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Department of History
University of Mississippi

Previous Porter L. Fortune, Jr. History Symposiums

The 2019 Porter Fortune History Symposium: “The Construction of Racial Slavery in the Atlantic World
The 2018 Fortune Symposium examined the emergence of racially defined slavery in the Atlantic World and how it was challenged from the Age of Exploration through the Napoleonic Wars.  16 speakers addressed the variety of racially constructed systems of chattel bondage created by different European imperial powers in the Americas, along with the ways in which challenges to these constructions both threatened and reinforced regimes of racial slavery.

An important goal of this symposium was a much-needed reevaluation of the historiography dating to the 1950s, which began the discussion of the significance of the events of August 20, 1619 with a micro-analysis of racial slavery’s emergence in seventeenth century Virginia.  By contrast, our conference will take a much broader chronological and geographical scope, reflecting how scholarship on this topic has moved far beyond the confines of early colonial Virginia alone.

Organized by: Paul Polgar and Marc Lerner

Participants: John N. Blanton, Sherwin K. Bryant, Erika Edwards, Rebecca Anne Goetz, John Garrigus, Rana A. Hogarth, Chloe Breton, Allison Mader, Tessa Murphy, Hayley Negrin, Edward B. Rygemer, Brett Rushforth, Casey Schmitt, Jenny Shaw, James Sidbury

The 2018 Porter Fortune History Symposium: “Organizing Agribusiness from Farm to Factory: Toward a New History of America’s Most Ambitious Labor Union”
The 2018 Fortune Symposium examined the history of the United Cannery, Agricultural, Packing, and Allied Workers of America (UCAPAWA), an industrial union affiliated with the Congress of Industrial Organizations. Influenced by the nascent industrial union and Popular Front movements of the 1930s, their vision was expansive: they sought to organize the agricultural commodity industry from the fields to the processing factories across the United States. In a time of immigration restriction, structural white supremacy, and masculinist state policy, UCAPAWA organizers reached out to diverse groups of female and male workers, including African Americans, Hispanics, Asian Americans, and native-born and ethnic whites, many of them excluded from the protections of New Deal labor law. These groups pioneered a form of “civil rights unionism” that not only pressed for better wages and conditions on farms and in factories, but also articulated an anti-fascist culture and working-class politics in the face of rampant race and gender discrimination. UCAPAWA’s effort required a reach—geographical, occupational, legal, and cultural—that no union had attempted before.

Organized by: Jarod Roll and Jessica Wilkerson

Participants: Vicki Ruiz, Robert Korstad, Lane Windham, Dorothy Fujita-Rony, Dan Sidorick, Sarah McNamara, Erik Gellman, Charles Romney, John Weber, Michael Pierce, Max Krochmal, Jarod Roll, Sean Crotty, Steve Striffler, and Brandon Proia

The 2016 Porter Fortune History Symposium: “Cold War Development and Developmentalism in Global Perspective”Slide with Symposium Poster
The 2016 Fortune Symposium considered the causes and trajectory of the Cold War. Both the United States and the Soviet Union used economic development to exert their influence and to advance their geostrategic ends. In the last decade, there has been a wave of scholarship marking a so-called ‘new international history’ that has incorporated the perspective of ‘developing’ countries in writing the history of the Cold War. This symposium highlights the perspective of the parts of the world that were subjected to these development initiatives.

Organized by: Oliver Dinius and Joshua Howard

Participants: Robert Karl, Benjamin Zachariah, Eva Maria Muschick, Eve E. Buckley, Huaiyin Li, Nancy Reynolds, Alessandro Iandolo, Covell Meyskens, and Miguel Bandeira Jeronimo

The 2016 Porter Fortune History Symposium: “A Just and Lasting Peace: Reconstruction and the Making of Postwar America”

The 2016 Fortune Symposium marked the tenth Conference on the Civil War hosted by the Center for Civil War Research, which the University of Mississippi established in 2009. The American Civil War is central to our nation’s history. The legacies of that nineteenth-century conflict continue to reach meaningfully into our twenty-first century lives, our politics, economy, and society. It continues to powerfully shape our identities, our sense of who we are and how we fit within our larger communities. The Center’s conferences demonstrate that power, showcasing the scintillating new perspectives we continue to draw from a conflict a century and a half in our past. Panels spanned a host of topics including leadership, policy, race, violence, citizenship, and culture.

