SouthTalks is a series of events (including lectures, performances, film screenings, and panel discussions) exploring the interdisciplinary nature of Southern Studies. This series takes place in the Tupelo Room of Barnard Observatory unless otherwise noted, and is free and open to the public.


Sep
18
Wed
SouthTalks Lecture: “Square Books at Forty: A Conversation” @ Tupelo Room, Barnard Observatory
Sep 18 @ 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm

Richard Howorth, Lyn Roberts, and Lisa Howorth
Jimmy Thomas, moderator
“Square Books at Forty: A Conversation”

Dating back to the 1970s, Square Books and the Center for the Study of Southern Culture have enjoyed a close relationship, with the bookstore bringing writers from all regions to Oxford, including a number of authors whose works are taught across the Southern Studies curriculum. The fortieth anniversary of Square Books provides an opportunity to reflect on the store’s contributions to both the Oxford community and to the University of Mississippi.

Square Books is a general independent bookstore in three separate buildings on the historic town square of Oxford, Mississippi, home of the University of Mississippi. The main store, Square Books, is in a two-story building with a cafe and balcony on the second floor; Off Square Books is a few doors down from the main store and has lifestyle sections, such as gardening and cookbooks; and Square Books, Jr., the children’s bookstore, is in a building on the east side of the square. Jimmy Thomas is the Center’s associate director for publications and the director of the Oxford Conference for the Book.

SouthTalks is a series of events (including lectures, performances, film screenings, and panel discussions) exploring the interdisciplinary nature of Southern Studies. This series takes place in the Tupelo Room of Barnard Observatory unless otherwise noted, and is free and open to the public.

 

Sep
26
Thu
SouthTalks: “Satan & Adam: A Conversation and Film Screening” @ Tupelo Room, Barnard Observatory
Sep 26 @ 4:00 pm – 5:00 pm

Sterling Magee, a Mississippi-born blues guitarist and singer, had experienced firsthand the music industry’s exploitation of black musicians. When his wife died of cancer, he gave up guitar and gave into despair. Several years later, reborn as “Mr. Satan,” he was busking the streets of Harlem, spreading his gospel of joy, when a young white harmonica player wandered along and asked if he could sit in. Adam Gussow, a Columbia grad school dropout, had turned to the streets to deal with his own heartbreak. The result was an epic jam and a lifetime partnership, one that took them, as the duo Satan & Adam, from Harlem’s 125th Street to clubs and festival stages around the world—before a nervous breakdown and a heart attack tore them apart, paving the way for one more miraculous rebirth. Satan & Adam is a celebration of the transformative power of music and the triumph of two soul survivors. Director V. Scott Balcerek pulls together more than two decades of documentary footage to chart the duo’s unlikely, unforgettable friendship, one forged on New York’s mean streets during the racial turmoil of the 1980s.

Adam Gussow is a professor of English and Southern Studies at the University of Mississippi and a blues harmonica player and teacher. He has published a number of books on the blues, including Mister Satan’s Apprentice: A Blues MemoirSeems Like Murder Here: Southern Violence and the Blues Tradition; and Beyond the Crossroads: The Devil and the Blues Tradition, which the readers of Living Blues selected as Best Blues Book of 2017.

SouthTalks is a series of events (including lectures, performances, film screenings, and panel discussions) exploring the interdisciplinary nature of Southern Studies. This series takes place in the Tupelo Room of Barnard Observatory unless otherwise noted, and is free and open to the public.

 

Oct
2
Wed
SouthTalks Lecture: “Art and Activism at Tougaloo College” @ Tupelo Room, Barnard Observatory
Oct 2 @ 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm

“Art and Activism at Tougaloo College” with Turry M. Flucker

The focus of this talk will highlight significant works by modern visual artists from the Tougaloo College Art Collections as the college celebrates the sesquicentennial year of its founding. During the turbulent 1960s, a group of New York art activists involved in the struggle for civil rights formed the New York Art Committee for Tougaloo College. In the spring of 1963, the committee shipped works by important modern American and European artists to Tougaloo College, marking the first collection of modern art in Mississippi. This was a watershed moment for the state that brought modernism to Mississippi during a time of profound social change in America.

