Organized through the Center for the Study of Southern Culture, the African American Studies Program, the Center for Civil War Research, and the Department of History, the Gilder-Jordan Speaker Series is made possible through the generosity of the Gilder Foundation, Inc. The series honors the late Richard Gilder of New York and his family, as well as University of Mississippi alumni Dan and Lou Jordan of Virginia.
Daina Ramey Berry
Dr. Daina Ramey Berry will discuss her findings at 6 p.m. Tuesday (Sept. 13), during this year’s Gilder-Jordan Lecture in Southern Studies at the University of Mississippi. Her lecture, “Teaching the Truth: Race and Slavery in the Modern Classroom,” is free and open to the public in Nutt Auditorium.
Berry is the author of six books, including The Price for their Pound of Flesh: The Value of the Enslaved, from Womb to Grave, in the Building of a Nation (Beacon Press, 2017).
She is the Michael Douglas Dean of Humanities and Fine Arts at the University of California at Santa Barbara. She previously was the Oliver H. Radkey Regents Professor of History and chair of the history department at the University of Texas, where she also served as associate dean of the Graduate School.
Besides her work as a university administrator and internationally recognized scholar of slavery, Berry is one of the most sought-after consultants for public-facing projects offered by museums, historical sites, K-12 educational initiatives, syndicated radio programs, online podcasts and public television.
Berry completed her bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees in African American studies and U.S. history at the University of California at Los Angeles. She is a scholar of the enslaved and a specialist on gender and slavery as well as Black women’s history in the United States.
Deborah Gray White
Starting in 2015, faculty, staff and students at Rutgers University gained a better understanding of the untold story of the disadvantaged populations in the university’s history through the Scarlet and Black project, co-chaired by historian Deborah Gray White. In this year’s Gilder-Jordan Lecture in Southern Cultural History at the University of Mississippi, “The Price of the Ticket: Paying for Diversity and Inclusion,” White explained the Scarlet and Black project itself – how African Americans and Native Americans influenced the Rutgers campus, and how it raised complex questions for the university to consider as it began an introspection on and recognition of the past.
The Scarlet and Black project culminated in three volumes of Scarlet and Black, which traces Rutgers’ early history from 1766 to the present, uncovering how it benefited from the slave economy and how the university came to own the land it inhabits, as well as examining how concepts related to race and gender evolved during the 20th century. The books also focus on student activism and the on-campus history of students of color from World War II to the present.
White is the Board of Governors Distinguished Professor of History at Rutgers and a specialist in the history of African American women.
She is author of Ar’n’t I a Woman? Female Slaves in the Plantation South and Too Heavy a Load: Black Women in Defense of Themselves, 1894-1994. She also is editor of Telling Histories: Black Women in the Ivory Tower, a collection of personal narratives by African American women historians that chronicles the entry of Black women into the history profession and the development of the field of Black women’s history.
Carol Anderson is the Charles Howard Candler Professor and Chair of African American Studies at Emory University. Her lecture is “One Person, No Vote: How Voter Suppression is Destroying Our Democracy.” She is the author of Eyes Off the Prize: The United Nations and the African-American Struggle for Human Rights, 1944-1955, which was published by Cambridge University Press and awarded both the Gustavus Myers and Myrna Bernath Book Awards; as well as, Bourgeois Radicals: The NAACP and the Struggle for Colonial Liberation, 1941-1960, which was also published by Cambridge.
Her third book, White Rage: The Unspoken Truth of our Racial Divide, won the 2016 National Book Critics Circle Award for Criticism and is also a New York Times Bestseller and a New York Times Editor’s Pick, and listed on the Zora List of 100 Best Books by Black Woman Authors since 1850.
Her most recent book, One Person, No Vote: How Voter Suppression is Destroying our Democracy, was Long-listed for the National Book Award in Non-Fiction and was a finalist for the PEN/Galbraith Book Award in Non-Fiction.
Her young adult adaptation of White Rage, We are Not Yet Equal was nominated for an NAACP Image Award.
In addition to numerous teaching awards, her research has garnered fellowships from the American Council of Learned Societies, the Ford Foundation, National Humanities Center, Harvard University’s Charles Warren Center, and the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation.
