Upcoming courses (Fall 2024)

For a full list of all Fall 2024 Southern Studies courses, as well as courses in other departments that satisfy Southern Studies major/minor requirements, check MyOleMiss or download this.

 

SST118: Introductory Topics in Southern Music: Country
M W 1:00-2:15 p.m.
Dr. Darren E. Grem

Where did country music come from? Where is it now? Where is it headed?  This multi-faceted (and often misunderstood) genre of American popular music has deep roots in the 18th-19th century “global South” and important implications for the cultural and political shape of whatever constitutes “the South” or “southern.”  This course will explore country music via an interdisciplinary history, detailing its roots in the racial and musical context of the region’s rural and borderlands folk cultures.  Then it will explore country music’s transformation via racially-segregated, 20th-century urban contexts into a popular commercial industry, selling complex visions of “rural” pasts and presents that still resonate today.  Other themes will include: myth-making and storytelling, aesthetics and fashion, humor and satire, performance and venue, media and celebrity, race and erasure, alcohol and drug use/abuse, religion, gender dynamics, social class, radical and illiberal politics, queer country, countercultural-country (e.g., “rockabilly,” “outlaw,” “alt-country,” “neo-traditional,” etc.), and country music ’s re-globalization.  The business side of writing, recording, producing, and selling country music (especially in Nashville) will also be a consistent framework, as will any number of wild stories drawn from the genre’s most colorful episodes and people.
Disclaimer: This course is for students interested in a rigorous but informative introductory course in Southern Studies and/or the humanities.  It will feature an extensive song list, small set of podcasts, and routine readings.  No prior training in Southern Studies, music theory, and/or music history is necessary, although basic instruction will be provided in each.

SST 401 [1]:  Southern Studies Seminar [Southern Musicians, Southern Music]
Mondays 4:00-6:30 p.m
Adam Gussow

Of all forms of southern culture, southern musical idioms–including jazz, blues, gospel, country, and rock-and-roll–have arguably contributed most significantly to American popular culture and the world beyond America’s borders.  Music from the U.S. South offers not just a series of distinctive Euro-African creole blends (melodic, harmonic, and rhythmic), but enduring images of a mythic “Southland” and the charismatic performers that emerge from it.  This seminar will make a series of interdisciplinary incursions into that musical archive, drawing on a wide range of textual modes, including autobiography, ethnography, cultural history and criticism, feature film, music videos, and audio recordings.  We will range widely in temporal and regional terms as well, moving from the slavery era up through our own contemporary moment, roaming from the mountain South down through Nashville, Memphis, and the Mississippi Delta to New Orleans.  Musicians and authors likely to show up on our syllabus include Louis Armstrong, Loretta Lynn, David Honeyboy Edwards, Tina Turner, Southern Avenue, Bill Malone, Zora Neale Hurston, Matt Sakakeeny, and Karl Hagstrom Miller.

SST 401 [2] Southern Studies Seminar [Oral History: From Root to Stem]
Mondays 1:00-3:30 p.m
Annemarie Anderson

Do you ever hear your professors or fellow students casually mention oral history in your classes or seminars? Do you find yourself wondering what it really is? Well, look no further! This SST 401 class will explore the interdisciplinary roots and best practices of oral history. Along the way, you’ll learn about significant oral history scholarship, methodology, and theory. Students will have the opportunity to engage with oral history through readings, primary source documents, and audio documentaries and podcasts. The class will culminate with a hands-on oral history research project.