Turry M. Flucker currently serves as the art collections administrator for the Tougaloo College Art Collections. Before becoming the collections administrator at Tougaloo, Flucker served as the arts industry director at the Mississippi Arts Commission (MAC), branch director at the Louisiana State Museum, and chief curator at Smith Robertson Museum in Jackson, Mississippi. Flucker, a native of Houston, Texas, earned a BA in history with an emphasis in African American studies from Tougaloo College and an MA in Southern Studies from the University of Mississippi.

SouthTalks is a series of events (including lectures, performances, film screenings, and panel discussions) exploring the interdisciplinary nature of Southern Studies. This series takes place in the Tupelo Room of Barnard Observatory unless otherwise noted, and is free and open to the public.

Oct
8
Tue
SouthTalks Lecture: “Italian American Country” @ Tupelo Room, Barnard Observatory
Oct 8 @ 4:00 pm – 5:00 pm

Paolo Battaglia: “Italian American Country”

Following the route taken in 1905 by Italian ambassador Edmondo Mayor des Planches, Italian author Paolo Battaglia met the descendants of immigrants who came from his country and traveled to the four corners of the United States. Italian American Country is an illustrated book and a three-episode documentary chronicling the travels and encounters Battaglia had across the country, from Barre, Vermont, to Pittsburg, California, to Greenville, Mississippi—all places that, in many different ways, show us what it means and what it meant to be Italian in America.

During this presentation, the author along with two actors will re-enact stories from the book as well as share a few scenes from the documentary.

Paolo Battaglia is the coauthor of Explorers Emigrants Citizens: A Visual History of the Italian American Experience published in 2013 with the Library of Congress. He is a photo historian and author of visual history books such as Un Italiano nella Cina dei Boxer (2000), a photographic account of the 1900 Boxer rebellion in China; Frammenti di Guerra (2005), a visual history of World War II in northern Italy; and New York In & Out (2008), a portrait of New York City taken by an Italian tourist and photographer in the early twentieth century.

SouthTalks is a series of events (including lectures, performances, film screenings, and panel discussions) exploring the interdisciplinary nature of Southern Studies. This series takes place in the Tupelo Room of Barnard Observatory unless otherwise noted, and is free and open to the public.

Oct
9
Wed
SouthTalks Lecture: “Historic Preservation in Mississippi from an Advocacy and Local Government Perspective” @ Tupelo Room, Barnard Observatory
Oct 9 @ 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm

Kate Kenwright, Lolly Rash, and Jodi Skipper:
“Historic Preservation in Mississippi from an Advocacy and Local Government Perspective”

Ever wonder what makes a building historic? Who tells the story of the place? What role do governments and neighborhood groups play in preservation? Jodi Skipper, associate professor of anthropology and Southern Studies, will moderate a discussion between Kate Kenwright, historic preservationist for the City of Oxford, and Lolly Rash, executive director for the Mississippi Heritage Trust, on what it takes to become an effective advocate for Mississippi’s architectural legacy at a local and state level.

Kate Kenwright provides technical expertise and support to the City Preservation Commissions as well as the Burns Belfry, the L. Q. C. Lamar House, and Cedar Oaks. Kenwright has a BA in Southern Studies and is a graduate of the Tulane Master of Preservation Studies program. Lolly Rash has been fighting for Mississippi’s historic places for twenty-five years. She has served as historical administrator for the City of Biloxi, vice president of White House Properties, and as a consultant for the Land Trust for the Mississippi Coastal Plain, the Mississippi Department of Archives and History, and the Mississippi Main Street Association.

SouthTalks is a series of events (including lectures, performances, film screenings, and panel discussions) exploring the interdisciplinary nature of Southern Studies. This series takes place in the Tupelo Room of Barnard Observatory unless otherwise noted, and is free and open to the public.