Organized by: the late John R. Neff and April Holm

Participants: A. J. Aiséirithe, Todd Arrington, Anne Marshall, Jennifer Ford, Jennifer Lynn Gross, Christina Regelski, Sarah E. Gardner, Krista Kinslow, Kathryn McKee, James Fuller, Colin McConarty, Jeff Strickland, Heather Cox Richardson, Michael Fitzgerald, Andrew Slap, Edward Valentin, Jr., Susan O’Donovan, Niels Eichorn, James M. Shinn, Jr., Ann L. Tucker, David Hopkins, Shawn McAvoy, and Keith D. McCall

The 2015 Porter Fortune History Symposium: “Southern Religion and Southern Culture”
The 2015 Fortune Symposium honored the recent retirement of Charles Reagan Wilson, professor emeritus at the University of Mississippi, with a series of talks and panel discussions on the topic of Southern Religion and Southern Culture. Topics ranged from religion and civic culture and creativity to globalization, civil rights, religion and sports, and religion and print. Some of Dr. Wilson’s former students were involved in the symposium as moderators, and others helped discuss his work as scholar and mentor.

Organized by: Ted Ownby

Participants: Otis Pickett, Carolyn Renee Dupont, John Giggie, Calvin White, Jr., Paul Harvey, Darren Grem, Ryan Fletcher, Beth Barton Schweiger, Randall Stephens, Paul Anderson, Arthur Remillard, Amy Wood, Alison Colis Greene, Colin Chapell, Chad Seales, Charles Westmoreland, Sandy Martin, Sarah Gardner, Caroline Herring, Paul Beezley

The 2014 Porter Fortune History Symposium: “Science, Medicine, and Technology in the Civil War”
The 2014 Fortune Symposium encouraged scholars to analyze how the momentous scientific and technological changes occurring during the nineteenth century influenced both the Civil War and its participants. Panels spanned a host of topics including changing definitions of mental illness and its treatment, the institutionalization of Union Veterans, the influence of dual revolutions in print and photography, and the dramatic consequences of Union telegraph failures at the Battle of Chancellorsville.

Organized by: John Neff and April Holm

Participants: Charles D. Ross, Kathleen Logothetis Thompson, Sarah E. Handley-Cousins, Scott E. Ackerman, Dillon J. Carroll, Lindsay Rae Smith, Kathryn Shively Meier, James M. Lundberg, Amy Laurel Fluker, Stephen B. Davis, James Scythes

The 2013 Porter Fortune History Symposium: “European Empires in the American South”
The 2013 Symposium addressed a variety of ways in which European colonial powers—Britain, France, and Spain—competed among themselves as well as with Native American people during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries for control over what is now the American South.

Organized by: Joseph Ward

Participants: Alejandra Dubcovsky, Allison Margaret Bigelow, Jonathan Eacott, Denise I. Bossy, Joshua A. Piker, Alexandre Dubé, Travis Glasson, Christopher Morris, Robert A. Olwell, Kathleen A. Duval

The 2012 Porter Fortune History Symposium: “Science, Medicine, and the Making of Race”
The 2012 Fortune Symposium explored the intersection of scientific ideas about race and gender with medical practice and experimentation, from the 18th to the 20th century. As racialized science was developing, non-white bodies were often favorite subjects of medical research. Drawing upon the fields of history of science, history of medicine, and general history, this symposium examined how race and gender were written into (or out of) science, whether in the context of colonialism, slavery, healthcare policies, or museum acquisitions.

Organized by: Theresa Levitt and Deirdre Cooper Owens

Participants: Londa Schienbinger, Suman Seth, Jill Briggs, Rana Asali Hogarth, Melissa N. Stein, Stephen C. Kenny, Deirdre Cooper Owens, Martin Summers, John P. Jackson, Jr., J. Maxwell Rogoski, Nancy Bercaw, Andrew Wells

The 2010-2011 Porter Fortune History Symposium: “And the War Came”
During the 2010-2011 academic year, the department of history hosted two symposiums that carried the Porter Fortune imprimatur. The first, which was held on the 150th anniversary of Lincoln’s election and the secession crisis, focused on the events and issues that led to secession and civil war. Panelists considered a wide spectrum of topics, including slavery and abolition, antebellum sectionalism and economics, tensions over westward expansion, the crises of the 1850s, political parties and political leadership, among other important topics.

Organized by: John Neff

Participants: Lacy K. Ford, John C. Waugh, Eric Walther, Lawrence T. McDonnell, Christopher Olsen, Russell McClintock, Michael Powell, April Holm, Sean A. Scott, Brian Schoen, Marc-William Palen, H. Robert Baker, Michael Conlin, Steven Woodworth, Kristin Oertel, Dwight Teeter, Keri Leigh Merritt

The 2010-2011 Porter Fortune History Symposium: “The Civil Rights Movement in Mississippi”
During the 2010-2011 academic year, the department of history hosted two symposiums that carried the Porter Fortune imprimatur. The second attempted to tell new stories about the civil rights movement in the state most resistant to change. Invited scholars introduced numerous new characters and conundrums into civil rights scholarship, advanced efforts to study African Americans and whites as interactive agents in the complex stories, and encouraged historians to pull civil rights scholarship closer toward the present.

