Social Distance Portraits with 2020 Southern Studies Graduates
COVID-19 impacted many graduates across the nation and at various academic milestones. Andrea Morales, Southern Documentary Project producer, photographer, and current M.F.A. in Documentary Expression candidate, generously lent her eye and talent in capturing Southern Studies M.A. and M.F.A. graduates in their homes.
This collection of photographs also includes words from these recent alums on how they stayed grounded during a pandemic while finishing up their thesis projects, demonstrating how documentarians can continue to connect, collect, and share stories safely.
Zaire Love and Andrea Morales
Her work is an ode to being black and Southern in America. Many of her works aim to honor and amplify the voices of southern black women because they have always had “cornbread” to share. Zaire is a graduate of Spelman college [B.A. in Theatre] and Houston Baptist University [M. Ed in Curriculum and Education]. Thesis project, “The Black Men I Know”
Hooper Schultz and Andrea Morales
After getting heavily involved in the LGBTQ community in Oxford, Hooper helped to found OUTGrads, the LGBTQ graduate & professional student organization on campus. His work has focused mainly on LGBTQ oral histories in the South, the Carolina Gay Association, and the Southeastern Gay Conferences of 1976-1978. Thesis project: “The Southern Front: Gay Liberation Activists in the U.S. South and Public History Through Audiovisual Exhibition”
Olivia Terenzio and Andrea Morales
A Mississippi native, Olivia returned to her home state to pursue an M.A. in Southern Studies. She previously earned a B.S. from Northwestern's Medill school of journalism and spent a decade in San Francisco, where she worked on the editorial team at Williams-Sonoma and led restaurant content at OpenTable. She has also written about food and travel for national publications covering grape and olive harvests int Tuscany and the Brazilian coffee industry. Thesis project: “Feijoada and Hoppin John: Foodways, Collective Identity and Belonging in Brazil and the American South”
James G. Thomas and Andrea Morales
James began work at the Center for the Study of Southern Culture as managing editor of the twenty-four-volume New Encyclopedia of Southern Culture in 2003, and he has been the Center’s Associate Director for Publications since 2011. Thomas is also the director of the Center’s annual Oxford Conference for the Book and the editor of Study the South the Center’s online journal, and the Southern Register, the Center’s newsmagazine. Thesis project: “The Lebanese in Mississippi: An Oral History”
Hilary Word and Andrea Morales
Originally from Jackson, Mississippi, Hilary earned her undergraduate degree in history from Tougaloo College. As a life-long fan of speculative fiction, mythology, and folklore, Word has always been fascinated with the concept of the real versus the “unreal” and the supernatural. Thesis project: “Post-Soul Speculation: An Exploration of Afro-Southern Speculative Fiction”