SST 599: Geography and Southern Literature
Wednesdays 4:00-6:30
Ralph Eubanks

This seminar will examine the role of geography and place in shaping 20th century and contemporary Southern literature. The texts for this class will explore the identities that define the South and the issues that plague this region as well as the ways Southern literature is defined by geography, history, culture, voice, and perception.

spring 2024

SST 109: Rights and Southern Activism
T/TH 9:30-10:45 (honors)
Ralph Eubanks

“Rights and Southern Activism” examines the South, past and present, through the lens of activism, whether for civil rights or human rights. The history of protest at the University of Mississippi will be a central part of this class, yet connections between the University’s history of protest and other Southern movements–such as the Southern Tenant Farmers Union and the civil rights movement more broadly–will be explored. Given the connection between race and protest in the South, a foundational text for this course will be C. Vann Woodward’s “The Strange Career of Jim Crow.” This class will not only explore activism, but also the nature of movement power dynamics, connections among activists, the strategies they used, and the opposition they faced.

SST 105: The South and Food
T/TH 11:00-12:15
Catarina Passidomo

SST 105 will explore southern culture, history, identity, and placemaking through the lens of foodways (that is, what people eat, how and where and with whom they eat, and what all of that means).  Because the study of foodways is highly interdisciplinary, students will read and consider works spanning several disciplines and methodological approaches.  In addition to weekly reading, students will listen to podcasts, read and listen to oral histories, and watch films.

SST 598 / FS 304:  Freedom Summer 1964:  Mississippi’s Civil Rights Watershed
Wednesday 4:00-6:30 p.m. Section 1
Adam Gussow

Sixty years ago, the nation’s attention was drawn to Mississippi as more than a thousand college student volunteers descended on the state to supplement the voter registration and community education work of local civil rights workers.  The murders of Michael Schwerner, James Chaney, and Andrew Goodman, dramatized in the film “Mississippi Burning” (1988), epitomized the organized and often violent resistance those students and workers encountered from segregationists determined to uphold the advantages conferred by white supremacy.  Later that summer, Delta resident Fannie Lou Hamer again compelled public attention as a leader of the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party, an upstart group that traveled to Atlantic City, New Jersey for the Democratic national convention and attempted, with only partial success, to motivate the national conscience in the service of the Magnolia State’s liberation.  What deep cultural and historical dynamics lay behind this catastrophic collision of values?  How did the events of Freedom Summer impact Mississippi, and the nation, in the decades that followed?  This course will explore Freedom Summer (and the broader Civil Rights movement) through a range of texts:  histories, memoirs, fiction, film, and song.

SST 598: Multimedia Ideation in the South
TH 4:00-6:30 Section 2
Zaire Love

“Make Em Say Uhh!” It was a significant moment for the South when Master P (founder of No Limit Records and self-made multimillionaire) released the song in 1998 with artists Mia X, Fiend, Mystikal, and Silkk the Shocker. It remains a defining moment and staple to this day not only because of the sound but the ingenuity, branding, and marketing of Southern rap. Master P, No Limit Records, and his No Limit Soldiers (artists) were branding and marketing geniuses with military-inspired lingo, fashion, and the iconic tank logo. What are we supposed to learn from listening to a region that, as many would claim, is last in everything good and first in everything bad? This course turns that idea upside down. It starts by recognizing the American South as a place of dynamic and imaginative production—the South has produced some of the best in American food, music, literature, fashion, folklore, social movements, and so much more. This class will continue that tradition of ideation, making, and showcasing. Drawing on various technical approaches in new media, “Multimedia Ideation in the South” will encourage and equip students to produce their own personal brand, podcast episode, short film, and marketing campaign. Whatever their visions are, by the end of the course, they will have had the chance to say it, make it, and brand it. The course is structured as a production company. Students will be asked to collectively and individually brainstorm innovative ideas and bring them to fruition with compelling branding strategies and, ultimately, a full marketing campaign. Students will be “producers” that will learn to ideate, document, and brand powerful stories about the South and themselves through the development of design thinking, multimedia, branding, and marketing.

