As of this summer, if you don’t want to lug around the nine-pound Mississippi Encyclopedia, just grab your laptop and the wonders of the state are at your fingertips. Soon there will be an online version of the 1,451-page Mississippi Encyclopedia, a project that began at the Center for the Study of Southern Culture in 2003 and concluded with publication in 2017.
John Rash of the Southern Documentary Project has a new short film called Nomad Chapter, which profiles Diarra Leggett, owner of Boomerang Bookshop: Nomad Chapter, a North Carolina-based bookmobile. View it on the Center’s documentary media site Mississippi Stories, whose Mississippi-based storytellers tell the stories of people and communities around the globe.
The Mississippi Institute of Arts and Letters has awarded Center publication The Mississippi Encyclopedia its 2018 Special Achievement Award, and John T. Edge, Director of the Southern Foodways Alliance, has received the MIAL Nonfiction award for his book The Potlikker Papers: A Food History of the Modern South.
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.
This interview by Scott Barretta originally appeared in the Fall 2017 Southern Register.
Adam Gussow is an associate professor of English and southern studies at the University of Mississippi whose latest book is Beyond the Crossroads: The Devil in the Blues Tradition (University Press of North Carolina), a survey that occupied seven years of research. Gussow has also grappled extensively with the devil in his parallel career as a professional blues musician—for over thirty years he’s recorded and toured internationally with Sterling “Mr. Satan” Magee, a relationship he addressed in his memoir Mr. Satan’s Apprentice.