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.
The Center, working with the University Press of Mississippi, independent booksellers, and cultural and academic institutions throughout the state, has planned a number of events celebrating the publication of The Mississippi Encyclopedia for the summer and fall of 2017. Each event will include talks by speakers like Encyclopedia senior editors Ted Ownby and Charles Reagan Wilson, subject editors, and scholar-contributors to the volume. We’ll announce who will speak at each event soon.
Work on a Center project that began in 2003 is at long last winding up. The Mississippi Encyclopedia—a mammoth collaboration that includes over 1,600 entries, 1,451 pages, and features more than 700 scholars who wrote entries on every county, every governor, and numerous musicians, writers, artists, and activists—will be in print and for sale this May. This is the first encyclopedic treatment of the state since 1907.