FALL 2023

SST 107: Intro to Gender & Sexuality in the South
T/TH 11:00-12:15
Andy Donnelly

This course will explore the South, Southern history, and Southern culture through the study of gender and sexuality. We will think about the role that gender has played in constructing Southern identity, how the meanings of masculinity, femininity, and gender itself have changed over time, and how this history has intersected with that of marriage, race & racism, nationalism, family, religion, and class. The course will also examine sexuality and its history, including the regulation of sex, the expression of sexual identity, and queer experience in the South. Students in the course will analyze a variety of sources from the past and present, images, stories, film, music, and other media, while developing skills as readers, writers, viewers, and analysts of culture.

SST 109: Rights and Southern Activism
T/TH 11:00-12:15
Ralph Eubanks

“Rights and Southern Activism” examines the South, past and present, through the lens of activism, whether for civil rights or human rights. The history of protest at the University of Mississippi will be a central part of this class, yet connections between the University’s history of protest and other Southern movements–such as the Southern Tenant Farmers Union and the civil rights movement more broadly–will be explored. Given the connection between race and protest in the South, a foundational text for this course will be C. Vann Woodward’s “The Strange Career of Jim Crow.” This class will not only explore activism, but also the nature of movement power dynamics, connections among activists, the strategies they used, and the opposition they faced.

SST 118: Intro Topics in Southern Music: The Blues
T/TH 1:00-2:15 p.m
Adam Gussow

This course is designed as a fun, wide-ranging introduction to one of the South’s best-known forms of cultural expression. “The blues” is more than music: it’s a lyric archive indexing and pronouncing judgment on the Twentieth Century South’s history from an African American perspective; a register of trauma, tribulation, and survival; an ethos of resilience grounded in improvisatory leaps and a tragicomic attitude. The music migrates and electrifies as down-home blues becomes rhythm & blues, modernizing as it flows north from southern juke joints to Chicago.  During the 1960s, even while losing Black market share to soul music, blues is embraced by a mass white youth audience. In our own era, blues has become a global phenomenon–the principal way, arguably, in which the U.S. South is known around the world:  as a wailing, groove-centered sound, a mythological landscape of crossroads and rambling bluesmen, a hoodoo-inflected vernacular in which African spirituality lingers on. As befits the multidimensional phenomenon known as the blues, this course will ask students to engage with a wide variety of course materials, including audio recordings, music videos, feature films, documentary footage, and a sampling of literary, folkloristic, and critical/historical texts. I also plan to invite one or more local Mississippi blues players—Terry “Harmonica” Bean, Bill “Howl-N-Madd” Perry—to visit with us and talk about their craft.

SST 540: Photographing Place in the U.S. South
Wednesdays 2:00-4:30 p.m./ Meek 119
Professor of Art, Brooke White

Southern Studies 540 will focus on the relationship between local cultures and the physical world(s) such cultures create using the medium of still photography. Students will examine the idea of “place”, review the visual landscape tradition, consider various examples of “cultural landscape” photography, and discuss student-made photographs culminating in an exhibition. Additional in-class activities include idea development, technical demonstrations related to digital photographic practices, and critiques that focus on the development of student photographic work. Late-semester class sessions will be devoted to editing and curating student photographs for an exhibition focusing on the idea of “place” in the American South. Students will need a digital camera and a subscription to Adobe Creative Cloud, Photoshop and Lightroom.

SST 555: Foodways
Wednesdays 1:00-3:30 p.m.
Catarina Passidomo

What is Southern Food Culture, if indeed there is such a thing?  What does food mean to people in the South, now and in the past, and why does that matter?  There is considerable debate surrounding the origins of particular dishes and their preparations, and some conflict over who can or should claim certain culinary traditions.  Underlying these passions, debates, and traditions are important lessons about historic and contemporary race relations, gender roles, immigration patterns, and other phenomena.  In this course, we’ll use southern food culture to explore deeper questions about ownership and access; inclusion and exclusion; and what it means to grow, cook and eat in the 21st century South.  In that sense, we will examine southern food culture from a critical perspective.  Some themes we will encounter include the region’s culinary history—considering the crucial importance of climate and both voluntary and involuntary migration for shaping southern food, the trenchant but evolving relationship between food and regional identity, and the ways in which food can be understood as indicative of a changing South.

