Arch Dalrymple III Department of History

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Jessica Wilkerson Wins Article Prize

Posted on: September 13th, 2017 by atwitty

The Southern Association for Women Historians has awarded Jessica Wilkerson, Assistant Professor of History and Southern Studies, the 2017 A. Elizabeth Taylor Prize, which is given annually for the best article on women’s history published during the preceding calendar year.

Wilkerson’s winning article, “The Company Owns the Mine but They Don’t Own Us: Feminist Critiques of Capitalism in the Coalfields of Kentucky in the 1970s,” appeared in Gender & History last March. It examined women’s involvement in the Brookside Mine strike of 1974, which captivated US audiences and provided women with an unprecedented public platform to challenge the class and gender system undergirding coalfield capitalism. During the strike, Wilkerson shows, female kin of miners in Harlan County, Kentucky, started a club to support striking miners and their families and to organize picket lines and were joined by women from across the region and country.

With the strike as their foundation these women generated a women’s movement that revealed the specific ways class and gender inequality shaped their lives, defined by the heavy-duty care work characteristic of the coalfields. The Brookside women’s support of striking miners, Wilkerson demonstrates, was fundamentally about gendered class inequality: the denigration of working-class, female caregivers alongside the devaluing of men’s labour. Using collective memory and individual experience as their interpretive devices, her article reveals how the Brookside women forged a class-conscious feminism that exposed the traumas of coalfield capitalism, shone a light on women’s unpaid care work (one of the foundations of corporate capitalism), and destabilized the gender and class hierarchies that defined coalfield communities.

2017 Center for Civil War Research Conference to Take Place in September

Posted on: September 12th, 2017 by atwitty

The Center for Civil War Research and the Arch Dalrymple III Department of History present the eleventh annual Conference on the Civil War to be held September 29 and 30 in Oxford, Mississippi. The theme of this year’s conference is “Borders, Boundaries, and Lines in the Civil War” and will include work that explores both literal and figurative boundaries, including the experiences of border states, the boundaries between slavery and freedom, border patrols, racial boundaries, and battle lines.

The keynote address will be given by Dr. Christopher Phillips of the University of Cincinnati, author of The Rivers Ran Backward: The Civil War and the Remaking of the American Middle Border, which was the winner of the 2017 Tom Watson Brown Book Award. Phillips will speak on “Southern Cross, North Star: The Cultural Politics of Race and Irreconciliation on the Post-Civil War Middle Border” on Friday, September 29 at 6:30 p.m. in 107 Croft Institute. This event is free and open to the public.

The 2017 Wiley-Silver Prize for Best First Book in Civil War History will also be awarded at the conference.

A complete schedule of events will available soon at the Center for Civil War Research site.

Nicolas Trépanier awarded European Institutes for Advanced Study Fellowship

Posted on: September 7th, 2017 by atwitty

Nicolas Trépanier, associate professor in the University of Mississippi’s Arch Dalrymple III Department of History, has received a yearlong research fellowship at the Netherlands Institute for Advanced Study in Amsterdam for the 2017-2018 academic year.

Trépanier was awarded the European Institutes for Advanced Study fellowship, which brings together scholars in a variety of disciplines, ranging from neurology to art history and from journalism to philosophy. Their projects are not connected to one other, but the fellows are expected to interact.

The idea behind the EURIAS model is that creative thinkers will benefit from being exposed to other creative thinkers in fields that are unfamiliar to them.

Trépanier says he’s grateful to EURIAS for the opportunity to collaborate with such an esteemed group.

“Spending a year at NIAS will allow me to concentrate on that research on a full-time basis, so it’s likely to be very important in the advancement of my research career,” Trépanier said. “It will also allow me to work with a few archaeologists I know in the Netherlands, which is also a precious opportunity because historians in my field rarely engage in such collaborations.”

EURIAS’ fellowship program is part of the Network of European Institutes for Advanced Study, which brings together 22 institutes across Europe. Within the network, more than 500 researchers are hosted every year for up to one full academic year, with the goal of creating international and multidisciplinary learning communities.

