Arch Dalrymple III Department of History

University of Mississippi

Archive for the ‘News and Events’ Category

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 For more information about the NEH Summer Seminar Program, go to

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.”


Dalrymple Digest Newsletter

Posted on: June 23rd, 2017 by krsims

Inaugural issue of the Dalrymple Digest (June 2016-May 2017)

The newsletter was launched to celebrated the achievements of the graduate students of the Arch Dalrymple III Department of History over the past academic year.

Darren Grem’s Co-Edited Collection of Essays Released

Posted on: May 22nd, 2017 by krsims

The Business Turn in American Religious History

Oxford University Press, 2017

Edited by Amanda Porterfield, Darren Grem, and John Corrigan, The Business Turn in American Religious History, presents a holistic treatment of the influence of American business practice on religion.

Business has received little attention in American religious history, although it has profound implications for understanding the sustained popularity and ongoing transformation of religion in the United States. This volume offers a wide ranging exploration of the business aspects of American religious organizations. The authors analyze the financing, production, marketing, and distribution of religious goods and services and the role of wealth and economic organization in sustaining and even shaping worship, charity, philanthropy, institutional growth, and missionary work. Treating religion and business holistically, their essays show that American religious life has always been informed by business practices. Laying the groundwork for further investigation, the authors show how American business has functioned as a domain for achieving religious goals. Indeed they find that religion has historically been more powerful when interwoven with business.

Chapters on Mormon enterprise, Jewish philanthropy, Hindu gurus, Native American casinos, and the wedding of business wealth to conservative Catholic social teaching demonstrate the range of new studies stimulated by the business turn in American religious history. Other chapters show how evangelicals joined neo-liberal economic practice and right-wing politics to religious fundamentalism to consolidate wealth and power, and how they developed marketing campaigns and organizational strategies that transformed the American religious landscape. Included are essays exposing the moral compromises religious organizations have made to succeed as centers of wealth and influence, and the religious beliefs that rationalize and justify these compromises. Still others examine the application of business practices as a means of sustaining religious institutions and expanding their reach, and look at controversies over business practices within religious organizations, and the adjustments such organizations have made in response. Together, the essays collected here offer new ways of conceptualizing the interdependence of religion and business in the United States, establishing multiple paths for further study of their intertwined historical development.

History Professor Awarded Prestigious NEH Fellowship

Posted on: February 15th, 2017 by pjstewar

Jarod Roll, associate professor of history at the University of Mississippi, has been awarded a coveted fellowship by the National Endowment for the Humanities.

The yearlong fellowship allows scholars in the humanities to focus solely on their research or writing. Of the 1,298 scholars who applied for the 2017 fellowship, only 86 – less than 7 percent – were chosen for the award. Roll, a highly regarded historian of modern America with a focus on labor in U.S. history, joined the faculty in the Arch Dalrymple III Department of History in 2014.

He plans to use his fellowship, which begins in August, to complete a book project, tentatively titled “American Metal Miners and the Lure of Capitalism 1850-1950.” Roll is exploring the history of the white working-class anti-unionism and conservatism movements in the Tri-State Mining District of Kansas, Missouri and Oklahoma, a region that was national leader in the production of zinc and lead.

“Unlike miners elsewhere in the United States, the Tri-State miners resisted unionization and government reforms for over a century,” he said. “I am particularly interested in how their ideas about capitalism, as well as ethnicity and gender, influenced these views.

“Scholars in my field of labor history have not given much attention to workers who opposed unions, particularly over an extended period. My research fills that gap. It’s important, I think, to understand that white working-class conservatism is not a recent development, as some commentators would have it, but rather a subject with a deep history that we can trace back into the middle of the 19th century.”

“We are very proud of Dr. Roll’s achievement and what it represents for the university’s legacy of academic excellence,” Chancellor Jeffrey Vitter said. “This fellowship is one of the most coveted and competitive awards in the humanities, and Dr. Roll’s selection by the NEH is further evidence of his standing as one of the top humanities researchers in the country.”

The honor also is important because of the role humanities play in understanding and applying arts and sciences in today’s world, said Lee Cohen, dean of the UM College of Liberal Arts.

“Research in the humanities helps us not only to contextualize development in the sciences, innovations in technology and advances in medicine, it offers us an opportunity to recognize that the work being done on campus by our faculty has a broad reach, beyond the laboratory, beyond the studies and beyond the classroom,” Cohen said.