SST 598: “The Mississippi Delta across Time and Discipline”
Tuesdays 4:00-6:30 p.m.
Jimmy Thomas

This course introduces students to the fabled yet complicated Mississippi Delta through interdisciplinary engagement: investigations into historical studies, ethnographic fieldwork, memoir, literary fiction, photography, and documentary film. We will look at the Mississippi Delta through the lenses of slavery, the Jim Crow era, the civil rights movement, and the contemporary South as a way of placing it within the broader context of the state, the region, and the world. We will begin with a concentration of texts focused on the history of the place. We will then investigate race, ethnicity, and social class in the Delta via a variety of texts and media, and throughout the semester we will work to complicate the cultural expressions that have come to define Mississippi’s most mythologized region. This class places particular emphasis on the writing process through use of careful analysis and interpretation of texts in order to develop students’ own scholarly writing. Students will be encouraged to write for future publication/presentation, and students will be guided through the publication and conference proposal processes.

English 359: Women in the South
MWF 9:00-9:50 a.m.
Shoemaker 408
Katie McKee

This course begins in the late nineteenth-century with pairings of contemporaneous Black and White writers, moves through core texts of the twentieth-century, and concludes with 21st century authors writing about the multi-faceted, multiethnic “south” they are helping to define. With particular attention to the intersecting power and fluid definitions of gender, race, and place, we will work in multiple genres, including fiction, non-fiction, and poetry. Among the writers we may read are these: Alice Dunbar-Nelson, Sherwood Bonner, Kate Chopin, Ida B. Wells, Maya Angelou, Carson McCullers, Zora Neale Hurston, Eudora Welty, Flannery O’Connor, Shay Youngblood, Crystal Wilkinson, Sarah Broom, Carmen Boullosa, Barbara Kingsolver, Natasha Trethewey, Jesmyn Ward, Joy Harjo, Annette Saunooke Clapsaddle, Sandra Cisneros, Dorothy Allison, Nikki Finney, Anjali Enjeti, Lee Smith, Alice Walker, and Monique Truong. Class will be a mixture of mini-lectures, discussion, and student-led presentations. Students will write weekly, participate in a book club with classmates, and create a final project about an author from the state they claim as home, whether or not it falls within the area conventionally defined as “southern.”

English 776: Studies in Southern Literature
Eudora Welty: Modernity in Fiction and Photography
Annette Trefzer

This seminar engages two forms of representation by linking Welty’s diverse literary output in the form of short stories, essays, and novels written between 1936 and 1972 with the visual culture of her time. This includes her own photography as well as major photo-documentary projects such as the Farm Security Administration archive of the Great Depression, contemporary museum exhibitions, and photographers such as Walker Evans, Berenice Abbott, Doris Ullman, Diane Arbus, and William Eggleston. We seek to inquire how Welty articulates a modernity of vision in fiction and photography specifically through the lenses of gender and sexuality, race and class, disability and ecology but not limited to these critical perspectives. Students are encouraged to explore their own projects connecting Welty’s fiction with any aspect of visual culture. Course texts include the two Library of America editions of Eudora Welty’s Stories, Essays, Memoir and Complete Novels as well as her photobook One Time, One Place.  In addition to relevant biographies and literary criticism, students will also read classic writing on photography by Roland Barthes, Susan Sontag, Walter Benjamin, John Berger, Pierre Bourdieu, Alan Sekula and others. Course requirements include active participation in discussion and one class presentation; an original research project including a prospectus, an annotated bibliography, and a 15 – 25 page seminar paper; as well as a class conference in which students will share their research at the end of the semester. To guide students to further resources, the course will end in a field trip to the Mississippi Department of Archives and History and the Welty House in Jackson.