Organized by: Ted Ownby

Participants: Chris Myers Asch, Curtis Austin, Rita Bender, Bill Bender, Emilye Crosby, David Cunningham, John Dittmer, Jelani Favors, Diana Freelon Foster, Francoise Hamlin, Wesley Hogan, Byron D’Andra Orey, Joseph Reiff, Chauncey Spears, Charles Tucker, Akinyele Umoja, Geoff Ward, Michael Williams, Nan Woodruff

Publication: Ownby, Ted, ed. The Civil Rights Movement in Mississippi. Jackson: University of Mississippi Press, 2013.

The 2009 Porter Fortune History Symposium: “Strategic Bombing and the Civilian Experience of World War”
The 2009 Fortune Symposium explored the social and cultural meanings of the civilian experience of aerial bombing, particularly in World War II, expanding beyond Europe to consider lesser-known cases in Japan and China. Invited speakers included scholars from Europe and the Middle East, as well as historians from across the United States. Paper themes ranged from the construction of historical memory to topics such as the use of cartographic methods in assessing bombing motives and outcomes and the analysis of newly found empirical data to assess casualties in Asia.

Organized by: Susan Grayzel and Noell Wilson

Participants: Tami Davis Biddle, Gianni Perona, Nicholas Stargardt, Edna Tow, Cary Karacas, Lucy Noakes, Franziska Seraphim, Gilad Margalit

The 2008 Porter Fortune History Symposium: “Writing Women’s History: A Tribute to Anne Firor Scott”
The 2008 Fortune Symposium brought together scholars at the forefront of contemporary scholarship on American women’s history, each of whom regards Anne Firor Scott’s The Southern Lady as having shaped her historical perspective and inspired her choice of topics in important ways.

Organized by: Elizabeth Payne

Participants: Laurel Thatcher Ulrich, Anne Firor Scott, Laura Edwards, Crystal Feimster, Jacquelyn Dowd Hall, Darlene Clark Hine, Deborah Gray White, Mary Kelley, Glenda Gilmore, Marjorie Spruill

Publication: Payne, Elizabeth Anne, ed. Writing Women’s History: A Tribute to Anne Firor Scott. Jackson: University of Mississippi, 2013.

The 2006-2007 Porter Fortune Lecture Series: “Going Global: The U.S. South and the World”
In lieu of a Fortune Symposium during the 2006-2007 academic year, the department of history organized the 2006-2007 Fortune Lecture Series, which investigated the global South form its many locations around the world, including Asia, Africa, and Latin America. From these perspectives, scholars considered the implications of the physical and conceptual global South for Mississippi and the American South more generally, particularly in relation to power structures, economic forces, and cultural formations.

Organized by: Nancy Bercaw

Participants: James L. Peacock, Michael A. Gomez, Matthew Pratt Guterl, Nancy Raquel Mirabal

The 2005 Porter Fortune History Symposium: “Silences Broken: New Directions in African American Gender History”
The 2005 Fortune Symposium considered a wide variety of new directions in the study of African American gender history, including investigations into the politics of respectability, black masculinity and femininity, the gendering of genius, and the study of the body.

Organized by: Nancy Bercaw and Angela Hornsby

Participants: Chana Kai Lee, Cheryl Hicks, Nichole Rustin, Heather Williams, Bobby Donaldson, Beverly Bond, Michele Mitchell, Elsa Barkley-Brown

The 2004 Porter Fortune History Symposium: “Manners and Southern History”
The 2004 Fortune Symposium investigated the myriad ways in which southerners from the Civil War through the civil rights movement understood manners, from images of debutantes being introduced to provincial society to thoughts of the humiliating behavior white supremacists expected of African Americans under Jim Crow.

Organized by: Ted Ownby

Participants: Anya Jabour, Jennifer Ritterhouse, Valinda Littlefield, Rebecca Snedeker, Catherine Clinton, Charles F. Robinson, Jr., Lisa Lundquist, Joseph Crespino, Jane Dailey, John Kasson

Publication: Ownby, Ted, ed. Manners and Southern History. Jackson: University of Mississippi Press, 2011.

The 2003 Porter Fortune History Symposium: “The Environment and Southern History”
The 2003 Fortune Symposium brought together a variety of scholars who work explores the intersection of southern and environmental history, with a focus on the South’s distinctive animal life and climate as well as distinctively southern events and subregions.

Organized by: Charles Reagan Wilson

Participants: Jack Temple Kirby, Mart Stewart, Shepard E. Krech III, Donald E. Davis, Margaret Humphreys, Timothy Silver, Paul Sutter, Ted Steinberg

The 2002 Porter Fortune History Symposium: “Race and Sport: The Struggle for Equality On and Off the Field
The 2002 Fortune Symposium examined the ways in which athletics—even before the desegregation of the military and public education and legislation designed to secure their access to the ballot box—opened an avenue to equality and democratic involvement for many African Americans.

