westmoreland, and Senior Editor Ted Ownby.
Rhonda Y. Williams to Give 2017 Gilder-Jordan Lecture
Dr. Rhonda Y. Williams of Vanderbilt University will deliver the 2017 Gilder-Jordan Lecture in Southern Cultural History on Wednesday, September 6, 2017 on the University of Mississippi campus. The lecture will take place at 7pm in Nutt Auditorium.
Dr. Williams is the John L. Siegenthaler Professor in American History at Vanderbilt University. She is the Founder & Former Director of the Social Justice Institute at Case Western Reserve University, as well as the Founder & Former Director of the Case Western Postdoctoral Fellowship in African American Studies.
The author of Concrete Demands: The Search for Black Power in the 20th Century (2015) and the award-winning The Politics of Public Housing: Black Women’s Struggles against Urban Inequality (2005)Williams has been honored by History News Network as a Top Young Historian; the Organization of American Historians as a Distinguished Lecturer; and is listed in the 2009 and 2015 editions of Who’s Who in Black Cleveland. Williams is a recipient of an American Association of University Women Postdoctoral Fellowship and a former Harvard University W.E.B. Du Bois Institute Fellow. She is the co-editor of the recently launched book series, Justice, Power, and Politics, with the University of North Carolina Press and co-editor of Teaching the American Civil Rights Movement.
Her publications include articles on black power politics, the war on poverty, low-income black women’s grassroots organizing, and urban and housing policy. Her research interests include the manifestations of race and gender inequality on urban space and policy, social movements, and illicit narcotics economies in the post-1940s United States.
Williams received her PhD in history from the University of Pennsylvania in 1998 and her undergraduate degree in journalism from the University of Maryland College Park in 1989, where she became that university’s first black salutatorian in its then 187-year history.
Williams, also known as “Dr. Rhonda,” also has been engaged in local community efforts, including on police and criminal justice reform as a member of the Collaborative for a Safe, Fair, and Just Cleveland, and the “Cleveland 8.” She has appeared on MSNBC and Democracy Now! Currently, she is serving as a Commissioner on the Cleveland Community Police Commission, which was empaneled in September 2015. She is a Baltimore native.
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. Contact Becca Walton at email@example.com if you have any questions about the lecture.
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.
All alumni, students, staff, faculty, and friends of the Center for the Study of Southern Culture are invited.
Discussions on Saturday will begin with one question: how do alumni continue to do Southern Studies in their numerous fields? How is Southern Studies part of their teaching, writing and reading, editing, documentary work, art and music, activism, their work in law, business, religion, government, restaurants, farms, libraries, and their personal, family, and community lives? We hope Southern Studies alumni will have intriguing answers to the question.
Schedule: A Friday evening gathering, at a time and setting to be announced, two Saturday panel discussions that involve everyone, and plenty of time for discussion. Saturday events in Barnard Observatory will include a student photo exhibit and some very short films. Official events will end by late Saturday afternoon. The Center has reserved a block of rooms at The Inn at Ole Miss for Friday night. Tell the Inn you’re with the “Southern Studies Reunion Group.” To received the group rate, make your reservation by August 21.
More information to come this summer. Contact Ted Ownby firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.
A discussion and reading of The Mississippi Encyclopedia, followed by a signing and reception. Speakers will include scholar James Giesen and Senior Editors Ted Ownby and Charles Reagan Wilson.
David Wharton and Brooke White will introduce two new documentary photography exhibits at UM from the Do Good Fund. Dr. Wharton is Assistant Professor of Southern Studies, and Brooke White is Associate Professor of Art at the University of Mississippi.
The Do Good Fund, Inc. is a public charity based in Columbus, Georgia. Since its founding in 2012, the Fund has focused on building a museum-quality collection of photographs taken in the American South since World War II. The collection ranges from works by more than a dozen Guggenheim Fellows to images by less well-known emerging photographers working in the region.
Do Good’s mission is to make its collection of over 400 images broadly accessible through regional museums, nonprofit galleries and nontraditional venues, and to encourage complimentary, community-based programming to accompany each exhibition.
The Center will host a public screening of An Outrage, a documentary film about lynching in the American South, at noon on Thursday, October 19 in Barnard Observatory.