SPRing 2023

SST 103: Southern Mythologies & Pop Culture
T/TH 11:00-12:15
Ted Ownby

This course will explore multiple mythic visions of the American South, using popular writing, advertising, music, film, television, and online sources to identify stereotypes and mythologies and to analyze who constructed those images, how they circulated them, and how the images have been subjects of identity and controversy. The class will study mythologies about the South in both the past and the present.

SST 105: The South and Food
T/TH 2:30-3:45
Catarina Passidomo

SST 105 will explore southern culture, history, identity, and placemaking through the lens of foodways (that is, what people eat, how and where and with whom they eat, and what all of that means).  Because the study of foodways is highly interdisciplinary, students will read and consider works spanning several disciplines and methodological approaches.  In addition to weekly reading, students will listen to podcasts, read and listen to oral histories, and watch films.

SST 108: Music & Southern Society
MWF 10:00-10:50
Darren Grem

Music has been an essential aspect of southern culture and society for as long as folks have deemed themselves “southerners” or believed there is a “South.”  What we are doing in this course is taking you on a tour of southern places and spaces via music.  In other words, each day, in class, we are piling in an intellectual tour-bus of sorts and “hitting the road” like musicians on tour.  We are starting in the Mississippi Delta — the so-called “Birthplace of America’s Music” —  then heading west, first to uncover the unexpected influences and roots of the music we call “southern” in Texas, as well as in the many border towns and cities that constitute “the South” at its edges.  Then, we are heading back east, bouncing through the Caribbean’s northernmost city—New Orleans—before rolling over to Macon, Georgia and then hanging a right down to South Florida.  Next, we will backtrack north, up through the college towns and county-line bars of Georgia and the Carolinas before we go looking for bluegrass and “hillbilly” music in the millhills and hollers of southern Appalachia. The latter leg of our journey will bring us back down to the heart of the Deep South: to the ATL, to the “Magic City,” and to the “country-soul” triangle of Nashville-Muscle Shoals-Memphis.  Sites of memory and music will feature, from cemeteries to roadsides to venues to museums to Graceland(s).  Finally, we will look briefly northward and westward to the musical landscapes of the southern migrations before ending back home in Oxford to consider the place and influence of “southern” music in a local-global context.  At the end of our tour, we will take stock of the sights seen, tunes heard, “southerners” encountered, fortunes made, crimes committed, and stories told and untold about the past, present, and future of music and southern society.

SST 109: Rights & Southern Activism
T/TH 9:30 a.m.-10:45 p.m. (Honors)
Ralph Eubanks

“Rights and Southern Activism” examines the South, past and present, through the lens of activism, whether for civil rights or human rights. The history of protest at the University of Mississippi will be a central part of this class, yet connections between the University’s history of protest and other Southern movements–such as the Southern Tenant Farmers Union and the civil rights movement more broadly–will be explored. Given the connection between race and protest in the South, a foundational text for this course will be C. Vann Woodward’s “The Strange Career of Jim Crow.” This class will not only explore activism, but also the connections among activists, the strategies they used, and the opposition they faced.

SST 535 Anthropological Films
T/TH 11:00-12:15
Simone Delerme

This course introduces students to visual anthropology, a subfield that bridges the humanities and social sciences to document and analyze social interactions, human behavior, and cultural life through audiovisual arts and media production.  The course is broken up into different units with a thematic focus—from globalization and migration to gender and sexuality—that will evoke a series of critical questions to examine the production, dissemination and interpretations of visual representations. Throughout the course, we will be comparing films about the US South to documentaries about other parts of the world. For example, during the unit entitled “Documentary Photography: Exoticization & Poverty Pictures” we will be comparing the documentary “Cannibal Tours,” which explores exploitative heritage tourism in Papua New Guinea, to “Stranger With a Camera”which focuses on Appalachia– to think about self-reflexivity and representations of people and places. Collaboratively, we will explore how cultural experiences and ideas are represented through a comparative perspective. 