Organized by: Charles Ross

Participants: Kellen Winslow, John Carroll, Kenneth Shropshire, Rita Liberti, Michael Lomax, Gerald Gems, Earl Smith, Patrick Miller, C. Keith Harrison

Publication: Ross, Charles, ed. Race and Sport: The Struggle for Equality On and Off the Field, Jackson: University of Mississippi Press, 2006.

The 2001 Porter Fortune History Symposium: “Britain and the American South: Encounters and Exchanges from Colonial Times to Rock ‘n’ Roll”
The 2001 Fortune Symposium examined the relationship between Britain and the South from the 17th to the 20th centuries. Along with the Spanish and the French, the British were among the first Europeans to have meaningful contacts with the Native American populations of the South. During the 17th and 18th centuries, the British were intensively engaged in colonizing much of the region and developing its economy, a process facilitated by their importation of hundreds of thousands of enslaved Africans. The War of American Independence severed the governmental links between Britain and its Southern colonies, but economic, social, religious, and cultural ties persevered during the 19th and 20th centuries. By considering Britain’s evolving relationship with the South over a period of four centuries, this symposium illuminated a crucial aspect of the South’s interaction with the wider world.

Organized by: Joseph Ward

Participants: Kathryn E. Holland Braund, S. Max Edelson, Holly Brewer, Franklin T. Lambert, Marcus Wood, Richard Blackett, Hugh Wilford, Brian Ward, Michael O’Brien

Publication: Ward, Joseph, ed. Britain and the American South: From Colonialism to Rock and Roll. Jackson: University of Mississippi Press, 2003.

The 2000 Porter Fortune History Symposium: “A 25th Anniversary Reprise: Slavery in the U.S. South”
In celebrating its 25th anniversary, the 2000 Fortune Symposium returned to the subject that sparked its beginnings—slavery in the U.S. South. The explosion of scholarship on slavery that characterized the 1970s subsided a bit during the next decade, but the sparks of interest re-ignited in the 1990s. Thus, this symposium reprised the subject of slavery in the U.S. South to explore 25 years of scholarship that has so greatly expanded our understanding of this long-standing, growing, and deeply tragic congeries of historical phenomena.

Organized by: Winthrop Jordan

Participants: Annette Gordon-Reed, Peter S. Onuf, James Oakes, Walter Johnson, Ariela Gross, Laura F. Edwards, Norrece T. Jones, Jr., Jan Lewis, Robert Olwell, William Dusinberre, Sterling Stuckey, Roger D. Abrahams

The 1999 Porter Fortune History Symposium: “The Role of Ideas in the Civil Rights-Era South”
The 1999 Fortune Symposium analyzed the role ideas played in the American South in the 1950s and 1960s. What ideas were part of debate and discussion, who formulated those ideas, who used them, and how did they use them? Topics included the nature of protest; the meanings of liberalism and conservatism; the local, regional, national, and international contexts for ideas; the relationships between Southern life and national ideals; and religious ideas as inspiration for protest and opposing protest.

Organized by: Ted Ownby

Participants: Linda Reed, David Chappell, Tony Badger, Thomas Borstelman, Walter Jackson, Daryl Scott, Richard King, Elizabeth Jacoway, Charles Payne, Keith Miller, Charles Marsh, Lauren Winner, and Gerald Smith

Publication: Ownby, Ted, ed. The Role of Ideas in the Civil Rights South. Jackson: University Press of Mississippi, 2002.

The 1998 Porter Fortune History Symposium: “Early Social History of the Southeastern Indians, 1526-1715”
The 1998 Fortune Symposium reached further back in time–to the beginnings of Spanish, French, and English colonization–and, in doing so, placed Native Americans at the center of the historical action. Since the 1970s, historians, anthropologists, and archaeologists have made considerable progress in interpreting the lifeways of the native peoples of the late prehistoric and early historic Southeast. From these works, we came to understand that the first two hundred years of European colonization was a time when fundamental–even catastrophic–changes occurred in native societies of the South. The task of the 1998 Fortune Symposium was to examine the various forces at play and to assess their role in the transformations of the native peoples of the Southeast between the era of Spanish exploration during the sixteenth century and the Southern Indian uprising of 1715, known as the Yamasee War.

Organized by: Robbie Ethridge and Charles Hudson

Participants: Charles Hudson, Paul Kelton, Marvin Smith, John Worth, Stephen Hahn, Helen Rountree, Chester DePratter, Patricia Galloway, Timothy Perttula, Vernon James Knight, Peter Wood

Publication: Ethridge, Robbie and Hudson, Charles, ed., The Transformation of the Southeastern Indians. Jackson: University Press of Mississippi, 2002.

