Organized through the Center for the Study of Southern Culture, the African American Studies Program, Center for Civil War Research, and the Department of History, the Gilder-Jordan Speaker Series is made possible through the generosity of the Gilder Foundation, Inc.  The series honors Richard Gilder of New York and his family, as well as his friends, Dan and Lou Jordan of Virginia.

The 2016 Gilder-Jordan Lecture in Southern Cultural History will take place on Wednesday, September 7 at 7pm at Nutt Auditorium on the University of Mississippi campus.

This year’s lecturer is Edward L. Ayers of the University of Richmond. His lecture is titled “When History Doesn’t Move in a Straight Line:  The Civil War Then and Now.”

2016: Edward L. Ayers, University of RichMond

ayers-edEdward Ayers is President Emeritus of the University of Richmond, where he now serves as Tucker-Boatwright Professor of the Humanities. Previously Dean of Arts and Sciences at the University of Virginia, where he began teaching in 1980, Ayers was named the National Professor of the Year by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching in 2003.

A historian of the American South, Ayers has written and edited 10 books. The Promise of the New South: Life After Reconstruction was a finalist for both the National Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize. In the Presence of Mine Enemies: Civil War in the Heart of America won the Bancroft Prize for distinguished writing in American history and the Beveridge Prize for the best book in English on the history of the Americas since 1492. He was awarded the National Humanities Medal in 2013.

A pioneer in digital history, Ayers created “The Valley of the Shadow: Two Communities in the American Civil War,” a website that has attracted millions of users and won major prizes in the teaching of history. He serves as co-editor of the Atlas of the Historical Geography of the United States at the University of Richmond’s Digital Scholarship Lab and is a co-host of BackStory with the American History Guys, a nationally syndicated radio show and podcast.

Ayers has received a presidential appointment to the National Council on the Humanities, served as a Fulbright professor in the Netherlands, and been elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

2015: Theda Perdue, University of North Carolina

On September 9, 2015, Theda Perdue of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill presented the 2015 Gilder-Jordan Lecture in Southern History. Her talk is entitled “Indians and Christianity in the New South.”

TP w GlassesTheda Perdue is the Atlanta Distinguished Professor Emerita of Southern Studies at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, where she taught American Indian history in the history, women’s studies, and American studies departments. She holds a Ph.D. from the University of Georgia. Perdue is author, co-author, or editor of sixteen books including Cherokee Women: Gender and Culture Change, “Mixed Blood” Indians: Racial Construction in the Early South, and Race and the Atlanta Cotton States Exposition of 1895. She also has appeared frequently as a talking head in documentary films. She has held fellowships from the Rockefeller Foundation, the Newberry Library, the National Humanities Center, the Woodrow Wilson Center, and the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation. Perdue has served as president of the Southern Association for Women Historians, the American Society for Ethnohistory, and the Southern Historical Association. She is an inveterate traveler, especially by train, and in 2009 she and her husband went around the world by land and sea, a trip that included crossing Europe and Asia by train and the Pacific by freighter. Her current book project is on American Indians in the segregated South.

2014: Jacquelyn Dowd Hall, University of North Carolina

Dr. Hall’s lecture, “How We Tell About the Civil Rights Movement and Why It Matters Today,” was September 24 at 7pm in Nutt Auditorium on the UM campus.

2013: Walter Johnson, Harvard University

“The ‘Negro Fever,’ the South, and the Ignominious Effort to Re-Open the Atlantic Slave Trade”

Watch an interview of Dr. Johnson by UM Assistant Professor of History Dr. Deirdre Cooper Owens here.

2012: Grace Elizabeth Hale, University of Virginia

“So the Whole World Can See: Documentary Photography and Film in the Civil Rights Era”

Watch an interview of Professor Hale by UM Professor of History and Southern Studies Dr. Ted Ownby here.

2011: David Blight, Yale University

“American Oracle: The Civil War in the Civil Rights Era and Our Own Time”

Watch the 2011 lecture in full or watch an interview of Dr. Blight by UM Professor of History Dr. John Neff here.

2010: Barbara J. Fields, Columbia University

“Racecraft and Southern History”