SST 560: Oral History of Southern Social Movements
Tuesday 4:00-6:30
Ryan Parsons

This course provides practical experience in planning and executing oral history projects with a particular emphasis on civil rights movements in Mississippi. Over the course of the semester, students will collect oral histories and contribute visual materials (photography, film) that complement these oral histories. For the Spring 2023 semester we will partner with the Emmett Till Interpretive Center in Tallahatchie County to design and execute an oral history of the aftermath of the Emmett Till lynching and subsequent trials. The course is designed with community engagement principles in mind and we will work with our community partners to identify topics of interest. There will also be opportunities for students to pursue their own lines of inquiry for use in thesis or other independent projects.

SST 598: Multimedia Ideation in the South
TH 4:00-6:30
Zaire Love

“Make Em Say Uhh!” It was a significant moment for the South when Master P (founder of No Limit Records and self-made multimillionaire) released the song in 1998 with artists Mia X, Fiend, Mystikal, and Silkk the Shocker. It remains a defining moment and staple to this day not only because of the sound but the ingenuity, branding, and marketing of Southern rap. Master P, No Limit Records, and his No Limit Soldiers (artists) were branding and marketing geniuses with military-inspired lingo, fashion, and the iconic tank logo. What are we supposed to learn from listening to a region that, as many would claim, is last in everything good and first in everything bad? This course turns that idea upside down. It starts by recognizing the American South as a place of dynamic and imaginative production—the South has produced some of the best in American food, music, literature, fashion, folklore, social movements, and so much more. This class will continue that tradition of ideation, making, and showcasing. Drawing on various technical approaches in new media, “Multimedia Ideation in the South” will encourage and equip students to produce their own personal brand, podcast episode, short film, and marketing campaign. Whatever their visions are, by the end of the course, they will have had the chance to say it, make it, and brand it. The course is structured as a production company. Students will be asked to collectively and individually brainstorm innovative ideas and bring them to fruition with compelling branding strategies and, ultimately, a full marketing campaign. Students will be “producers” that will learn to ideate, document, and brand powerful stories about the South and themselves through the development of design thinking, multimedia, branding, and marketing.

fall 2022

SST 109: Rights & Southern Activism
T/TH 11:00 a.m.-12:15 p.m.
Ralph Eubanks

“Rights and Southern Activism” examines the South, past and present, through the lens of activism, whether for civil rights or human rights. The history of protest at the University of Mississippi will be a central part of this class, yet connections between the University’s history of protest and other Southern movements–such as the Southern Tenant Farmers Union and the civil rights movement more broadly–will be explored. Given the connection between race and protest in the South, a foundational text for this course will be C. Vann Woodward’s “The Strange Career of Jim Crow.” This class will not only explore activism, but also the connections among activists, the strategies they used, and the opposition they faced.

SST 540: Photographing Place in the U.S. South
Wednesdays 4:00-6:30 p.m.
David Wharton

Using the medium of still photography, Southern Studies 540 will focus on the relationship between local cultures and the physical world(s) such cultures create. Students will make photographs in Oxford, Lafayette County, and the seven counties that border it. In-class activities will examine the idea of “place,” review the visual landscape tradition, consider various examples of “cultural landscape” photography, and discuss student-made photographs. Late-semester class sessions will be devoted to editing and curating student photographs for an on-line exhibition focusing on the idea of “place” in the American South.

SST 555: Foodways & Southern Culture
Thursdays 1:00-3:30 p.m.
Catarina Passidomo

What is Southern Food Culture, if indeed there is such a thing?  What does food mean to people in the South, now and in the past, and why does that matter?  There is considerable debate surrounding the origins of particular dishes and their preparations, and some conflict over who can or should claim certain culinary traditions.  Underlying these passions, debates, and traditions are important lessons about historic and contemporary race relations, gender roles, immigration patterns, and other phenomena.  In this course, we’ll use southern food culture to explore deeper questions about ownership and access; inclusion and exclusion; and what it means to grow, cook and eat in the 21st century South.  In that sense, we will examine southern food culture from a critical perspective.  Some themes we will encounter include the region’s culinary history—considering the crucial importance of climate and both voluntary and involuntary migration for shaping southern food, the trenchant but evolving relationship between food and regional identity, and the ways in which food can be understood as indicative of a changing South.

