There are two opportunities to “Be in Barnard” this week. Starting at noon on Wednesday, Sept. 11 Carrie Barske Crawford and Brian Dempsey present “Hidden Spaces,” and at 4 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 12, Edmund T. Gordon and Celeste Henery  present “Exploring the Racial Geography of UT-Austin.” Both events will be held in the Tupelo Room of Barnard Observatory.

Carrie Barske Crawford

A collaboration between the University of North Alabama Public History Center, the Muscle Shoals National Heritage Area, and photographer Abraham Rowe, the photo-historical project “Hidden Spaces” identifies, displays, and interprets cultural landscapes, built environments, and natural features that highlight the inherent uniqueness and diversity of the greater Shoals region. This project uses oral histories, photography, archival documentation, and mapping to tell the story of important places not often associated with the weight of a site’s history. Carrie Barske Crawford received her doctorate in history from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, her MA in history/public history from Northeastern University, and her BA in history from Sewanee: The University of the South. As the director of the Muscle Shoals National Heritage Area, Crawford works on projects that aim to document the rich culture and history of northwest Alabama, as well as projects that protect natural resources and encourage the use of recreational facilities. In this role and as an affiliated faculty member in the UNA Department of History, Carrie also creates projects in partnership with community organizations that give UNA students professional experience in areas such as educational resource development, exhibit design, and historic preservation. She has authored numerous books and articles on the history of northwest Alabama.

Brian Dempsey

Brian Dempsey received his doctorate in public history at Middle Tennessee State University and his MA in history at James Madison University. His dissertation considered the historical development and modern use of blues music tourism in Mississippi. Since then he has worked as a university professor, a professional practitioner in the Nashville music industry, and as a strategic leader on the Wilson, Arkansas, town revitalization project. Originally from the Mississippi Delta, his work focuses on the relationship between landscape and cultural identity, the connections between the arts and historical interpretation, and the process of helping communities tell their stories. An assistant professor of history at University of North Alabama since 2017, Dempsey also serves as director of the UNA Public History Center.


Edmund T. Gordon and Celeste Henery “Exploring the Racial Geography of UT-Austin,” Thursday, Sept. 12 at 4 p.m.

Over the past twenty years, Edmund T. Gordon has researched and led a tour of the racial and gendered geography of the University of Texas at Austin’s campus. This talk will discuss the origins of the tour and its recent digitization. It also will address the university’s shifting representations in light of past and more recent changes in its commemorative landscape.

Edmund Gordon

Edmund T. Gordon is the University of Texas at Austin’s Vice Provost for Diversity and the founding chairman emeritus of the African and African Diaspora department. His teachingand research interests include culture and power in the African diaspora, gender studies, critical race theory, race education, and the racial economy of space and resources.

Celeste Henery is a cultural anthropologist working at the intersections of race, gender, and health. Henery currently works as a research associate in the Department of African and African Diaspora Studies at the University of Texas at Austin. Her writing on black life across the diaspora has been published in various academic journals and appears monthly in Black Perspectives.


Celeste Henery

SouthTalks explore the interdisciplinary nature of Southern studies and includes lectures, performances, film screenings and panel discussions. All events take place in the Tupelo Room of Barnard Observatory unless otherwise noted, and are free and open to the public.

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