About the Film
AN OUTRAGE is a documentary film about lynching in the American South. Filmed on-location at lynching sites in six states and bolstered by the memories and perspectives of descendants, community activists, and scholars, this unusual historical documentary seeks to educate even as it serves as a hub for action to remember and reflect upon a long-hidden past.
Thousands of African Americans confronted, resisted, endured, and perished during the era of lynching in the American South. Beginning with the end of the Civil War and continuing well into the middle of the twentieth century, this extralegal, socially-sanctioned practice of torture and murder claimed the lives of at least 3,959 African American men, women, and children. This past is little-discussed today, even as its wounds fester.
In town squares and deep in the woods, in secret and on public display, white men, women, and children participated in the kidnapping, mutilation, and killing of African Americans said to have committed serious crimes or minor affronts on white honor. Because lynching was killing that took place outside of the legal system, accusations of wrongdoing were never argued in courts of law. (Many more African Americans were condemned through swift show trials under the guise of justice.) The innocent were murdered again and again. At the height of the lynching epidemic, in the 1890s, one African American was killed somewhere in the South every four days.
The history of lynching ought to grab us by the collar, compel us to confront fundamental truths — among them, that the present is an ongoing exchange with the past. History is not a long-distance conversation with the dead. The past is persistently present as it perpetuates the old lies of race, tribe, and hierarchy. To tell the truth, we must understand the lies — the outrages — that have produced our present moment.
This will be a long journey: it must not end. To survive and flourish together, at a time when scarcities of opportunity and civility grow ever more apparent, we will need grace, dignity, and intention — a broad-based commitment to fairness and unity. We’re hard at work with the hope that this film proves a worthwhile step in the right directions.
About the Filmmakers
AN OUTRAGE is directed, edited, and produced by Hannah Ayers and Lance Warren, co-directors of Field Studio. They make films at the intersection of history and social justice, focusing on race, incarceration, and family.
Hannah and Lance’s first film, That World is Gone: Race and Displacement in a Southern Town, won the Audience Award for Best Short Documentary at the 2010 Virginia Film Festival. Their documentary work has also been featured in the PBS Online Film Festival, on the storytelling website Narratively, and at various film festivals. In addition to their independent documentaries, they have produced educational and promotional videos for nonprofits, museums, and universities, including the Women’s Refugee Commission, the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, and the University of Richmond. Their work extends beyond film production to photography, audio documentaries, and text, demonstrated most recently by the multimedia project Richmond Justice.
Hannah is a native of Charlottesville, Virginia, and attended the College of William & Mary and Columbia University. Her background is in history, nonprofit development, and multimedia storytelling. Previously, Hannah supported fundraising and communications efforts at the human rights video advocacy organization WITNESS.
Lance was raised in Virginia. He studied history and politics at Syracuse University and Brandeis University, focusing on civil rights and social justice in the twentieth century United States. From 2010-2016 he supported the work of the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, producing online courses, video series, and virtual field trips for history teachers across the country.
A discussion of The Mississippi Encyclopedia with Senior Editor Ted Ownby, followed by a signing.
On Wednesday, November 1 at noon, Dr. Adam Gussow will discuss his new book, Beyond the Crossroads: The Devil and the Blues Tradition. The book will be published in October 2017 by UNC Press.
The devil is the most charismatic and important figure in the blues tradition. He’s not just the music’s namesake (“the devil’s music”), but a shadowy presence who haunts an imagined Mississippi crossroads where, it is claimed, Delta bluesman Robert Johnson traded away his soul in exchange for extraordinary prowess on the guitar. Yet, as scholar and musician Adam Gussow argues, there is much more to the story of the devil and the blues than these cliched understandings.
In this groundbreaking study, Gussow takes the full measure of the devil’s presence. Working from original transcriptions of more than 125 recordings released during the past ninety years, Gussow explores the varied uses to which black southern blues people have put this trouble-sowing, love-wrecking, but also empowering figure. The book culminates with a bold reinterpretation of Johnson’s music and a provocative investigation of the way in which the citizens of Clarksdale, Mississippi, managed to rebrand a commercial hub as “the crossroads” in 1999, claiming Johnson and the devil as their own.
Dr. Gussow is Associate Professor of English and Southern Studies.