Isom News Archives

True Stories of the Sinful and Sultry South

southernsinSouthern Sin: True Stories of the Sultry South and Women Behaving Badly contains memoirs by 23 Southerners who have “acted up”—and who have reflected, with wisdom and humor, on what they’ve learned from their transgressions.  As Dorothy Allison asks in her introduction, “What is specifically Southern about sin?  Do we do it better, with greater abandon?  What crime of region or language marks us unique and original?”   River Jordan, Elane Johnson, and Sonja Livingston, all contributors to this anthology receiving praise from reviews, come together to consider these questions on a panel moderated by Beth Ann Fennelly.

Join them November 19th at 5 PM in the Overby Center Auditorium.

An Excerpt from Southern Sin:

“This volume contains stories of women who commit transgressions that change their lives. Many of these changes are painful (aren’t all changes painful?), but the women speaking to us from the far side of the process are schooled.

Ive always believed that through reading we educate our emotional intelligence. Just as our dreams provide a space for us to psychically rehearse our day’s anxieties, reading allows us to test alternate conclusions. We inhabit other characters and experience their choices as our own, through the exercise of empathy. By reading the memoirs collected here, we imaginatively re-experience the choices these “bad” women made. We can be cheaters and lawbreakers, liars and avengers, deviants and plotters. We can get away with murder. Will reading these tales prevent us from sinning? Not likely. But it’s enlightening, as well as entertaining, to consider the wages of sin. It’s possible our future decisions will be better informed. “

- “Running from the Lord” by Beth Ann Fennelly - Southern Sin


UM Alumna Kathy Shinnick to present "Oak Ridge after the Bomb: Interpreting a Complex Legacy" in conjunction with the Common Reading Experience

Kathy Shinnick is a 2000 graduate of the Liberal Arts department at the University of Mississippi with a double major in English and History. After working in sales for ten years she rediscovered her passion for history. In 2010 she enrolled as a Public History master's student at the University of Massachusetts in Boston. She is finishing work on her Master's thesis which discusses the ways in which Oak Ridge has presented their complicated history to the public.


T COOPER to present Second Annual Queer Studies Lecture Friday, Oct 10th at Noon in the Overby Center Auditorium

COOPER is the author of four novels, including the bestselling “Lipshitz Six, or Two Angry Blondes” and “The Beaufort Diaries” (a graphic novel). His most recent book is the nonfiction “Real Man Adventures” (McSweeney’s), which Vanity Fair has called “brave and hilarious.” Cooper is also co-author of a new four-part Young Adult novel series called “Changers,” the first book of which (“Changers Book One: Drew”) was published earlier this year. Cooper was also co-editor of a politically-minded anthology of original stories called “A Fictional History of the United States With Huge Chunks Missing.” His shorter work has appeared in a variety of publications, including The New Yorker, The New York Times, The New York Times Magazine, The Believer, O: The Oprah Magazine, One Story, Bomb, Electric Literature, The Brooklyn Review, among many others. He is currently visiting professor in fiction at Emory University, and sometimes writes for television. For more info:



Meet Jaime Cantrell

Meet Jaime Cantrell, visiting assistant professor of English, who will be teaching the inaugural section of G St 444: Queer Theory


JCJaime is a Visiting Assistant Professor of English at The University of Mississippi. She holds a PhD in English from Louisiana State University and an M.A. in Women¹s Studies from The University of Alabama. Her research and teaching interests focus on how queer and feminist theories illuminate and complicate the intersections between canonical and obscure, queer and normative, and regional and national narratives. She is the co-editor for "Out of the Closet, Into the Archive: Researching Sexual Histories," an edited collection under contract with SUNY Press's Queer Politics and Cultures series. This fall at UM Jaime will be teaching American Lit I and ENGL 421/GST 444 Queer Theory. See her course flyer for more information!




Joint Statement regarding the passage of #SB2681.

Joint Statement from the Sarah Isom Center for Women and Gender Studies and the William Winter Institute for Racial Reconciliation regarding the passage of #SB2681.

All those who support these sentiments in the statement below, please share freely:

Members of the University of Mississippi community are deeply concerned about the consequences of SB2681, a bill that reaffirms the ability to legally discriminate against the LGBTQ community and also gives license for all sorts of physical, spiritual, and psychic violence against LGBTQ residents of Mississippi. Such a bill compromises the civil rights of all of the state’s residents because this bill sets a precedent for legal discrimination.


Harker to become Interim Director for 2014-15

On behalf of Glenn Hopkins

Please forward this information to your faculty and staff.

harkerAs you may know, Dr. Susan Grayzel, Director of the Center for Women and Gender Studies, has received a prestigious fellowship from the American Council of Learned Societies and will be on leave this next academic year.  This fellowship is national recognition of her superlative, and much lauded, historical scholarship.  I know she will enjoy and benefit greatly from this year immersed in her scholarship without the burden of administrative responsibility.  Our congratulations go to Dr. Grayzel on receiving one of the 2014 Collaborative Research Fellowships of the American Council of Learned Societies.

To serve as interim director of the Center during this coming year, we are most fortunate to have Dr. Jaime Harker of our Department of English available and willing to serve.  Dr. Harker is a fine and well-published scholar and an excellent teacher who also brings significant administrative experience to this important position.  She has been affiliated with the Isom Center for many years and is intimately familiar with its several missions.  I know the Center is in good hands, and I look forward to working with her in the coming year.