Trépanier holds a doctorate in Middle Eastern studies and History from Harvard University. His first book, Foodways and Daily Life in Medieval Anatolia: A New Social History, explores the daily experiences of ordinary folk through the various parts that food played in their lives: from agricultural production to religious fasting and from commercial exchanges to meal schedules.

The fellowship will give him a chance to work on a second book, also focused on Anatolia, in medieval Turkey. This work explores the idea of landscapes, how people living at that time perceived the territory around them and what were the differences in perception between travelers, political elites, peasants and others.

Trépanier is an exceptional scholar and teacher whose theoretical innovation and productivity in research places him within the top tier of an already accomplished University of Mississippi faculty, said Noell Wilson, interim chair and associate professor of history and international studies.

“His cross-disciplinary study of landscape in medieval Anatolia engages projects of colleagues not only within his home discipline of history, but in archaeology and the broader digital humanities,” Wilson said. “We are thrilled to see international recognition for his work beyond the U.S. academy, and the broader department will benefit from Professor Trépanier’s role as an intellectual bridge between Oxford and European scholars.”

Native American Scholar David Nichols to Lecture on Chickasaw Nation

Posted on: August 28th, 2017 by atwitty

David Nichols, Professor of History at Indiana State University, will give a talk entitled “Between a Dollar and a Pistaroon: Currency, Commensurability, and Conspicuous Consumption in the Chickasaw Nation” on Wednesday, September 13 at 5:30 pm in 515 Lamar Hall.

Professor Nichols received his bachelor’s degree from Harvard University and his Master’s and Doctoral degrees from the University of Kentucky. He joined the faculty at Indiana State University in 2004 and became an associate professor in 2010.

His specialty is early America, with a particular interest in Native American history during the Revolutionary and early national era. He is the author of Red Gentlemen & White Savages: Indians, Federalists, and the Search for Order on the Early American Frontier (University of Virginia Press, 2008), and Engines of Diplomacy: Indian Trading Factories and the Negotiation of American Empire (University of North Carolina Press, 2016). He is currently working on a short history of the Great Lakes Indians and a study of economic change among the Chickasaws.

Phi Beta Kappa Visting Scholar Judith Carney to Speak

Posted on: August 28th, 2017 by atwitty

Judith Carney, Professor of Geography at the University of California, Los Angeles, will speak on “Seeds of Memory: Food Legacies of the Transatlantic Slave Trade” as the Phi Beta Kappa Visiting Scholar on Thursday, September 14 at 5:30 pm in the Tupelo Room inside Barnard Observatory.

Few Americans identify slavery with the cultivation of rice. Yet rice was a major plantation crop during the first centuries of settlement in the Americas. By the middle of the eighteenth century, rice plantations in South Carolina, and the enslaved Africans who worked them, had created one of the world’s most profitable economies. A longstanding question in American historiography is how rice, a crop introduced to the Americas, came to be cultivated in plantation societies. This lecture discusses the provenance of rice and its cultural antecedents in the Americas. It establishes, through agricultural and historical evidence, the independent domestication of rice in West Africa and the crop’s vital significance there for a millennium before Europeans arrived and the transatlantic slave trade began. This rice accompanied enslaved Africans throughout the New World, including Southern colonies, Brazil, and the Caribbean. Slaves from the West African rice region established rice as a food crop and provided the critical knowledge that enabled its cultivation. A comparative analysis of land use, methods of cultivation, processing and cooking traditions on both sides of the Atlantic during the plantation era help fill in the historical record. Recent genetics research and findings of African rice in botanical collections and among contemporary maroon societies of Suriname lend support for the African lineaments of rice culture in the Americas.

Carney’s research centers on African ecology and development, food security, gender and agrarian change, and African contributions to New World environmental history. She is the author of Black Rice: The African Origins of Rice Cultivation in the Americas and In the Shadow of Slavery: Africa’s Botanical Legacy in the Atlantic World.

