January 31 at noon
Katie Blount and Michael Morris
“Telling Our Stories: The Museum of Mississippi History and the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum”
Katie Blount, director of the Mississippi Department of Archives and History, and Michael Morris, from the department’s Programs and Communication Office, will discuss the opening of the two new museums in downtown Jackson and their role in presenting history.
Katie Blount began her career at the Department of Archives and History in 1994 and became director in 2015. She earned her BA from the University of Michigan in English and history and her MA in Southern Studies from the University of Mississippi. She lives in Jackson with her husband and their two children.
Michael Morris has served as a public information officer at the Mississippi Department of Archives and History since 2016. Previously, Morris served as a research assistant at the Fannie Lou Hamer Institute on Citizenship and Democracy. He earned his BA in history and his MA in political science from Jackson State University. Morris is a life-long resident of Jackson, Mississippi.
FEBRUARY 7 at noon
“Two Sides of the Same Diaspora: A Look at Sites of Slavery in Holly Springs, Mississippi, and Bimbia, Cameroon”
Jodi Skipper is associate professor of anthropology and Southern Studies at the University of Mississippi. She received her BA in history from Grambling State University, her MA from Florida State University, and her PhD from University of Texas at Austin. Her dissertation investigated the application of public archaeology and other methods of historic preservation at the historic St. Paul United Methodist Church community, located in the downtown Dallas Arts District. She joined the faculty at the University of Mississippi in 2011, where she currently teaches a course on US southern heritage tourism and the introductory archaeology and biological anthropology course.
FEBRUARY 14 at noon
“Valentine to Carolina”
Filmmaker Ava Lowrey presents two films highlighting the varying food cultures of North Carolina. Her films All Fried: Carolina Fish Camps and Siler City explore how newcomers to the region use food to create communal spaces.
Lowrey is the Pihakis Foodways Documentary Filmmaker. She is a graduate of New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts, and in May of 2015 she completed her MFA in Experimental and Documentary Arts at Duke University. Ava has been featured in the New York Times, Rolling Stone, and on CNN, and her short documentaries have screened at festivals across the country. A native of Alexander City, Alabama, Lowrey’s films often focus on her southern roots, sharing untold stories centered in the South.
A reception for Finding Mississippi, a documentary photography exhibit by Betty Press, which will be open in the Gammill Gallery until March 23. Her artist statement for the exhibit follows:
This selection of images reveals a slightly surreal, hidden narrative of Mississippi’s landscape and the indomitable spirit of the people—sometimes fanciful, humorous, quirky, mysterious, and at times disturbing. I have been living in Mississippi for more than fourteen years and it will probably be my home for a long while.
I grew up on a farm in Nebraska, left for college, was exposed to different cultures by traveling around the world with my husband, and later worked as a photojournalist for eight years in Africa. Because of this, I bring a singular perspective to portraying the Black and White Southern experience, which is so intertwined, and keeps the South a unique region in our country.
My muse, photographer/writer Eudora Welty, called herself a recorder of “real life,” as she traveled around Mississippi taking photographs for the WPA. She photographed not “to point the finger in judgment but to part a curtain.”
History is clouded with uncertainties due to selective memories. Time past loses its clarity but not its meaning. Thus I chose black and white film to use with plastic and vintage cameras to capture evidence of the past with cameras used in the past. The resulting imperfections and vignetting highlight how landscape, race, and religion have played a part in the complicated history of Mississippi, and still affect lives today.
The Center for the Study of Southern Culture is a presenting partner for this UM event.
Music from the American South has made an indisputable impact on culture and politics in the U.S. and around the world. But who are the South’s most prominent and influential voices today? How are they creating the “southern” in their sounds and speaking to broader matters of national and international importance? In what ways do they build on the sounds of the past or provide the soundtrack for our common and divided present?
The Southern Music Symposium will address such questions and more. Hosted by the Center for the Study of Southern Culture at the University of Mississippi, the symposium will highlight local musicians and feature presentations by prominent and emerging scholars of southern music. Dr. Randall J. Stephens (Reader and Associate Professor of History and American Studies, Northumbria University) will give a keynote address on religion and rock n’ roll.
Proud Larry’s in downtown Oxford will host a showcase concert featuring punk rocker Lee Bains III, rapper Marco Pave, and composer and instrumentalist Wu Fei.
The symposium and showcase are free and open to the public. More details to come.
MARCH 7 at noon
“A Shrine for the State: Franklin D. Roosevelt, the New Deal, and Religious Remembrance at Warm Springs, Georgia”
Focusing on Warm Springs, Georgia, where Franklin D. Roosevelt died in April, 1945, this talk will detail how New Dealers and other liberals memorialized their approach toward the federal state, business, race, and gender through religious language and imagery.
Grem is assistant professor of history and Southern Studies at the University of Mississippi. His research sits at the intersection of southern studies, business history, cultural history, and political history. His first book, The Blessings of Business: How Corporations Shaped Conservative Christianity, was published by Oxford University Press in 2016. His current book project is tentatively titled Hard Times, USA: The Great Depression in American Memory.
The tentative dates for the 2018 Oxford Conference for the Book are Wednesday, March 21 through Friday, March 23.
MARCH 28 at noon
“Writing Histories of Environmentalism in the US South”
Building on histories of environmental activism in the Southern US, Spears’s talk explores the challenges facing American environmentalism in 2017. Ellen Griffith 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.
APRIL 4 at noon
“New Orleans and the New Southern Food Movement”
Passidomo has a joint appointment in anthropology and Southern Studies, and works closely with the Southern Foodways Alliance. Her research interests include Southern foodways, critical race studies, social justice, food systems, social movements, and the connections between food and culture, identity, space and power. She holds a PhD in human geography from the University of Georgia, an MA in ecological anthropology from the University of Georgia, and a BA in sociology and anthropology from Washington and Lee University.
APRIL 11 at noon
Jennifer Bingo Gunter
“‘Cautious but Solid Character’: Southern Feminists and the State”
Gunter’s talk is an investigation of the interactions of feminists and the state from 1966 through 1985. Nationally, women cooperated with officials of state agencies to push their agenda of self-sovereignty. Inspired by the Second Wave of the women’s movement, southern women worked with the state and manipulated state reactions to suit their needs.
Jennifer “Bingo” Gunter is a historian who specializes in the intersections of gender, race, health, law, and activism. Her upbringing by a feminist in Mississippi has led her to focus on inequalities and empowerment. With a passion for public history she looks for ways to bridge the town-gown gap. She now resides in Columbia, South Carolina, with her husband, two dachshunds, and a cat.
APRIL 18 at noon
“Saving Slave Houses”
Since 2011 Jobie Hill’s research and professional work has focused exclusively on domestic slave buildings. She is engaged in interdisciplinary research examining the dwellings of American slavery, the influence these dwellings had on the lives of their inhabitants, and the preservation of slave history. In 2012 she started an independent project titled the Slave House Database in an effort to ensure that slave houses, irreplaceable pieces of history, are not lost forever.