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.
Learn more here.
This reception follows a 3pm panel at Meek Hall Gallery 130. The panel will include guest photographers Jerry Siegel and Jill Frank as well as Brooke White and David Wharton. All panelists have work in the Do Good Fund’s photography collection. The panel will be moderated by Alan Rothschild, the organizer of the collection.The exhibit is open until December 8.
About the Exhibit
Photographs from the Do Good Fund: A Celebration of Southern Photography, is a statewide photography exhibition featuring the work of dozens of photographers and more than 100 images from the Do Good Fund’s collection. The Do Good Fund, a non-profit based in Columbus, Georgia, is a contemporary photography collection whose focus is to build a museum-quality collection of photographs made in the American South in the years since World War II. Artists represented in this collection include Guggenheim Fellows, Magnum photographers and regionally, nationally, and internationally recognized photographers.
The two exhibitions currently on view at the University of Mississippi are NOW: Contemporary Southern Photography at the Art Department’s Gallery 130 and Southern People, Southern Places at the Gammill Gallery at the Center for the Study of Southern Culture. They are the result of a multi-year collaborative effort between Brooke White, Associate Professor of Art, David Wharton, Director of Documentary Studies at the Center for the Study of Southern Culture and Alan Rothschild, Founder of the Do Good Fund. This collaboration began with one simple idea, to bring this impressive photography collection to the state. After years of planning it has grown into a statewide exhibition that includes eight separate locations throughout Mississippi.
On October 5, there will be a late afternoon (3-4:30) panel at the Art Department’s Gallery 130 in Meek Hall. The panel will include guest photographers Jerry Siegel and Jill Frank as well as Brooke White and David Wharton. All panelists have work in the Do Good Fund’s photography collection. The panel will be moderated by Alan Rothschild, the organizer of the collection. Immediately following the panel, there will be a reception at the Gammill Gallery (4:30-5:30) and a bit later a second reception at Gallery 130 in Meek Hall (5-6:30).
For more info on the Do Good Fund you can visit their website (http://www.thedogoodfund.org).
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.
The Southern Documentary Project, an institute of the Center for the Study of Southern Culture, will host the premiere screening of Flag Flap Over Mississippi, a new film by Rex Jones on the contentious history of Mississippi’s state flag on Wednesday, October 25 at 6pm in the Overby Center for Southern Journalism and Politics. A discussion with the filmmaker and interviewees from the film will follow. More details to come.
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.
A discussion and reading of The Mississippi Encyclopedia, followed by a signing and reception. More details to come!
On Wednesday, November 8 at noon, Dr. Kristine McCusker of Middle Tennessee State University will present “Bobbie Gentry’s Odes to Mississippi.”
A discussion and reading of The Mississippi Encyclopedia. More details to come!
A panel discussion of The Mississippi Encyclopedia. Scholars speaking will include Jackson State University scholars Preselfannie Whitfield-McDaniel, C. Liegh McInnis, and Robby Luckett, along with Senior Editors Ted Ownby and Charles Reagan Wilson.
More details coming soon.