She is a regular contributor to The Guardian and advisor for its yearlong series on voting rights.
The rights extended to people who reside in the United States and whether or not those people are considered citizens is an incredibly timely topic, and historian Martha S. Jones can connect lessons and information from the past that shed light on the current landscape.
Jones, the Society of Black Alumni Presidential Professor and professor of history at Johns Hopkins University, gave the 2019 Gilder-Jordan Lecture in Southern Cultural History on Sept. 17 in Nutt Auditorium at the University of Mississippi.
She is a legal and cultural historian whose work examines how black Americans have shaped the story of American democracy. Her talk focuses on the first chapter of her book, Birthright Citizens: A History of Race and Rights in Antebellum America (Cambridge University Press, 2018).
Jones is also author of All Bound Up Together: The Woman Question in African American Public Culture 1830-1900 (University of North Carolina Press, 2007) and a coeditor of Toward an Intellectual History of Black Women (University of North Carolina Press, 2015,) along with many articles and essays.
Jones holds a doctorate in history from Columbia University and a Juris Doctor from the CUNY School of Law. Before starting her academic career, she was a public interest litigator in New York City, recognized for her work as a Charles H. Revson Fellow on the Future of the City of New York at Columbia University.
Jones is working on Vanguard: A History of African American Women’s Politics (Basic), to be published in 2020 in conjunction with the 19th Amendment’s centennial, and is at work on a biography of U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice Roger Brooke Taney. She is recognized as a public historian, frequently writing for broader audiences at outlets including the Washington Post, the Atlantic, USA Today, Public Books, the Chronicle of Higher Education and Time.
A leading historian of 19th century America spoke Sept. 12 at the University of Mississippi on “The Triumph of Abolitionism” as part of the Gilder-Jordan Lecture in Southern Cultural History.
James Oakes, distinguished professor and chair of humanities at the City University of New York, has an international reputation for path-breaking scholarship. In a series of influential books and essays, he tackled the history of the United States from the Revolution through the Civil War. His early work focused on the South, examining slavery as an economic and social system that shaped Southern life. By studying abolitionism, Oakes aims to clarify exactly what was at stake in the Civil War. The title of his lecture highlights his main point.
His pioneering books include The Ruling Race (1982), Slavery and Freedom: An Interpretation of the Old South (1990), The Radical and the Republican: Frederick Douglass, Abraham Lincoln, and the Triumph of Antislavery Politics (2007) and Freedom National: The Destruction of Slavery in the United States, 1861-1865 (2012). The latter two garnered the 2008 and 2013 Gilder Lehrman Lincoln Prize, an annual award for the finest scholarly work in English on Abraham Lincoln or the American Civil War era.
His most recent book is The Scorpion’s Sting: Antislavery and the Coming of the Civil War (2015).
Rhonda Y. Williams and Anne Twitty
Dr. Rhonda Y. Williams of Vanderbilt University delivered the 2017 Gilder-Jordan Lecture in Southern Cultural History titled “Concrete Demands: The Search for Black Power, Then and Now” on Wednesday, September 6, 2017 on the University of Mississippi campus.
Dr. Williams is the John L. Seigenthaler Professor in American History at Vanderbilt University. She is the Founder & inaugural Director of the Social Justice Institute at Case Western Reserve University, as well as the Founder & inaugural Director of the Case Western Postdoctoral Fellowship in African American Studies.
The author of Concrete Demands: The Search for Black Power in the 20th Century (2015) and the award-winning The Politics of Public Housing: Black Women’s Struggles against Urban Inequality (2005). Williams has been honored by History News Network as a Top Young Historian; the Organization of American Historians as a Distinguished Lecturer; and is listed in the 2009 and 2015 editions of Who’s Who in Black Cleveland. Williams is a recipient of an American Association of University Women Postdoctoral Fellowship and a former Harvard University W.E.B. Du Bois Institute Fellow. She is the co-editor of the recently launched book series, Justice, Power, and Politics, with the University of North Carolina Press and co-editor of Teaching the American Civil Rights Movement.