Rhonda Williams to Give 2017 Gilder-Jordan Lecture

Posted on: August 27th, 2017 by krsims

Dr. Rhonda Y. Williams of Vanderbilt University will deliver the 2017 Gilder-Jordan Lecture in Southern Cultural History, “Concrete Demands: The Search for Black Power, Then and Now” on Wednesday, September 6, 2017 at 7 p.m. in Nutt Auditorium.

Dr. Williams is a professor of history, the founder and director of the Social Justice Institute, and the inaugural John L. Siegenthaler Chair in American History at Vanderbilt University. The author of Concrete Demands: The Search for Black Power in the 20th Century (2015) and the award-winning The Politics of Public Housing: Black Women’s Struggles against Urban Inequality (2005)Williams has been honored by History News Network as a Top Young Historian; the Organization of American Historians as a Distinguished Lecturer; and is listed in the 2009 and 2015 editions of Who’s Who in Black Cleveland. Williams is a recipient of an American Association of University Women Postdoctoral Fellowship and a former Harvard University W.E.B. Du Bois Institute Fellow. She is the co-editor of the recently launched book series, Justice, Power, and Politics, with the University of North Carolina Press and co-editor of Teaching the American Civil Rights Movement.

Her publications include articles on black power politics, the war on poverty, low-income black women’s grassroots organizing, and urban and housing policy. Her research interests include the manifestations of race and gender inequality on urban space and policy, social movements, and illicit narcotics economies in the post-1940s United States.

Williams received her PhD in history from the University of Pennsylvania in 1998 and her undergraduate degree in journalism from the University of Maryland College Park in 1989, where she became that university’s first black salutatorian in its then 187-year history.

Williams, also known as “Dr. Rhonda,” also has been engaged in local community efforts, including on police and criminal justice reform as a member of the Collaborative for a Safe, Fair, and Just Cleveland, and the “Cleveland 8.” She has appeared on MSNBC and Democracy Now! Currently, she is serving as a Commissioner on the Cleveland Community Police Commission, which was empaneled in September 2015. She is a Baltimore native.

Organized through the Center for the Study of Southern Culture, the African American Studies Program, Center for Civil War Research, and the Department of History, the Gilder-Jordan Speaker Series is made possible through the generosity of the Gilder Foundation, Inc.  The series honors Richard Gilder of New York and his family, as well as his friends, Dan and Lou Jordan of Virginia. Contact Becca Walton at rwalton@olemiss.edu if you have any questions about the lecture.

UM History Faculty Welcomes Alexandra Lindgren-Gibson

Posted on: August 25th, 2017 by atwitty

The Arch Dalrymple III Department of History is thrilled to announce that Alexandra Lindgren-Gibson has joined our faculty as an Assistant Professor specializing in modern Britain.

Professor Lindgren-Gibson received her BA from Lawrence University, her MA in History with a specialization in Public History from Arizona State University, and her PhD from Northwestern University. Her research interests are located at the intersection of histories of the British colonial world, class formation, family history, and the histories of race, gender, and sexuality.

Her book project, Working-Class Raj: Making a British Imperial Nonelite, rethinks the history of British class formation through an imperial lens by bringing together two major themes in British history: class and empire. Drawing on the writings and records of British nonelites, Working-Class Raj sheds light on the entangled experiences of class, race, and private life in Victorian India and Britain.

Professor Lindgren-Gibson’s work has been published in the Journal of Colonialism and Colonial History and supported by the Charlotte W. Newcombe Foundation, the International Association for the Study of Sexuality, Culture, and Society, and Northwestern University’s Chabraja Center for Historical Research.

Professor Lindgren-Gibson has previously taught courses on the history of modern Europe, the British Empire, gender and sexuality in Victorian Britain and in empire, and the history of shopping. This fall she is teaching HST 121: Intro to European History since 1648 and HST 339: British Empire and Commonwealth.

Susan Gaunt Stearns Joins the UM History Faculty

Posted on: August 23rd, 2017 by atwitty

The Arch Dalrymple III Department of History is delighted to welcome Susan Gaunt Stearns to Oxford. Professor Stearns was hired as an Assistant Professor of History with a focus on Revolutionary America in the Spring of 2016 and joins us this fall after completing her term as a Jack Miller Center Postdoctoral Teaching and Research Scholar at Northwestern University.

