Scholars researching the history of the South now have an opportunity for funded research in the collections of the Department of Archives and Special Collections at the J. D. Williams Library at the University of Mississippi. The Study the South research fellowship, sponsored by the Center for the Study of Southern Culture and the Department of Archives and Special Collections, will provide funding of $1,500 to one qualified scholar, who will also have access to a carrel in the library.
Music from the American South has made an indisputable impact on culture and politics in the U.S. and around the world, and an upcoming symposium at the University of Mississippi will examine the South’s most prominent and influential musical voices.
The Southern Music Symposium will address questions such as how musicians are creating “Southern” in their sounds and speaking to broader matters of national and international importance, and in what ways they build on the sounds of the past or provide the soundtrack for our common and divided present.
We like to occasionally post syllabi from Southern Studies courses, like Dr. Brian Foster’s SST 102: The Southern Protest Mixtape and Dr. Darren Grem’s course on southern music history. Today we share Dr. Jessie Wilkerson’s SST 560: Introduction to Oral History, which has as its theme “Documenting LGBTQ Histories in Mississippi.”
Southern Studies Spring Brown Bag Lectures Announced Discussions span range of topics from food and culture to sexuality and preserving slave buildings The Brown Bag Lunch and Lecture Series sponsored by the Center for the Study of Southern Culture continues this spring at the University of Mississippi with topics including Mississippi history, New Orleans food movements and environmentalism.… Read More >
The blues—as a palette of intense, often contradictory feelings; a range of social conditions heavily inflected by blackness and southernness; an expressive form encompassing literature as well as music; and a philosophical orientation towards experience—are a more complex cultural phenomenon than some realize. This essay unpacks the latter two concepts: blues expressiveness and the blues ethos. Blues expressiveness is constituted by a range of cultural practices, including the AAB stanza, call and response procedure, vocalizations, blues-idiomatic language, and signifying. The blues ethos, too, offers multiple strategies for surviving bad times by refusing to reify the down-ness of the present moment as an inescapable condition, sometimes with the help of harsh, redemptive laughter. In this essay, Adam Gussow draws on a range of lyric, literary, and folkloristic commentary by Langston Hughes, Cornell West, Bessie Smith, Howard Odum, Kalamu ya Salaam, W. C. Handy, Angela Y. Davis, Lonnie Johnson, and many others. The essay also takes an autobiographical turn as Gussow mines his own bandstand and classroom experience with Mississippi-born blues performers Sterling “Mr. Satan” Magee and Bill “Howl-N-Madd” Perry to illustrate the blues ethos in action.
SouthDocs Film Exploring Mississippi State Flag Now Available to View Online The Southern Documentary Project has made available online their 2017 film Flag Flap Over Mississippi following screenings in Oxford, Jackson, and broadcast on Mississippi Public Broadcasting. Flag Flap, by filmmaker Rex Jones, includes interviews with Mississippians who discuss the state’s continued use of a flag which… Read More >
SOUTHERN MUSIC SYMPOSIUM · FEBRUARY 26 CALL FOR PROPOSALS FOR UM STUDENTS We invite University of Mississippi students to submit papers or completed documentary work for public presentation and discussion at the February 26 Symposium. Subjects can concern how southern music has shaped or related to place, race, gender, class, locality, environment, globalization, consumerism, and/or politics.… Read More >