The 1997 Porter Fortune History Symposium: “Gender and the Southern Body Politic”
The 1997 Fortune Symposium examined the role of gender in shaping the Southern political order from the colonial period to the present. In the South, seemingly private relations between husband and wife, master and slave, and parent and child were (and in some cases still are) used to shape public power. The right to vote, the privileges of citizenship, and the protection of economic and civil rights are often contested in the intimate relations of home and family, and scholarship of the 1980s and 1990s has revealed the importance of gender in the construction of power and politics in the South. The 1997 Fortune Symposium brought together many of these scholars to address this new direction in Southern history.

Organized by: Nancy Bercaw

Participants: Jacquelyn Hall, Kathleen Brown, Winthrop Jordan, Laura Edwards, Peter Bardaglio, Stephanie McCurry, Tera Hunter, Bryant Simon, Louise Newman, Nancy MacLean, Chana Kai Lee

Publication: Bercaw, Nancy, ed., Gender and the Southern Body Politic. Jackson: University Press of Mississippi, 2000.

The 1996 Porter Fortune History Symposium: “The South in the Caribbean”
The 1996 Fortune Symposium examined the relationship between the American South and the Caribbean, focusing on the Caribbean cultural area that includes the American South, northern parts of Latin America, and the Caribbean Islands. Forming a common bond among these areas are themes such as slavery, a colonial economy, and a multiracial society. The 1996 Fortune Symposium also looked at the South as part of the American nation that has often played an active political, economic, and cultural role in the Caribbean.

Organized by: Charles Reagan Wilson and Douglass Sullivan-Gonzalez

Participants: Bonham C. Richardson, Charles Joyner, Stanley Engerman, Aline Helg, Daniel C. Littlefield, Roger Abrahams, Kenneth Bilby, Ralph Lee Woodward, David Eltis, Milton Jamail, William Beezley

Publication: Wilson, Charles Reagan and Sullivan-Gonzalez, Douglass, eds., The South and the Caribbean. Jackson: University Press of Mississippi, 2001.

The 1995 Porter Fortune History Symposium: “Childhood in Southern History”
The 1995 Fortune Symposium brought together leading scholars to examine the experiences of southern children in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. The history of childhood became an exciting field in the 1970s and 1980s, but this was the first conference to concentrate on the place and experiences of children in the South. Speakers examined challenges children face in the present as well as issues children faced in the past. Historians, teachers, parents, and anyone else interested in children were welcomed to attend.

Participants: Robert Moses, Peter Bardaglio, Felton O. Best, Joyce Bickerstaff, Philip J. Greven, Suzanne Jones, Wilma King, Kriste Lindenmeyer, Sally McMillen, Gail S. Murray, Steven M. Stowe

The 1994 Porter Fortune History Symposium: “Is There a Southern Political Tradition?”
The 1994 Fortune Symposium surveyed the spectrum of southern politics and politicians in an attempt to bring political history to bear on the question of southern exceptionalism. Pattered after Richard Hofstadter’s The American Political Tradition and the Men Who Made It, the symposium asked each participant to employ a biographical approach and to use biographies to illuminate a unique southern tradition or to explain the commonalities between southern and national politics.

Organized by: Charles Eagles

Participants: Lacy K. Ford, Jr., William J. Cooper, Jr., Michael Perman, Manning Marable, Patricia Sullivan, Raymond Arsenault, George C. Wright, Paul K. Conkin, David M. Oshinsky, Robert C. McMath, Jr., Jimmie Lewis Franklin

Publication: Eagles, Charles W., ed. Is There a Southern Political Tradition? Jackson: University Press of Mississippi, 1996.

The 1993 Porter Fortune History Symposium: “The New Regionalism”
The 1993 Fortune Symposium brought together historians of key American regions and regional issues to present representative examples of recent scholarship and consider how current work on regions may represent a “new regionalism.”

Organized by: Charles Reagan Wilson

Participants: Robert Dorman, Charles Reagan Wilson, Jack Temple Kirby, Barbara Fields, James Shortridge, Andrew Clayton, Patricia Limerick, Katherine Morrissey, Stephen Nissenbaum, Howard Lamar, Allen Tullos, David Whisnant

Publication: Wilson, Charles Reagan, ed. The New Regionalism. Jackson: University Press of Mississippi, 1998.

The 1992 Porter Fortune History Symposium: “Public Education in the Twentieth Century South”
The 1992 Fortune Symposium brought together leading Southern historians and historians of education to examine the interaction between Southern schools and Southern society in the twentieth century. Scholars examined the forces and influences that have shaped Southern schools during periods of depression, war, and social revolution and explore the options open to Southern schools in the brink of the twenty-first century.

Organized by: David Sansing

Participants: William F. Winter, John Best, William B. Thomas, William Link, James Anderson, James Cobb, Marsha Turner, Clinton Allison, Joseph Newman, Clarence Mohr, Thomas Dyer, Wayne Urban

The 1991 Porter Fortune History Symposium: “W. J. Cash’s The Mind of the South”
The 1991 Fortune Symposium observed the fiftieth anniversary of the publication of W. J. Cash’s The Mind of the South by bringing together leading students of the South to assess the impact and persisting importance of Cash’s classic. Participants examined Cash’s personal background, his literary style, his interpretation of the Old South, his view of continuity in southern history, his analysis of the New South, and his explanation of southern distinctiveness. They also evaluated The Mind of the South’s effect on southern historiography and suggested its continuing influence.