Professor Stearns holds a bachelor’s degree from Yale University, a Master’s in Teaching from the University of Louisville, and a doctorate from the University of Chicago. Her work focuses on how various areas of economic activity, particularly land purchases and land speculation, influenced the ideologies and politics that shaped the nation in its first few decades of the early Republic.

In particular, Professor Stearns examines how the trans-Appalachian west — the region encompassing the Ohio and Mississippi River Valleys, came to be incorporated into the American union in the 1780s and 1790s. Drawing on research conducted in ten states and on two continents, she argues that it was the development of trade connections that helped to develop a shared conception of national interests that united the trans-Appalachian west to the rest of the union. Her works focuses in particular on the period from 1784 until 1803 when Spain (and later France) the Gulf South and large parts of the Mississippi River — the primary trading outlet available to migrating western settlers. When Spain closed the Mississippi to American trade, it touched off an economic crisis in the trans-Appalachian west that forced an explicit evaluation the region’s relationship with the rest of the union.

During the fall semester, Professor Stearns is teaching two undergraduate courses, an honors section of HST 130: Intro to US History to 1877 and HST 401: Colonial America, 1607-1763.

Graduate Student Receives NEH Summer Award

Posted on: June 23rd, 2017 by krsims

A doctoral student in history at the University of Mississippi is among two graduate students nationally studying at a prestigious institute this summer in Washington, D.C.

Justin I. Rogers of Hurdle Mills, North Carolina, is exploring how Presbyterian missionaries influenced Native Americans in the Mid-South. He is attending “On Native Grounds: Studies of Native American Histories and the Land,” a three-week institute funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities and co-sponsored by the Community College Humanities Association and the John W. Kluge Center at the Library of Congress.

Twenty-two faculty, including the two graduate students, from across the nation and from diverse humanities disciplines are working to enhance their teaching and research through the residency at the Library of Congress.

“I felt honored to be selected as one of two graduate students from across the nation and across humanities disciplines for this institute, and I was eager to take full advantage of the opportunities it presented to me,” Rogers said. “The most personally and professionally rewarding aspect of the summer institute has been daily seminars in the historic Library of Congress spent discussing Native American history and studies scholarship with peers and visiting faculty from across the humanities and social sciences.”

Ten visiting scholars in the field of Native American ethnohistory are sharing their groundbreaking research concerning Native American issues of land, sovereignty, culture and identity. Summer fellows have access to all collections.

Rogers’ research analyzes Presbyterian missions to Chickasaw Indians in northern Mississippi, southwestern Tennessee and northwestern Alabama. He also examines how elite Chickasaws and Euro-Americans helped to encode racial distinctions into court precedent and Mississippi law that reinforced associations of blackness with enslavement and whiteness with property holding during the 1820s and 1830s.

“Through the seminar discussions, I have been reminded about the importance of studying Native Americans, African-Americans, white Americans and race in the South, which I plan to do in my dissertation,” he said.

The institute’s emphasis on in-person access to resources allows Rogers to augment his existing source base with first editions of travelers’ accounts, church records and mission reports, as well as artifacts and manuscripts that pertain to the Chickasaw people in 19th-century Mississippi. Rogers said his seminar experience will both advance his scholarship and improve his classroom teaching.

Rogers, who earned his bachelor’s degree in history and political science from North Carolina State University, said that the courses he has taught at Ole Miss, as well as those he has developed for the future, focus on indigenous people’s experiences and perspectives and how they transform wider narratives of United States history.

One new course Rogers has developed will contextualize the historical experiences of Native Americans alongside changing notions of race, nation, culture and religion.

“I tend to emphasize the local histories of the Native American groups who inhabited and once inhabited Mississippi, Alabama and Tennessee,” he said. “The institute’s kaleidoscopic regional range, however, will allow me to more fully incorporate issues of land, sovereignty, culture and identity in the Great Lakes, the Southwest and the Pacific Northwest.”

UM administrators and faculty said Rogers’ selection for the summer institute is well-deserved.