“This work influences how we understand ourselves in very real, very tangible ways that impact our everyday lives. Dr. Roll being chosen for this well-regarded NEH fellowship indicates that his work is being recognized at the highest level, which is consistent with an R1 institution.”

Created in 1965 as an independent federal agency, the National Endowment for the Humanities supports research and learning in history, literature, philosophy and other areas of the humanities by funding selected peer-reviewed proposals from around the nation.

“NEH provides support for projects across America that preserve our heritage, promote scholarly discoveries and make the best of America’s humanities ideas available to all Americans,” said William D. Adams, NEH chairman. “We are proud to announce this latest group of grantees who, through their projects and research, will bring valuable lessons of history and culture to Americans.”

Roll has previously authored two books “Spirit of Rebellion: Labor and Religion in the New Cotton South” (University of Illinois Press, 2010) and “The Gospel of the Working Class: Labor’s Southern Prophets in New Deal America” (University of Illinois Press, 2011).

Professor Anne Twitty’s New Book

Posted on: December 4th, 2016 by atwitty

Before Dred Scott: Slavery and Legal Culture in the American Confluence, 1787-1857

Cambridge University Press, 2016


In her new book, Anne Twitty, associate professor of history, draws on a largely untapped collection of freedom suits filed in the St. Louis Circuit Court to construct a groundbreaking history of slavery and legal culture within the American Confluence, a vast region where three of America’s greatest waterways–the Ohio, the Mississippi, and the Missouri–converge.

Twitty persuasively demonstrate that although the American Confluence was formally divided between slave and free territories and states, it was nevertheless a site where the borders between slavery and freedom, like the borders within the region itself, were fluid. Such ambiguity, she argues, produced a radical indeterminacy of status, which, in turn, gave rise to a distinctive legal culture made manifest by the prosecution of hundreds of freedom suits, including the case that ultimately culminated in the landmark United States Supreme Court decision in Dred Scott v. Sandford. Challenging dominant trends in legal history, which have claimed that average Americans engaged with the law from a position of hostility, ignorance, or indifference, Before Dred Scott argues that the distinctive legal culture of the American Confluence, above all, was defined by ordinary people’s remarkable understanding of formal law and their willingness to employ it to suit their own ends.

Professor Mikaëla Adams’s New Book

Posted on: December 2nd, 2016 by atwitty

Who Belongs? Race, Resources, and Tribal Citizenship in the Native South

Oxford University Press, 2016

adamsWho can lay claim to a legally-recognized Indian identity? Who decides whether or not an individual qualifies? The right to determine tribal citizenship is fundamental to tribal sovereignty, but deciding who belongs has a complicated history, especially in the South.

Indians who remained in the South following removal became a marginalized and anomalous people in an emerging biracial world. Despite the economic hardships and assimilationist pressures they faced, they insisted on their political identity as citizens of tribal nations and rejected Euro-American efforts to reduce them to another racial minority, especially in the face of Jim Crow segregation. Drawing upon their cultural traditions, kinship patterns, and evolving needs to protect their land, resources, and identity from outsiders, southern Indians constructed tribally-specific citizenship criteria, in part by manipulating racial categories – like blood quantum – that were not traditional elements of indigenous cultures. Mikaëla M. Adams, assistant professor of history, investigates how six southern tribes-the Pamunkey Indian Tribe of Virginia, the Catawba Indian Nation of South Carolina, the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians, the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians of North Carolina, the Seminole Tribe of Florida, and the Miccosukee Tribe of Indians of Florida-decided who belonged. By focusing on the rights and resources at stake, the effects of state and federal recognition, the influence of kinship systems and racial ideologies, and the process of creating official tribal rolls, Adams reveals how Indians established legal identities.

Through examining the nineteenth and twentieth century histories of these Southern tribes, Who Belongs? quashes the notion of an essential “Indian” and showcases the constantly-evolving process of defining tribal citizenship.

42nd Annual Porter Fortune, Jr., Symposium and 10th UM Conference on the Civil War

Posted on: October 5th, 2016 by pjstewar


Please join us for the 42nd Annual Porter Fortune, Jr. Symposium, A Just and Lasting Peace. Panels will take place at the Yerby Conference Center from 8:30-5:30, Friday and Saturday, October 7-8, 2016. The Keynote speaker will be Heather Cox Richardson, from Boston College. All events are free and open to the public. For more information contact the Arch Dalrymple III Department of History at 662.915.7148 or via email,