Organized by: Charles Eagles

Participants: Bruce L. Clayton, Anne Goodwyn Jones, Michael O’Brien, Orville Vernon Burton, Armstead Robinson, James L. Roark, Lacy K. Ford, Jr., Edward L. Ayers, Linda Reed, John Shelton Reed, Bertram Wyatt-Brown

Publication: Eagles, Charles W., ed. The Mind of the South: Fifty Years Later. Jackson: University Press of Mississippi, 1992.

The 1990 Porter Fortune History Symposium: “The Interaction of Cultures in the Antebellum South”
The 1990 Fortune Symposium examined cultural interactions between whites and enslaved blacks in the antebellum South. Was there one dominant culture? Two separate cultures? One shared culture? Were interaction and interchange between the races possible? The scholars this symposium bright together attempted to provide answers to these questions and, in doing so, shed light on cultural life in the antebellum South more broadly.

Organized by: Ted Ownby

Participants: Sylvia R. Frey, Elliott J. Gorn, Robert L. Hall, Charles Joyner, Lawrence T. McDonnell, Bill C. Malone, Leslie Howard Owens, Mechal Sobel, Brenda Stevenson, John Michael Vlach

Publication: Ownby, Ted, ed. Black and White: Cultural Interaction in the Antebellum South. Jackson: University Press of Mississippi, 1993.

The 1989 Porter Fortune History Symposium: “The American South in Comparative Perspective”
The 1989 Fortune Symposium examined the American South in the light of comparative history. Its purpose was to determine through the comparative method what is truly distinctive and unique about the South, and in which ways the region is part of more general historical patterns. The symposium brought together some of the nation’s leading scholars in comparative American history.

Organized by: Kees Gispen

Participants: Eugene Genovese, Shearer Davis Bowman, Edward L. Ayers, Elizabeth Fox-Genovese, Barbara Fields, Steven Hahn, Peter Kolchin, Richard Graham, Gerald Jaynes, George Frederickson, Michael Craton

Publication: Gispen, Kees, ed. What Made the South Different? Jackson: University Press of Mississippi, 1990.

The 1988 Porter Fortune History Symposium: “War and Southern Society”
The 1988 Fortune Symposium explored the wide-ranging ways in which the Civil War remade life in the South both during and after the conflict.

Organized by: Harry Owens

Participants: Don Higginbotham, Robert K. Wright, Jr., Emory Thomas, Bertram Wyatt-Brown, Tennant S. McWilliams, Charles W. Johnson, Arvarh E. Strickland, Neil R. McMillan, Morton Sosna, David O. Whitten, Lee Ann Whites, Anne C. Loveland

The 1987 Porter Fortune History Symposium: “The South and the Constitutional Convention and Bill of Rights, 1787-1791”
The 1987 Fortune Symposium was a major part of the University’s celebration of the Bicentennial of the Constitution. Six scholars examined the contributions of delegates from the five Southern states to the writing and ratification of the Constitution and the adoption of the Bill of Rights.

Organized by: Robert Haws

Participants: Jack P. Greene, David Konig, Edward Papenfuse, Walter F. Pratt, James W. Ely, Jr., Peter Hoffer

Publication: Haws, Robert J., ed. The South’s Role in the Creation of the Bill of Rights. Jackson: University Press of Mississippi, 1991.

The 1986 Porter Fortune History Symposium: “Society in the Colonial South”
The 1986 Fortune Symposium examined society in the colonial South. Six scholars presented papers dealing with (1) trends and developments in the study of the colonial South; (2) women and the family; (3) slavery; (4) the development of the plantation system in South Carolina; (5) Indians in French Louisiana; and (6) new directions in the study of the colonial South.

Organized by: Winthrop Jordan and Sheila Skemp

Participants: Thad Tate, Daniel Blake Smith, Philip Morgan, Russell Menard, Patricia Galloway, Robert Middlekauff

Publication: Jordan, Winthrop D. and Sheila L. Skemp, eds. Race and Family in the Colonial South. Jackson: University Press of Mississippi, 1987.

The 1985 Porter Fortune History Symposium: “Civil Rights Movement”
The 1985 Fortune Symposium examined the Civil Rights Movement in the South. Six scholars presented papers dealing with (1) the sources and origins of the movement; (2) the various methods employed by activists; (3) the importance of different leaders and leadership styles; (4) the movement in the key state of Mississippi; (5) the importance of federal legislation and judicial decisions for the movement; and (6) the changes brought by the movement.