“A ferocious work ethic combined with a fantastic topic and elegant writing paved the way for Justin’s success in applying for prestigious research fellowships at the national level,” said Elizabeth Payne, UM professor of history. “In addition, he organized a panel session at the Southern Historical Association and presented a paper at the Society for Historians of Early American History about his research.

“Because of his work with these organizations, historians across the country know about and appreciate his work on north Mississippi as a tri-racial society.”

For more information about UM’s Department of History, visit http://history.olemiss.edu/. For more information about the NEH Summer Seminar Program, go to http://nativegrounds2017.com/.

Interim Chair and Croft Professor Receives Fulbright U.S. Scholar Award

Posted on: June 23rd, 2017 by krsims

OXFORD, Miss. — Noell Wilson, University of Mississippi interim chair of the Arch Dalrymple III Department of History and cross Croft Associate Professor of History and International Studies, is headed to Japan to on a Fulbright U.S. Scholar Award to work on a book on American whalers in the North Pacific in the 1800s.

Wilson will travel to Sapporo for the 2017-2018 academic year and there where she will be affiliated with Hokkaido University. She will be completing archival work on a book about the experience of American whalers in Asia in the 1850s and 1860s, provisionally which will be titled “The Birth of a Pacific Nation: Hokkaido and U.S. Whalers in Nineteenth Century Japan.” Wilson said the award is immensely important to her because it will allow her to do the complete archival research, but also to find Japanese collaborators for a public history project she will develop with curators of the New Bedford Whaling Museum in New Bedford, Massachusetts.

“While in Japan, my goal is to finish collecting manuscript documents and maps related to the US whaling industry’s interactions with Japanese officials, merchants and sailors in the 1850s and 1860s to add an overlooked chapter to the early history of United States-Japan relations,” Wilson said.

Wilson is one of over 800 U.S. citizens who will teach, conduct research, and or provide expertise abroad for the 2017-2018 academic year through the Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program. Recipients are selected on the basis of academic and professional achievement as well as record of service and demonstrated leadership in their respective fields. The program is the flagship international educational exchange program sponsored by the U.S. government and is designed to build lasting connections between the people of the United States and the larger world. It is funded through an annual appropriation made by the U.S. Congress to the U.S. Department of State.

The program was created in 1946 through legislation offered by the late U.S. Sen. J. William Fulbright, D-Ark., and it has given more than 370,000 students, scholars, teachers, artists, and scientists the opportunity to study, teach and conduct research, exchange ideas, and contribute to finding solutions to shared international concerns. Its alumni include 57 who have been awarded the Nobel Prize, 82 who have received Pulitzer Prizes and 37 who have served as a head of state or government.

After earning a bachelor’s degree in history from Wake Forest University in 1994, Wilson spent a year with the Japanese Exchange and Teaching program in Hokkaido, Japan before returning to complete an master’s degree in regional studies/East Asia in 1997 and a Ph.D. in History and East Asian Languages in 2004, both at Harvard University. Her first book, “Defensive Positions: The Politics of Maritime Security in Tokugawa Japan,” published in 2015, focused on the influence of coastal defense on early modern state formation.

Jeff Watt, who will become the Arch Dalrymple III History Department acting chair July 1 while Wilson is away, said Wilson is no mere ivory tower scholar as her interest in long-distance sailing is not purely academic. She and her husband, Gary, are planning to retrace the route of the American whalers by sailing a 40 footer from New Bedford to Hakodate, Japan.

Wilson is a star among other historians of early modern Japan, he said. Her first book, which dealt with the politics of maritime security during the Tokugawa regime dynasty, was highly innovative and very well received, but her second project looks to be even more cutting edge, Wyatt said.

“Delving into both American and Japanese sources, she is researching the influence of nineteenth-century American whalers on the transformation of Japan into a Pacific nation, a major maritime power that became more focused on the vast open sea rather than on Asia,” Watt said. “Professor Wilson is the rare complete package: a brilliant scholar, motivating teacher, and exemplary citizen to the College of Liberal Arts and the University of Mississippi.”