October 11, 2023 @ 4:00 pm – 5:00 pm

“Whiteness in Crisis?” presented by James M. Thomas

In The History of White People, historian Nell Painter wrote, “Being white these days isn’t what it used to be.” What, then, does it mean to be white today? Through in-depth interviews with white people living in the American South—a region where the nation’s color line has arguably been drawn brighter than anywhere else—this project examines how white people are making sense of both race and region in the 21st century. This event is cosponsored by the envisioned University of Mississippi Center for the Study of Race and Racism.

James M. Thomas (JT) is associate professor of sociology at the University of Mississippi, and coeditor of Sociology of Race and Ethnicity. He is the author or coauthor of five books, and over thirty peer-reviewed journal articles, book chapters, and invited essays on the causes and consequences of race and racism in America and abroad. His research has been funded by the American Sociological Association, the National Science Foundation, and the Russell Sage Foundation, and has been featured in popular media outlets like the New Yorker, the Washington Post, and Pacific Standard. Thomas is deeply dedicated to public scholarship, regularly writing for mainstream outlets like the Mississippi Free Press, serving on the boards of nonprofit organizations, and giving public lectures on race, racism, and inequality to academic and lay audiences alike.

This SouthTalk is cosponsored by the Department of Sociology and Anthropology.


SouthTalks is a series of events (including lectures, performances, film screenings, and panel discussions) that explores the interdisciplinary nature of Southern Studies. This series is free and open to the public, and typically takes place in the Tupelo Room of Barnard Observatory unless otherwise noted. Visit the Center’s website for current information about all Center events. During the 2023–24 academic year, the programming theme is “Creativity in the South.”