SST 612: Globalization and the U.S. South: Roberto Bolaño and the Global Novel
Thursdays 4:00-6:30 p.m.
Bobby Rea

Originally published in Spanish shortly after his death in 2003, Roberto Bolaño’s 2666 is considered one of the greatest novels of the twenty-first century, in any language. Its world-spanning plot spirals around two points: a mysterious German author and the gang of literary critics who set out to find him, and the mostly unsolved femicides in the fictional border city of Santa Teresa (based largely on Ciudad Juárez). The result is a multi-faceted, expansive novel set at the intersection of the U.S. South, the American Southwest, Mexico, and Greater Latin America. In this course, we will examine 2666 as many things at once: crime novel, satire of academia, border narrative, systems novel, and most important of all, a striking example of the contemporary novel as global fiction. Bolaño’s novel belongs to an emerging genre that is interested in questions of what it means to write across borders. The U.S. South, in this context, is a site of conflict and overlap between northern and southern, center and margin, empire and colony. Read as a whole, the global novel becomes a tool for undoing the complacency of global citizenship—a way of forcing the reader to attend to the realities of the world’s violence and injustice.

Spring 2022

SST 556: Heritage Tourism
Wednesdays 1:00-3:30 p.m.
Jodi Skipper

The National Trust defines cultural heritage tourism as traveling to experience the cultural, historic, and natural resources that authentically represent the stories and people of the past and present. Within the above context, this course is a multidisciplinary seminar for students who wish to employ theoretical and practical approaches to examining the movements of heritage site tourists within southern regional spaces. Students will investigate how historic preservationists and other cultural resource managers establish, reinforce, and reconstruct southern identities through heritage sites and, more specifically, focus on cultural representations of the South and the impacts of these representations on the historical experiences of tourists. Theoretical frameworks for this course are grounded in the fields of public history, anthropology, American studies, and heritage studies. Practical approaches to the role of public education and interpretation at southern heritage sites are explored through issues in memory, race, class, gender, and authenticity. Topics for discussion include Native Americans and Tourism, Slavery and Tourism, Confederate Nostalgia and Tourism, Blues Tourism, and Civil Rights Era Tourism.

SST 105: The South and Food
Tuesday/Thursday 2:30-3:45 p.m.
Catarina Passidomo

SST 105 will explore southern culture, history, identity, and placemaking through the lens of foodways (that is, what people eat, how and where and with whom they eat, and what all of that means).  Because the study of foodways is highly interdisciplinary, students will read and consider works spanning several disciplines and methodological approaches.  In addition to weekly reading, students will listen to podcasts, read and listen to oral histories, and watch films.

SST 598: Studying Mississippi
Thursday 1:00-3:30 p.m.
Ted Ownby

Studying Mississippi: SST 598 will study Mississippi and its history by considering how people have studied Mississippi. Students will study primary texts about Mississippi, secondary scholarship about the study of Mississippi, institutions and programs from museums to organizations to markers and oral history projects. The class will study who studies Mississippi, what they study, how, why, and the multiple issues their work raises. Students will show an understanding of assigned readings, analyze a project that studied (or is studying) Mississippi topics, and write one or two entries for the online Mississippi Encyclopedia. Graduate students and advanced undergraduate students are welcome.

SST 106: Introduction to Southern Documentary
T/Th 1:00-2:15 p.m.
Andy Harper

This class broadly surveys the history of documentary filmmaking with a special emphasis on films set in the American South. Students will have the opportunity to watch, read about, and write on important documentary films, with an emphasis on historical and cultural relevance.

