Square Books will host a reading and signing reception with Dr. Darren E. Grem, Assistant Professor of History and Southern Studies at the University of Mississippi, on Friday, June 10 at 5pm at Off Square Books on the Oxford Courthouse Square. Dr. Grem’s new book is The Blessings of Business: How Corporations Shaped Conservative Christianity.
In the Arch Dalrymple III Department of History and at the Center for the Study of Southern Culture, Dr. Grem teaches courses in twentieth-century U.S. history, southern history and southern studies, southern music history, American religious history, and modern U.S. politics and culture.
The Oxford University Press website on the book:
The Book of Matthew cautions readers that “Ye cannot serve God and mammon.” But for at least a century conservative American Protestants have been trying to prove that adage wrong. In The Blessings of Business, Darren E. Grem argues that while preachers, activists, and politicians have all helped spread the gospel, American evangelicalism owes its enduring strength in a large part to private enterprise.
Grem argues for a new history of American evangelicalism, demonstrating how its adherents strategically used corporate America–its leaders, businesses, money, ideas, and values–to advance their religious, cultural, and political movement. Beginning before the First World War, conservative evangelicals were able to use businessmen and business methods to retain and expand their public influence in a secularizing, diversifying, and liberalizing age. In the process they became beholden to pro-business stances on matters of theology, race, gender, taxation, trade, and the state, transforming evangelicalism itself into as much of an economic movement as a religious one.
The Blessings of Business tells the story of unlikely partnerships between well-known champions of the evangelical movement such as Billy Graham and largely forgotten businessmen like Herbert Taylor, J. Howard Pew, and R.G. LeTourneau. Grem also shows how evangelicals set up their own pro-business organizations and linked the quarterly and yearly growth of “Christian” businesses to their social, religious, and political aspirations. Fascinating and provocative, The Blessings of Business uncovers the strong ties that conservative Christians have forged between the Almighty and the almighty dollar.
The Center will again sponsor a concert as part of the Lafayette-Oxford-University Summer Sunset Series, this year at 6pm on Sunday, June 12. The Center will present jazz and blues musician Alphonso Sanders.
Dr. Alphonso Sanders is the Chair of Fine Arts and Director of the BB King Recording Studio at Mississippi Valley State University. He received degrees in music from Mississippi Valley State University, Valdosta State University, and the University of Mississippi. Dr. Sanders has performed at many recognized festivals including the Netherlands North Sea Jazz Festival; Montreux Switzerland Jazz Festival; Lucerne Switzerland Blues Festival; Mobile Jazz Festival; Ontario Canada Southside Shuffle Festival; and many of the Delta Blues Festivals. He has performed with such artist as Bill “Howl-N-Madd” Perry, Mulgrew Miller, Jerry Jemmot, Rhonda Richmond, Cassandra Wilson, Paula West, Debra Brown, Bobby Rush, David Lee Durham, The Four Tops, and David “Honey Boy” Edwards among others. As a Fulbright Scholars, he studied abroad in China exploring Chinese music and visual arts. He is recipient of the 2010 MAC Folk Arts Fellowship; the 2011 Mississippi Humanities Award and is published in Big City Rhythm & Blues magazine 2011 (UK); the book “Musicians Up and the Delta”; and “Down In The Woods” a documentary of the legendary bluesman Willie King. He is also an award winner in the 2009 and 2010 International Blues Challenge and was selected by the Delta Blues Society as the 2013 Blues Musician of the Year. His most recent recording projects are “Mississippi Influences” and “Twice As Nice”. For the past 30 years as a musician, he has been involved in music composition and songwriting, covering various styles of jazz, blues, folk, gospel, and country and is currently involved with the HWY 80 Songwriters Festival, Meridian, MS as a facilitator and performer. He often performs as quest artist and bandleader with the “Yalobushwackers” on Thacker Mountain Radio and is the founder and host of First Thursday’s Jazz/Blues Night at the BB King Museum. (from Mississippi Arts Commission website)
The Southern Foodways Alliance will host a Summer Symposium in Nashville, TN June 23 – 25, 2016. Learn more here.
The Center for the Study of Southern Culture will host a Documentary Film Workshop Monday, August 15 through Wednesday, August 17 for Southern Studies students. The workshop, led by documentarians from the Southern Documentary Project and the Southern Foodways Alliance, will provide an introduction to technical filmmaking skills as well as to documentary ethics and practice. The workshop will include a community documentary project in Oxford, and will conclude with a screening on Wednesday, August 17.
Students, please contact Becca Walton, email@example.com, with questions and for information on applying.
The Southern Foodways Alliance, along with the Center for the Study of Southern Culture, and the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at the University of Mississippi, announce a symposium in the fall of 2016. The symposium will be held at the University of Mississippi in Oxford, MS, September 19-20.
The call for papers has now closed. Acceptances will be emailed by Friday, April 29. Accepted participants’ final drafts of work to be presented at the conference will be due by 5 PM CDT Monday, August 1. Please address any questions and send all materials to Afton Thomas at firstname.lastname@example.org.