By Charles McCrory
With Thanksgiving break fast approaching, we at the Sarah Isom Center are taking a breath to reflect on an eventful semester for the Center, the University of Mississippi, and the national and international consciousness. First of all, we would like to thank everyone who helped make SarahFest 2015 a smashing success, featuring provocative lectures and rousing performances. This blogger spent the majority of Neko Case’s concluding concert swaying spellbound in front of the stage, and got chills when, at the end of the show, Case personally thanked the Isom Center for its efforts at inclusion.
The thrill of Sarahfest had barely worn off when it was time for “Gender, Memory, and War in the Anglo-American World,” a conference by The Center for Civil War Research. The Isom Center partnered with UM’s English and History Departments to co-sponsor the conference, which commemorated the 150th, 100th, and 75th anniversaries of the US Civil War, World War I, and World War II, respectively. Speakers from across the US and UK gathered at UM to discuss the effects of gender and memory on our understanding of these momentous wars.
Code Pink, our Halloween Queer Extravaganza at Proud Larry’s, in partnership with UM Pride Network, was a ghoulish good time. Guests had fun with the event’s liberated theme; costumes played elegantly with gender norms, and even sparked a few cases of mistaken identity. This blogger showed up as Velma Kelly from Chicago, complete with a bobbed wig and sheer sleeves, accompanied by a gender-bending Link from The Legend of Zelda.
On October 27, the UM administration ordered that the Mississippi state flag be taken down from campus grounds. This change would not have been possible without the advocacy of UM’s students, Associated Student Body, Faculty Senate, Graduate Student Council, and Staff Council. The Isom Center applauds their efforts to remove a symbol of racist oppression from this campus. Student activism has been part of the national conversation as well, amid student-led protests combating white supremacism on the University of Missouri and Yale campuses. We commend these students for using their voices to advocate for social change on their campuses.
Most recently, we at the Isom Center look to the terrorist attacks in Paris on November 13. We express our solidarity with the people of Paris and join the international community in condemning these acts of terrorism. It is important that we also remember the terrorist attack that took place in Beirut only a day earlier, and that we remain vigilant in condemning these acts wherever they occur.
About Charles McCrory:
Charles Ramsay McCrory is a senior English major and gender studies minor at The University of Mississippi. He is a member of the Sally McDonnell Barksdale Honors College and an opinion writer for the Daily Mississippian. His creative writing has received the 2015 Mississippi Review Prize for fiction, and has appeared in The Cossack Review and Plain China: Best Undergraduate Writing.