 

courses (fall 2021)

Courses listed below are offerings primarily available to undergraduate students, whether seeking general education credits, major/minor credits, or electives.

SST101: Introduction to Southern Studies
Tuesday/Thursday 11:00-12:15
Darren Grem 

This is an introductory, interdisciplinary course that examines life in the American South (wherever that is) from a variety of perspectives: historical, sociological, political, literary, and musical, among others.  As an introductory course, it focuses on two foundational subjects in southern studies: identity and culture.  Hence, we will be exploring various regional, racial, gender, and social class identities and examining the diverse peoples, places, and cultures considered “southern.”

SST103: Southern Mythologies and Popular Culture
Tuesday/Thursday 9:30-10:45
Adam Gussow

This course will introduce students to three familiar versions of the mythic South—the pastoral South, benighted South, and plantation South—that have shaped both native and outsider perceptions of the region for several centuries, exploring and critiquing them through a range of popular investments, including literature, music, theatrical performance, film, television, and music videos.

SST110: Slavery and the University 
Tuesday/Thursday 1:00-2:15
Jodi Skipper / Jeff Jackson 

This course analyzes how university histories intertwine with the history of slavery.  It uses the University of Mississippi as its primary site of research and inquiry, and it will examine the legacy of slavery at this and other universities.

SST401: Southern Studies Seminar
Monday 4:00-6:30 p.m.
Ted Ownby

An interdisciplinary seminar that examines the South through a close study of social groups, social structures, and social forces.  Particular focus of this seminar changes from term to term.

SST533: Fieldwork and Oral History 
Tuesday 9:00-11:30 
John Rash

This course provides a term-long analysis of fieldwork techniques and examination of the contemporary South through oral history.

SST536: The Southern Environment
Thursday 1:00-3:30
Andy Harper

This course examines the ways people have discussed the U.S. Southern environment in scholarship, literature, film, music, art, and other forms of expression.

SST538: Advanced Documentary Film (SST537 prerequisite)
Tuesday 1:00-3:00
Rex Jones

This course is a one-semester production workshop building on skills learned in SST537: Documenting the South in Film. Goals include developing advanced documentary practices and completing several assignments intended to illustrate these practices in Southern documentary filmmaking.

SST598: Special Topics — Photographing the American South
Wednesday 4:00-6:30
David Wharton

This course serves as an interdisciplinary study of specialized topics.  This term the focus is on photographing the American South.

SST 599: Special Topics — The Mississippi Delta: Exploring the South’s South
Tuesdays 4:00-6:30 p.m.
James G. Thomas, Jr.

Mississippi writer Richard Ford once proclaimed that “what the South is to the rest of the country, the Delta is to Mississippi. It’s the South’s South.” This course, “The Mississippi Delta: Exploring the South’s South,” will introduce students to this fabled yet complicated region through engagement with historical accounts, ethnographic fieldwork, memoir, fiction, photography, and documentary film. We will look at the Mississippi Delta through the lenses of slavery, the Jim Crow era, the civil rights movement, and the contemporary South as a way of placing it within the broader context of the state, the region, and the world. We will begin with a concentration of texts focused on the history of the place. We will then investigate race, ethnicity, and social class in the Delta, and we will complete the course with readings on the cultural expressions—such as the blues—that have come to define Mississippi’s most complex and often-mythologized region.

Additional course descriptions:

ENG776: “Southern Studies and/in the 21st Century”
Wednesdays 3:00-5:30
Dr. Katie McKee 

This course will ask questions about how and why we study “the South” in the 21st century, taking as its departure point Eddie Glaude’s observation that “the South has the answer to the American riddle.”  In the midst of a prolonged health crisis, a crisis in democratic governance, and a crisis centering the need for racial equity and inclusion in the United States, what does “the South” have to teach us and how can we justify studying a place and an idea that has historically nurtured much of our national disunion?  And how does “southern literature” operate or fail as a viable parameter of discussion within that context?