SHAKE ‘EM ON DOWN Part of Southern Circuit Film Tour

Shake ‘Em on Down: The Blues According to Fred McDowell, a SouthDocs film by Joe York and Scott Barretta, was selected to be part of the South Arts Southern Circuit, which screens films across the region. The circuit just kicked off, and Joe will be attending many of the screenings.

Brian Foster’s SST 102: The Southern Protest Mixtape

Brian Foster, Assistant Professor of Sociology and Southern Studies, is teaching Honors Southern Studies 102 this semester. The interdisciplinary course is structured as an examination of southern protest culture, and organized like a mixtape. See excerpts from his syllabus below. This is part of an occasional series in which we share syllabi from Southern Studies courses.

October/November Issue of LIVING BLUES Out Now

The October/November 2016 issue of Living Blues features the griot of the blues Taj Mahal on the cover. At age 74 Taj Mahal is one of the biggest stars in the blues today. His musical and cultural knowledge is vast and his desire to share this lifetime of knowledge is his enduring legacy.

A Q&A with Brian Foster, New SST and Sociology Faculty Member

Brian Foster knows his way around the University of Mississippi. In fact, he won the Center’s Peter Aschoff Award for the best paper on Southern music in 2011 with his BA Honors thesis, “Crank Dat Soulja Boy: Understanding Black Male Hip-Hop Aspirations in Rural Mississippi.” This fall, the Center for the Study of Southern Culture and the Department of Sociology and Anthropology welcome him back as a new assistant professor of sociology and Southern Studies. Foster returns to the university from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where he earned his MA and began his PhD work. Prior to entering UNC-Chapel Hill Foster earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of Mississippi.

Brown Bag Lecture Series Analyzes Songs Sept. 28

Brown Bag Lecture Series Analyzes Songs Sept. 28 The Brown Bag Lunch and Lecture Series continues Wednesday, Sept. 28 with three faculty members who offer 10-minute analyses of individual songs of their choice. The format is an experiment to see what scholars can accomplish in a short time. Presenters, who will announce their songs as… Read More >

Southern Hip-Hop Week: Day 3 – Hip-Hop and Rap from the NESC

Beginning in the late 1980s, southern hip-hop and rap effectively trumped contemporary R&B as the foremost popular urban music trend. A regional response to the then-burgeoning East and West Coast hip-hop scenes, purveyors of southern rap simultaneously surfaced in cities ranging from Atlanta and Miami to New Orleans, Memphis, and Houston. Although many older music fans downplay the significance and artistic credibility of the genre, southern rap—created by an MC, or rapper, and a DJ, or producer—has emerged as a primary motivator in the youth market, influencing fashion, language, the mass media, and other facets of commercial and popular culture. Similarly, southern rap artists have become avatars of pop culture in their own right, receiving consistent radio airplay, crossing over to film and television roles, and emerging as popular personalities in the marketing and advertising fields.

Southern Hip-Hop Week: Day 2 – Brian Foster on Rap-centered Aspirations

Up today, an academic article by new Southern Studies faculty member Brian Foster. His article “Everybody Gotta Have a Dream”: Rap-centered Aspirations among Young Black Males Involved in Rap Music Production – A Qualitative Study” was published in 2014 in Issues in Race and Ethnicity: An Interdisciplinary Global Journal.

Southern Hip Hop Week: Day 1 – Crunk and Hip-Hop Culture in the NESC

In honor of our Friday conversation and concert with Marco Pavé and Alfred Banks, we’re going to share some articles by scholars who do work on hip hop. Up first, Zandria Robinson’s entry on “Crunk and Hip-Hop” for the Music volume of the New Encyclopedia of Southern Culture, published in 2008. Robinson is Assistant Professor of Sociology at Rhodes College. Author of This Ain’t Chicago: Race, Class, and Regional Identity in the Post-Soul South, she was a professor of Southern Studies and Sociology at the Center from 2009 to 2012.