Organized by: Charles Eagles

Participants: David Levering Lewis, Clayborne Carson, Nancy J. Weiss, John Dittmer, Charles V. Hamilton, William H. Chafe, Robert Weisbrot, Steven F. Lawson, David J. Garrow, Neil R. McMillen, Mark V. Tushnet, Howell Raines

Publication: Eagles, Charles W., ed. The Civil Rights Movement in America. Jackson: University Press of Mississippi, 1986.

The 1984 Porter Fortune History Symposium: “Religion in the South”
The 1984 Fortune Symposium examined the role of religious values and institutions in southern life. Six scholars presented papers (1) examining the relationship of southern religious history to the American religious tradition; (2) outlining the development and distinctiveness of the South’s dominant religion, evangelical Protestantism; (3) exploring religious diversity in the region by focusing on three groups outside the evangelical mainstream – Catholics, Jews, and Protestant sectarians; (4) comparing and contrasting the southern black religious tradition with southern white religion and national religious trends; (5) evaluating whether southern religion has had a social reform dimension; (6) discussing the involvement of the region’s churches and ministers in political activities, both in the past and in the contemporary period.

Organized by: Charles Reagan Wilson

Participants: Edwin S. Gaustad, John B. Boles, David E. Harrell, C. Eric Lincoln, J. Wayne Flynt, Samuel S. Hill, Jr., Kenneth K. Bailey, Jean Friedman, Randall Miller, James M. Washington, Edwin Akin, Leslie B. McLemore

Publication: Wilson, Charles Reagan, ed. Religion in the South. Jackson: University Press of Mississippi, 1985.

The 1983 Porter Fortune History Symposium: “The New Deal and the South”
The 1983 Fortune Symposium explored the impact of the New Deal on the South. Participants examined from several angles the question of whether the New Deal broke the continuity that seemed to characterize the post-Reconstruction South. In six sessions, historians presented papers dealing with (1) the goals of the New Deal in the South and the methods used to achieve them; (2) the impact of the New Deal on southern agriculture and the implications of this impact for other sectors of the economy; (3) the New Deal’s short- and long-term political impact with specific attention to the exacerbation of tensions between white southerners and the national Democratic Party; (4) the effect of the New Deal on southern blacks, in terms of tangible, immediate gains as well as the heightened expectations that may have contributed to early civil rights activism; (5) the New Deal’s impact on southern workers as measured not only by better wages, working conditions, and the freedom to organize, but their subsequent inability to maintain the momentum they enjoyed in the New Deal era; (6) a summary consideration of the New Deal as a “turning point” in southern history.

Organized by: James Cobb and Michael Namorato

Participants: Numan Bartley, Alan Brinkley, Pete Daniel, Wayne Flynt, Frank Freidel, Harvard Sitkoff

Publication: Cobb, James C. and Michael V. Namorato, eds. The New Deal and the South. Jackson: University Press of Mississippi, 1984.

The 1982 Porter Fortune History Symposium: “Sex, Race, and the Role of Women in the South”
The 1982 Fortune Symposium examined the interrelationship of sex, race, and the role of women in the South. Beginning with a survey of historians’ treatment of Southern women, the program explored the public role of Southern women, working class women, black women, and ways in which Southern literary women have portrayed life in the region. Participants in the symposium attempted to explain, from a historical perspective, why Southern women of all classes and races have managed to achieve less equality than their counterparts in the rest of the nation. In an effort to explain the traditional attitude that the South has had toward its women, the speakers focused on the question of how Southern racial and sexual attitudes have affected the role of white and black women alike.

Organized by: Sheila Skemp and Joanne Hawks

Participants: Jean E. Friedman, Martha H. Swain, Dolores Janiewski, Sharon Harley, Anne Goodwyn Jones, Anne Firor Scott, Cynthia Neverdon-Morton, Orville Vernon Burton, Alferdteen Brown Harrison, Sandra Y. Govan

Publication: Hawks, Joanne V. and Sheila L. Skemp, eds. Sex, Race, and the Role of Women in the South. Jackson: University Press of Mississippi, 1983.

The 1981 Porter Fortune History Symposium: “The Confederacy: The Old South in the Crucible of War”
The 1981 Fortune Symposium examined the impact of the Civil War on the traditions and values of the Old South. The symposium joined the debate on “continuity” or “persistency” between the Old and the New South by considering the experience of Confederate nationalism on public officials, private citizens, Afro-Americans and Confederate soldiers. The Civil War abolished chattel slavery, but was the Old South fundamentally altered by the war years? Or did lines of continuity extend to such a degree as to require another look at the New South era?

Organized by: Harry Owens and James Cooke

Participants: Emory M. Thomas, Paul D. Escott, Lawrence N. Powell, Michael Wayne, Leon F. Litwack, Michael Barton, Thomas B. Alexander

Publication: Owens, Harry P. and James J. Cooke, eds. The Old South and the Crucible of War. Jackson: University Press of Mississippi, 1983.