Her publications include articles on black power politics, the war on poverty, low-income black women’s grassroots organizing, and urban and housing policy. Her research interests include the manifestations of race and gender inequality on urban space and policy, social movements, and illicit narcotics economies in the post-1940s United States.
Edward L. Ayres and Ted Ownby
The 2016 Gilder-Jordan Lecture in Southern Cultural History is Edward L. Ayers of the University of Richmond, and his talk will be “When History Doesn’t Move in a Straight Line: The Civil War Then and Now.”
Edward Ayers is President Emeritus of the University of Richmond, where he now serves as Tucker-Boatwright Professor of the Humanities. Previously Dean of Arts and Sciences at the University of Virginia, where he began teaching in 1980, Ayers was named the National Professor of the Year by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching in 2003.
A historian of the American South, Ayers has written and edited 10 books. The Promise of the New South: Life After Reconstruction was a finalist for both the National Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize. In the Presence of Mine Enemies: Civil War in the Heart of America won the Bancroft Prize for distinguished writing in American history and the Beveridge Prize for the best book in English on the history of the Americas since 1492. He was awarded the National Humanities Medal in 2013.
A pioneer in digital history, Ayers created The Valley of the Shadow: Two Communities in the American Civil War, a website that has attracted millions of users and won major prizes in the teaching of history. He serves as co-editor of the Atlas of the Historical Geography of the United States at the University of Richmond’s Digital Scholarship Lab and is a co-host of BackStory with the American History Guys, a nationally syndicated radio show and podcast.
Ayers has received a presidential appointment to the National Council on the Humanities, served as a Fulbright professor in the Netherlands, and been elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
Theda Purdue and Mikaela Adams
On Wednesday, September 9 at 7pm in the University’s Nutt Auditorium, Theda Perdue of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill will present the 2015 Gilder-Jordan Lecture in Southern History, “Indians and Christianity in the New South.”
Theda Perdue is the Atlanta Distinguished Professor Emerita of Southern Studies at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, where she taught American Indian history in the history, women’s studies, and American studies departments. She holds a Ph.D. from the University of Georgia. Perdue is author, co-author, or editor of sixteen books including Cherokee Women: Gender and Culture Change, “Mixed Blood” Indians: Racial Construction in the Early South, and Race and the Atlanta Cotton States Exposition of 1895. She has held fellowships from the Rockefeller Foundation, the Newberry Library, the National Humanities Center, the Woodrow Wilson Center, and the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation. Perdue has served as president of the Southern Association for Women Historians, the American Society for Ethnohistory, and the Southern Historical Association. She is an inveterate traveler, especially by train, and in 2009 she and her husband went around the world by land and sea, a trip that included crossing Europe and Asia by train and the Pacific by freighter. Her current book project is on American Indians in the segregated South.
Jacqueline Dowd Hall and Jessica Wilkerson
The 2014 Gilder-Jordan Lecture in Southern Cultural History will be Jacquelyn Dowd Hall of the University of North Carolina presenting “How We Tell About the Civil Rights Movement and Why It Matters Today.”
Jacquelyn Hall’s research interests include U.S. women’s history, southern history, working-class history, oral history, and cultural/intellectual history. She is the founding director of the Southern Oral History Project, and has served as a leader or member of the Organization of American Historians, the Southern Historical Association, and the Labor and Working Class History Association. In 1997 she received a John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship, and she was awarded a National Humanities Medal in 1999 for her efforts to deepen the nation’s understanding of and engagement with the humanities.
Dr. Hall’s Revolt Against Chivalry: Jessie Daniel Ames and the Women’s Campaign Against Lynching was a landmark work of southern gender history. Her co-authored Like a Family: The Making of a Southern Cotton Mill World explored labor and community formation in the textile South. Dr. Hall is currently working on a book about women writers and intellectuals and the refashioning of regional identity in the twentieth-century South, and another project explores the social movements generated by civil rights activism.
