Oxford Conference for the Book @ Oxford and the University of Mississippi
Mar 29 – Mar 31 all-day
Oxford Conference for the Book @ Oxford and the University of Mississippi

The 2017 Oxford Conference for the Book will take place Wednesday, March 29 – Friday, March 31. For more details, visit

Radical South Brown Bag Lecture: Ellen Spears on Baptized in PCBs: Race, Pollution, and Justice in an All-American Town @ Barnard Observatory
Apr 6 @ 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm

spears“Writing Histories of Environmentalism in the US South”

Building on histories of environmental activism in the southern US, Ellen Griffith Spears’s talk explores the challenges facing American environmentalism in 2017.

Spears is an associate professor in the interdisciplinary New College and the Department of American Studies at the University of Alabama. Her research is broadly interdisciplinary, combining environmental and civil rights history with studies of science, technology, and public health. Her book, Baptized in PCBs: Race, Pollution, and Justice in an All-American Town, published in 2014 by the University of North Carolina Press, explores key questions faced by communities that seek to address systemic class and race inequalities and to tackle toxic pollution.

This is a special Thursday Brown Bag Lecture.

Radical South Brown Bag: Byron D’Andra Orey on Implicit Bias @ Barnard Observatory
Apr 12 @ 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm

Byron D’Andra Orey, Professor of Political Science at Jackson State University, will present a Brown Bag lecture on Wednesday, April 12 at noon in Barnard Observatory.

Dr. Orey’s talk will be “Does the Confederate Flag Make You Sick?”
Recently, a plaintiff filed a federal court case alleging that seeing the Confederate flag caused him harm. Using methods derived from psychophysiology, this research systematically examines individuals’ physiological and subconscious responses to the Confederate flag to empirically test whether viewing the flag results in a negative response.  

Byron D’Andra Orey is Professor of Political Science at Jackson State University. His research interests are in political psychology, bio-politics and race and politics. He has published over thirty scholarly articles and book chapters and participated in over 100 professional conferences. He has received roughly $500,000 in grants for his research. As a professor he was selected as the national Teacher of the Year in 2008 and the Mentor of the year in 2011 by the National Conference of Black Political Scientists. D’Andra currently serves on the Executive Committees of the American Political Science Association, Southern Political Science Association and Pi Sigma Alpha. He also served on the Committee on the Status of Blacks in the Profession (APSA) and currently serves on the editorial boards for State Politics & Policy Quarterly, the Journal of Race and Policy and the Pi Sigma Alpha undergraduate journal. He holds a B.S., in Business Administration from Mississippi Valley State University, a Master’s of Public Administration from the University of Mississippi, A Master’s of Political Science from the University of New York at Stony Brook and a PhD from the University of New Orleans in Political Science.

Radical South Brown Bag: Wesley Hogan on Documenting Southern Activists @ Barnard Observatory
Apr 17 @ 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm

Dr. Wesley Hogan of Duke University will present a Brown Bag talk at noon on Monday, April 17 as part of the Radical South Brown Bag series.

Wesley Hogan is the director of the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University and teaches the history of youth social movements, African American history, women’s history and oral history. Her book on SNCC, Many Minds, One Heart: SNCC and the Dream for a New America (2007), won the Lillian Smith Book Award, the Scott-Bills Memorial Prize for best work in peace history, and the Library of Virginia nonfiction literary award. She was the co-director of the Institute for the Study of Race Relations at Virginia State University from 2006-2009, whose mission is to bring together community organizers, researchers, and young leaders to promote healthy communities. Between 2004-2008, she was active with the project bringing together the Algebra Project, the Young People’s Project and the Petersburg City Public Schools, and coordinated an oral history project of the civil rights movement in Petersburg. She is currently working on a post-1960s history of young people organizing in the spirit of Ella Baker, and co-facilitates a partnership between the SNCC Legacy Project and Duke, “One Person, One Vote-The Legacy of SNCC and the Fight for Voting Rights,” whose purpose is to bring the grassroots stories of the civil rights movement to a much wider public through a web portal, K12 initiative, and set of critical oral histories.

Radical South Brown Bag Lecture: Eva Walton Kendrick on the Human Rights Campaign @ Barnard Observatory
Apr 26 @ 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm

evakendrickEva Walton Kendrick

“Lobbying the Heart of Dixie: LGBTQ Advocacy in the Alabama State House”

As we look ahead to a Trump administration, achieving state nondiscrimination protections for LGBTQ Alabamians is more critical than ever. Eva Kendrick will discuss the realities she and her staff have faced and lessons learned in their work to achieve full legal equality for LGBTQ Alabamians.

Eva Walton Kendrick serves as the Human Rights Campaign’s Alabama State Manager. Kendrick holds an MA in Southern Studies from the University of Mississippi and a BA in Southern Studies from Mercer University in Macon, Georgia. Her research interests include twentieth-century social history, religious history, and social movements. Kendrick joined the staff of the Human Rights Campaign, the largest civil rights organization work to achieve equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer Americans, in 2014. In her current role, Kendrick leads the state staff in their work to achieve full legal equality for LGBTQ Alabamians, while changing institutions—and hearts and minds— through engagement with corporate and healthcare partners, faith outreach, and community development. Kendrick lives in Birmingham, Alabama, with her wife, Kathryn Kendrick.

Brown Bag Lectures occurs on select Wednesdays during the school year in the Tupelo Room of Barnard Observatory.

Brown Bag by Jerusa Leao: “The Mississippi River Is to the Blues as the São Francisco River Is to Forró” @ Barnard Observatory
May 1 @ 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm

On Monday, May 1, Jerusa Leão will present “The Mississippi River Is to the Blues as the São Francisco River Is to Forró” at noon in Barnard Observatory.

Jerusa Leão’s Both Sides of the River is an audio-visual project of cultural exchange and documentation. It aims to discuss and reveal the sociological and cultural environment along the Mississippi River in the United States and São Francisco River in Brazil, through the use of two major important cultural movements of the twentieth century: the Delta Blues and the Forró Pé de Serra.

Jerusa Leão is a Brazilian artist, singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist. Originally from Bahia, Jerusa grew up in the cities of this arid province, beginning her artistic career in 1995. Leão resides in Brazil, performing as a travelling solo singer and researcher of Brazilian culture. She has an ongoing multimedia research project called It’s Just a Shot Away—an exchange of cultural knowledge between Canada and Brazil, that is set to be released in Canada in the summer of 2017.

Panel and Community Celebration for THE MISSISSIPPI ENCYCLOPEDIA @ Off Square Books
May 20 @ 3:30 pm – 6:30 pm
Panel and Community Celebration for THE MISSISSIPPI ENCYCLOPEDIA @ Off Square Books

The Center will kick off a series of state-wide events celebrating the May publication of The Mississippi Encyclopedia with an event at Off-Square Books on Saturday, May 20. The event will begin with a panel discussion with editors and scholars of the Encyclopedia at 3:30pm, followed by a signing and party at 5pm. The book was published by the University Press of Mississippi.

More details to come for this and other events! Read more about The Mississippi Encyclopedia here.