The 1980 Porter Fortune History Symposium: “The Indian Experience in the Southeast”
The 1980 Fortune Symposium examined the Indian experience in the southeast United States in general, and focused in particular on the Mississippi Band of Choctaws in an effort to preserve much of this region’s diverse cultural heritage.

Organized by: Robert Haws and David Sansing

Participants: Charles Hudson, Wilcomb E. Washburn, John Peterson, Lon Kile, Phillip Martin, Robert Ben, Edwin R. Smith, Robert Ferguson, Arrell M. Gibson

The 1979 Porter Fortune History Symposium: “When the South was West: The Old Southwest, 1780-1840”
The 1979 Fortune Symposium turned to the topic of the Old Southwest. This area, now known as Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana, was a frontier before it became the “cotton kingdom” and seat of antebellum culture. Through lectures, a panel discussion, and audience participation, the symposium examined life in the Old Southwest between 1780 and 1840, looking for the evolution of the frontier into “the South.”

Organized by: Richard Robertson and Cleveland Donald, Jr.

Participants: David Bailey, Winthrop Jordan, Forrest McDonald, Grady McWhiney, John H. Moore, Barbara Welter

The 1978 Porter Fortune History Symposium: “Have We Overcome?: Race Relations Since Brown”
The 1978 Fortune Symposium presented a 25-year retrospective evaluation of the historic Brown decision and its effects by providing scholars from across the country a forum for the discussion of this important event.

Organized by: Michael Namorato

Participants: Lerone Bennett, Vicent Harding, Morton Horwitz, William Leuchtenburg, Henry Levin, C. Eric Lincoln, Robert Wiebe

Publication: Namorato, Michael V., ed. Have We Overcome?: Race Relations Since Brown. Jackson: University Press of Mississippi, 1979.

The 1977 Porter Fortune History Symposium: “Race Relations in the South, 1890-1945”
The 1977 Fortune Symposium explored the rise of institutionalized racism in the 1890s, which consigned black southerners to a status little removed from slavery.

Organized by: Robert Haws

Participants: Derrick Bell, Mary Berry, Dan Carter, Al-Tony Gilmore, Robert Higgs, George Tindall

Publication: Haws, Robert J., ed. The Age of Segregation: Race Relations in the South, 1890-1945. Jackson: University Press of Mississippi, 1978.

The 1976 Porter Fortune History Symposium: “What Was Freedom’s Price?”
The 1976 Fortune Symposium examined scholarship that has produced new and significant information on race relations in the New South by providing historians from across the country a forum for the discussion of this important era in American history.

Organized by: David Sansing

Participants: Willie Lee Rose, Joel Williamson, Richard Sutch, George Frederickson, C. Vann Woodward

Publication: Sansing, David G., ed. What Was Freedom’s Price? Jackson: University Press of Mississippi, 1978.

The 1975 Porter Fortune History Symposium: “The Slave Experience in America: A Bicentennial Perspective”
The 1975 Fortune Symposium explored scholarship that caused historians to reconsider the traditional views on slavery. The symposium was designed to foster historical scholarship by bringing together leading authors, professional historians, and those interested in the subject.

Organized by: David Sansing

Participants: Carl N. Degler, Eugene D. Genovese, William K. Scarborough, John W. Blassingame, Stanley Engerman, David Brion Davis, Kenneth M. Stampp

Publication: Owens, Harry P., ed. Perspectives and Irony in American Slavery. Jackson: University Press of Mississippi, 1976.

“The original symposium in 1975 actually was not planned as the first in a series. Rather, it was organized to break the silence that was echoing across the South following the publication in 1974 of the controversial book Time on the Cross, an examination of slavery by Robert Fogel and Stanley Engerman. The book had received much attention elsewhere, but no conference on the subject of slavery had recently taken place in the South. Led by David Sansing, the History Department at The University of Mississippi eagerly embraced the idea of such a symposium and received solid support from Chancellor Porter Fortune, Jr. To the surprise of some people, a panel of distinguished scholars accepted invitations to participate. In 1975, at Ole Miss, that first symposium was a bold plunge. It was, after all, only 13 years after the riots set off by the enrollment of James Meredith, the first African American to attend The University of Mississippi. As a commentator at that session (my first visit to this campus), I was impressed by the genuine apprehension of some top administrators that such a conference would inevitably bring about more riots. Yet the worst (or perhaps best) thing that happened was Eugene Genovese informally and successfully debating outdoors against an entire busload of students from traditionally black Mississippi Valley State College. After this first success, the symposium became an annual event concentrating on the history of the U.S. South. As such, it received enthusiastic backing from Chancellor Fortune and, after his death, from his widow Elizabeth Fortune and their family, from the University’s Center for the Study of Southern culture, and from the Mississippi Endowment for the Humanities.” –Winthrop D. Jordan