The Radical South – April 2018

The calendar poster for 2018 Radical South.

The calendar poster for 2018 Radical South.

On February 24, 2016, Governor Phil Bryant declared April “Confederate History Month,” as most Mississippi governors had before him.  He chose the month “because it is important for Americans to reflect on our nation’s past, to gain insight from our mistakes and successes, and to come to a full understanding that the lessons learned yesterday and today will carry us through tomorrow if we carefully and earnestly strive to understand and appreciate our heritage and our opportunities which lie before us.” (source)


Governor Bryant’s invitation prompted in-depth conversations among faculty at the University of Mississippi.  These faculty were united in their desire to broaden our cultural understanding of the South to include the full complexity of the region—past, present, and future—and to stop using “Confederate as a short-hand for Southern.”  The result of these conversations was the 2017 “The Radical South”.  Sponsored by the Sarah Isom Center for Women and Gender Studies and the Center for the Study of Southern Culture, in collaboration with other departments and centers at the University of Mississippi, “The Radical South” was an ambitious collection of lectures, roundtables, screenings, workshops, and debates.  For more on the 2017 program, please click here.


Once again, in 2018, centers, departments, and individual faculty at the University of Mississippi are collaborating on a series of debates, lectures, screenings, and roundtables on the theme “The Radical South.” From an opening “great debate” on sexual assault, through browns bag lectures and a screening of Blue Magnolia’s Bicentennial photo essays, and culminating in an “Ideas on Tap” on the topic of commemoration, The Radical South seeks to complicate conventional narratives about the South and Southern identity and expand our understanding of Southern history and Southern identity.  We invite members of the university and Oxford community to join us for a robust conversation about the South.

2018 Schedule 


April 3rd

The Great Debate: “Should the standard of sexual consent be an affirmative verbal ‘yes’?”
Dr. Deborah Mower and her philosophy students moderate a debate to kick off the Radical South.
5:30, Bryant 209, with reception to follow in the Bryant Rotunda

April 4th

“New Orleans and the New Southern Food Movement” Brown Bag
Catarina Passidomo has a joint appointment in anthropology and Southern Studies, and works closely with the Southern Foodways Alliance. Her research interests include Southern foodways, critical race studies, social justice, food systems, social movements, and the connections between food and culture, identity, space and power. She holds a PhD in human geography from the University of Georgia, an MA in ecological anthropology from the University of Georgia, and a BA in sociology and anthropology from Washington and Lee University.
Noon, Tupelo Room, Barnard Observatory

April 4th-6th

The Isom Student Gender Conference

4th – The Ford Ballroom at The Inn at Ole Miss
Keynote by Molly Zuckerman at 6 PM

5th – The University Depot
Keynote by Laura Otis at 6 PM, Farley Hall Room 202

6th – The University Depot

April 9th

“Queer Down South”
Josh Burford of the Invisible Histories Project of Alabama will discuss the importance of LGBTQ archives.
4 PM, Tupelo Room, Barnard Observatory

April 10th

Visiting Documentarian Series: Emily Yellin and Darius Williams
Emily Yellin and Darius Williams will give a public talk on their project Striking Voices, which tells the story of the 1968 Memphis Sanitation Workers’ strike. From late March to early April, the Center’s Gammill Gallery will exhibit a series of portraits by Darius Williams that are part of the project.

Striking Voices is a multimedia journalism project centered around in-depth video interviews with the 1968 Memphis sanitation strikers and their families. The photos, taken between 2015 and 2017 after each interview, are meant to portray the real, relatable people from that historic time, but also to show how present these heroes are in our modern lives.

Journalist, producer and author Emily Yellin and the Striking Voices crew are in the process of producing a series of video stories, based on their interviews, that will focus on the lives of these men and women who were on the front lines of an iconic American battle.
Striking Voices will roll out in the first four months of 2018 on
5:30 PM, Tupelo Room, Barnard Observatory

April 11th

“‘Cautious but Solid Character’: Southern Feminists and the State” Brown Bag
Jennifer “Bingo” Gunter’s talk is an investigation of the interactions of feminists and the state from 1966 through 1985. Nationally, women cooperated with officials of state agencies to push their agenda of self-sovereignty. Inspired by the Second Wave of the women’s movement, southern women worked with the state and manipulated state reactions to suit their needs.

Gunter is a historian who specializes in the intersections of gender, race, health, law, and activism. Her upbringing by a feminist in Mississippi has led her to focus on inequalities and empowerment. With a passion for public history she looks for ways to bridge the town-gown gap. She now resides in Columbia, South Carolina, with her husband, two dachshunds, and a cat.
Noon, Tupelo Room, Barnard Observatory

April 13th 

“Future of Labor” Panel
Three top labor organizers from across the South will discuss current issues as well as labor’s history as a leading social movement: legendary Civil Rights-era SNCC leader Bob Zellner; Richard Bensinger, veteran of the UAW-Nissan campaign in Canton; and Rose Turner, who helped organize Delta catfish workers in the 1990s.
10 AM, Overby Center

April 18th

Mississippi Bicentennial: Emergent Voices, Our Next Chapter of History
How can we use our personal stories to open new pathways to the future in Mississippi? A future that is big enough for all of us? During the Mississippi Bicentennial, Blue Magnolia Films invited 100 diverse community leaders across the state to tell stories of creativity, resilience and hope, to carry Mississippi into the future. This unique “time capsule” of narrated photo essays, produced by Mississippians, ages 14 – 91 from thirteen cities, celebrates the power of individuals to move their  communities to stand in a common narrative together, across boundaries of race, gender, age and sexual orientation. Join us for a screening of Celebrating Storytellers micro-docs, and interactive discussion with Blue Magnolia Films and project participants about how to use storytelling, photography and the arts to shape our communities.

Celebrating Storytellers is the first statewide storytelling project to incorporate the art into public spaces, and has resulted in a mile-long “interactive” gallery running the length of Capitol Street in Jackson, as well as a book project. As a collection, the stories are available to libraries, museums, schools and community leaders, to host screenings, public conversations and events. Contact:
4 PM, Lamar 404

April 18th

“Saving Slave Houses” Brown Bag
Since 2011 Jobie Hill’s research and professional work has focused exclusively on domestic slave buildings. She is engaged in interdisciplinary research examining the dwellings of American slavery, the influence these dwellings had on the lives of their inhabitants, and the preservation of slave history. In 2012 she started an independent project titled the Slave House Database in an effort to ensure that slave houses, irreplaceable pieces of history, are not lost forever.
Noon, Tupelo Room, Barnard Observatory

April 25th  

Queer Mississippi: Oral History Presentations and Exhibit
Students from Southern Studies 560, Introduction to Oral History: LGBTQ Histories in Mississippi, will share their work to document local queer histories. Presentations will take the form of film, poetry, and performance.
7 PM, Burns-Belfry Museum and Multicultural Center

April 26

Ideas on Tap – What Do We Commemorate and Why?
Sponsored by: Mississippi Humanities Council
Chair: Graham Bodie, School of Journalism
Panelists: Charles Ross, Cynthia Gardner, Anne Twitty, Alysia Steele
In this panel, we want to expand the conversation from specific monuments or symbols to a broader consideration of the question of commemoration.  How do we decide which events and people to commemorate? Why do we do so? What is the purpose of commemoration, and what are its implications?
5:30 PM at Proud Larry’s