Oct
11
Fri
SouthTalks Lecture: “Superhero Comics and the U.S. South” @ Tupelo Room, Barnard Observatory
Oct 11 @ 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm

Brannon Costello: “Superhero Comics and the U.S. South”

Swinging, flying, and leaping through the canyons between skyscrapers, superheroes have long been understood as emblems of urban American modernity. In garish red, white, and blue costumes, characters such as Captain America, Patriot, and even Superman are read as icons of American nationalism. But what happens, then, when superheroes go South, to the region so often imagined as the nation’s antimodern, abject other? Brannon Costello’s talk will examine the history of the representation of the South in superhero comics well-known and obscure, taking a look both at the tendency to portray the South as a place of degradation, contamination, and horror, and also illuminating a handful of provocative comics that have productively employed the superhero genre to generate new ways of imagining the relationship between the nation and the region, between the region and the world.

Brannon Costello is James F. Cassidy Professor of English at Louisiana State University, where he also serves as director of undergraduate studies for the English department. His primary research interests are in Southern Studies and comics studies, and he is particularly interested in finding and forging connections between those fields. He is most recently the author of Neon Visions: The Comics of Howard Chaykin. Among his other publications are Comics and the U.S. South, a collection which he coedited with Qiana Whitted; Conversations with Michael Chabon; and Plantation Airs: Racial Paternalism and the Transformations of Class in Southern Fiction.

Dr. Costello will also present on Saturday, Oct. 12 during the Graphic Novels and Comics across the Humanities Conference (Oct. 7–12). Free and open to the public. Conference is being organized by the Department of Philosophy and Religion.

SouthTalks is a series of events (including lectures, performances, film screenings, and panel discussions) exploring the interdisciplinary nature of Southern Studies. This series takes place in the Tupelo Room of Barnard Observatory unless otherwise noted, and is free and open to the public.

Oct
22
Tue
SouthTalks Visiting Documentarian: “Radical Reimaginings in Documentary Filmmaking” @ Malco Oxford Commons Cinema
Oct 22 @ 6:00 pm – 7:00 pm

Sophia Nahli Allison, visiting documentarian, filmmaker:
“Radical Reimaginings in Documentary Filmmaking”

A Love Song for Latasha

Sophia Nahli Allison will screen her short hybrid documentary, A Love Song for Latasha, as well as a few shorter documentary works. The evening’s discussion will center on reimagining documentary and the archives, finding one’s style and voice, and the utilization of experimental methods within film.

Sophia Nahli Allison is an experimental documentary filmmaker, photographer + dreamer born and raised in South Central LA. She disrupts conventional documentary methods by reimagining the archives and excavating hidden truths. She conjures ancestral memories to explore the intersection of fiction and nonfiction storytelling. Her film A Love Song for Latasha premiered at the 2019 Tribeca Film Festival. She was a 2018 Sundance Institute New Frontier Lab Programs Fellow and a recipient of a 2018 Glassbreaker Films Catalyst Grant. She will be a summer 2019 artist-in-residence with POV Spark’s African Interactive Art Residency and a 2019 interdisciplinary arts fellow at the MacDowell Colony. Past residencies include the Center for Photography at Woodstock and a 3Arts Residency Fellow at the Camargo Foundation in Cassis, France. Sophia received a 2018 Getty Bursary Creative Grant, was named the 2017 Student Video Photographer of the Year by the White House Photographers Association, and is the recipient of a 2014 Chicago 3Arts Award. She was a co-coordinator and facilitator for the 2018 Allied Media Conference’s Magic as Resistance Track, which focused on community healing and the art of reclaiming ancestral magic for QTPOC (Queer and Trans People of Color) participants. She holds an MA in visual communication from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a BA in photojournalism from Columbia College Chicago.

SouthTalks is a series of events (including lectures, performances, film screenings, and panel discussions) exploring the interdisciplinary nature of Southern Studies. This series takes place in the Tupelo Room of Barnard Observatory unless otherwise noted, and is free and open to the public.