In a 2005 article in the Journal of American History, Hall coined the phrase the “long civil rights movement,” and advanced an understanding of a dynamic movement not bound by 1954’s Brown v. Board and the Civil Rights Act of 1965. Hall looked to the rise of the Left in the 1930s as the foundation of the movement, and extended its conclusion beyond the landmark legislation of the 1960s to the 1970s and the genesis of other social movements concerned with equality in terms of economics, gender, and sexuality. To further this expanded definition of the movement, Hall also considers the forces resisting civil rights efforts, a focus that laid the groundwork for scholars in the 2000s studying the conservative response to political activism.
Walter Johnson and Deirdre Cooper-Owens
Walter Johnson, the Winthrop Professor of History and professor of African-American studies at Harvard University, speaks at 7 p.m. Sept. 18 in Nutt Auditorium. His lecture, “The ‘Negro Fever,’ the South, and the Ignominious Effort to Re-Open the Atlantic Slave Trade,” focuses on the challenges facing Mississippi Valley slaveholders in the late 1850s and the way many hoped to solve them through a global projection of slaveholding power, which was through pro-slavery imperialism.
Grace Elizabeth Hale and Ted Ownby
Grace Elizabeth Hale will present “‘So the Whole World Can See’: Documentary Photography and Film in the Civil Rights Era” at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday (Oct. 10) in Nutt Auditorium. The lecture, which is free and open to the public, is sponsored by the UM Center for the Study of Southern Culture, along with partners from the UM African-American studies program, Center for Civil War Research and the Department of History.
This year’s lecture is also part of the university’s commemoration of the 50th anniversary of its integration.
Hale is professor of history and American studies at the University of Virginia, and her research focuses on 20th century U.S. cultural history, history of the South, documentary film studies and sound studies. She is author of 2011’s A Nation of Outsiders: How the White Middle-Class Fell in Love with Rebellion in Postwar America (New York: Oxford University Press) as well as Making Whiteness: The Culture of Segregation in the South, 1890-1940 (New York: Vintage, 1999).
David Blight and John Neff
A Yale historian will visit the University of Mississippi Nov. 16 to share his insights on Civil War remembrance as part of the Gilder-Jordan Speaker Series in Southern Cultural History. David Blight will discuss his latest book, “American Oracle: The Civil War in the Civil Rights Era,” and plans to focus on the hold that the Civil War still has on American imagination, with his lecture, “American Oracle: The Civil War in the Civil Rights Era in Our Own Time.”
Blight is a Class of 1954 Professor of American History at Yale University. Before joining the Yale faculty in 2003, he taught at Amherst College for 13 years. In 2010-11, he was the Rogers Distinguished Fellow in Nineteenth Century American History at the Huntington Library in San Marino, Calif.
As director of Yale’s Gilder Lehrman Center for the Study of Slavery, Resistance and Abolition, Blight has written and edited works about Frederick Douglass, W.E.B. DuBois and the underground railroad in addition to Race and Reunion: the Civil War in American Memory (2001). In 2013, his biography, Frederick Douglass: A Life will be published by Simon and Schuster.
Barbara J. Fields
“Racecraft and the History of the South” will be the subject of a talk by Columbia University historian Barbara Fields, as she gives the inaugural Gilder-Jordan lecture March 8. The lecture, scheduled for 7:00 p.m. in the auditorium of the Overby Center, brings Fields back to the University of Mississippi, where she was Ford Foundation Visiting Scholar in 1988.
Fields is the author of Slavery and Freedom on the Middle Ground: Maryland during the 19th Century. She received her PhD in history at Yale University, where she wrote a dissertation under the direction of C. Vann Woodward. In 1982 she contributed an essay, “Ideology and Race in American History,” to a volume honoring Woodward on his retirement. In that often-assigned and influential essay, along with other work, Fields has analyzed the meanings of race as “a purely ideological notion.” The article continued, “To treat race as an ideology, and to insist upon treating it in connection with surrounding ideologies, is to open up a vast realm of further complications.” Those complications have been the subject of a great deal of scholarship in the past generation. Coauthor or coeditor of Slaves No More, Free at Last, and Freedom: The Documentary History of Emancipation, Fields has also written about the history of emancipation in the U.S. and Brazil.