Nov
1
Wed
Brown Bag: Beyond the Crossroads: The Devil and the Blues Tradition by Adam Gussow @ Barnard Observatory
Nov 1 @ 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm
Brown Bag: Beyond the Crossroads: The Devil and the Blues Tradition by Adam Gussow @ Barnard Observatory

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.

Nov
8
Wed
Brown Bag: Bobbie Gentry’s Odes to Mississippi by Kristine McCusker @ Barnard Observatory
Nov 8 @ 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm

On Wednesday, November 8 at noon, Dr. Kristine McCusker of Middle Tennessee State University will present “Bobbie Gentry’s Odes to Mississippi.”

Feb
25
Sun
Symposium on Southern Music @ University of Mississippi
Feb 25 – Feb 27 all-day

More details coming soon.