Nov
1
Fri
SouthTalks Visiting Documentarian: “A Strike and an Uprising (in Texas)” @ Tupelo Room, Barnard Observatory
Nov 1 @ 3:00 pm – 4:00 pm

Anne Lewis, filmmaker

A Strike and an Uprising (in Texas)

A Strike and an Uprising (in Texas) is an experimental documentary film based on two events: the San Antonio pecan shellers’ strike of 1938, which was led by Emma Tenayuca, and the Jobs with Justice march, led by Nacogdoches cafeteria workers, groundskeepers, and housekeepers in 1987.

Anne Lewis is a documentary filmmaker whose films include On Our Own LandFast Food WomenJustice in the Coalfields, and Morristown: In the Air and Sun, a film about factory job loss and the rights of immigrants. Lewis serves on the executive board of the Texas State Employees Union TSEU-CWA 6186 and teaches at the University of Texas at Austin.

SouthTalks is a series of events (including lectures, performances, film screenings, and panel discussions) exploring the interdisciplinary nature of Southern Studies. This series takes place in the Tupelo Room of Barnard Observatory unless otherwise noted, and is free and open to the public.

Nov
6
Wed
SouthTalks Lecture: “‘The Positive Duty to Aid Them’: Segregated Health, Federal Responsibility, and the Mississippi Choctaws during the 1918–1919 Influenza Pandemic” @ Tupelo Room, Barnard Observatory
Nov 6 @ 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm

Mikaëla M. Adams:

“‘The Positive Duty to Aid Them’: Segregated Health, Federal Responsibility, and the Mississippi Choctaws during the 1918–1919 Influenza Pandemic”

After ignoring the Mississippi Choctaws for decades, Congress finally established an agency for them in 1918. This effort came none too soon: within months a deadly new strain of influenza struck. Yet, finding medical help for the Choctaws in segregated Mississippi proved difficult, and 61 out of 1,253 Choctaws ultimately died in the outbreak. The pandemic reinforced the need for a federal presence in the segregated South and, in the years that followed, the Choctaws marshaled that federal-tribal relationship to rebuild their land base and restore their sovereignty.

Mikaëla M. Adams is an associate professor of Native American history at the University of Mississippi. Her first book, Who Belongs? Race, Resources, and Tribal Citizenship in the Native South, explored themes of Indigenous identity, citizenship, and sovereignty in the Jim Crow South. Her current work examines the influenza pandemic of 1918–20 in Indian country.

SouthTalks is a series of events (including lectures, performances, film screenings, and panel discussions) exploring the interdisciplinary nature of Southern Studies. This series takes place in the Tupelo Room of Barnard Observatory unless otherwise noted, and is free and open to the public.

Nov
13
Wed
SouthTalks Lecture: “Jewish Radicals in New South Cities: The Southern District of the Workmen’s Circle” @ Tupelo Room, Barnard Observatory
Nov 13 @ 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm

Josh Parshall: “Jewish Radicals in New South Cities: The Southern District of the Workmen’s Circle”

From 1908 until after World War II, small groups of East European Jewish immigrants operated branches of the Workmen’s Circle (Arbeter Ring) in more than fifteen southern cities. These local branches of the national fraternal organization promoted secular Yiddish culture, participated in mutual aid, contributed to left-wing politics and local labor movements, and organized themselves on a regional basis. This presentation, cosponsored by the Jewish Federation of Oxford, will examine these activities in relation to the New South settings in which they took place and explore the meanings and legacies of the Workmen’s Circle in the South.

Josh Parshall is the director of the history department at the Goldring/Woldenberg Institute of Southern Jewish Life, based in Jackson, Mississippi. His academic interests include American Jewish identity and politics, Yiddish language and culture, and Jewish history in the South. Parshall holds a PhD from the Department of American Studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

SouthTalks is a series of events (including lectures, performances, film screenings, and panel discussions) exploring the interdisciplinary nature of Southern Studies. This series takes place in the Tupelo Room of Barnard Observatory unless otherwise noted, and is free and open to the public.