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Officers

President | Bryant Simon, Temple University

Bryant Simon is professor of history at Temple University. He is the author most recently of Boardwalk of Dreams: Atlantic City and the Fate of Urban America (2004), and Everything But the Coffee: Learning About America from Starbucks (2009). His research and scholarship has earned awards and honors from the Fulbright Commission, Humboldt Foundation, Urban History Association, Organization of American Historians, and the Smithsonian Institution. His work and popular commentary have been featured in the New Yorker, Washington Post, New Republic, and numerous other outlets. Over last five years, Simon has lectured around the world and taught at the National University of Singapore, University of Tubingen, and University of Erfurt, and has served    as a Distinguished Lecturer for the Organization of American Historians. Simon’s current work focuses on food and society.



Immediate Past President (Elections Chair) | Robert Korstad, Duke University

Robert Korstad is Professor of Public Policy and History at Duke University. His research interests include twentieth century U.S. history, labor history, African American history, and contemporary social policy. Korstad’s publications include: To Right These Wrongs: The North Carolina Fund and the Battle to End Poverty and Inequality in 1960s America (with James L. Leloudis), Civil Rights Unionism: Tobacco Workers and the Struggle for Democracy in the Mid-Twentieth-Century South, Remembering Jim Crow: African Americans Talk About Life in the Segregated South (coeditor), and Like a Family: The Making of a Southern Cotton Mill World (coauthor).



Keri Leigh Merritt, Vice PresidentVice-President | Keri Leigh Merritt, Independent Scholar

Keri Leigh Merritt works as a historian and writer in Atlanta, Georgia. Her first book, Masterless Men: Poor Whites and Slavery in the Antebellum South (Cambridge University Press, 2017), won both the Bennett Wall Award from the Southern Historical Association and the President’s Book Award from the Social Science History Association. Merritt is also co-editor, with Matthew Hild, of Reconsidering Southern Labor History: Race, Class, and Power (University Press of Florida, 2018), which won the 2019 Best Book Award from the UALE (United Association for Labor Education). Merritt also writes historical pieces for the public, and has had letters and essays published in a variety of outlets.




Secretary | Jessica Wilkerson, University of Mississippi

Jessie Wilkerson is Assistant Professor in History and Southern Studies at the University of Mississippi. She is currently working on her manuscript, Where Movements Meet: From the War on Poverty to Grassroots Feminism in the Appalachian South. Since joining the faculty at U of M, she has been learningabout current labor struggles in Mississippiincluding the organizing efforts of Nissan workersand is eager to find ways to support southern labor struggles through teaching, writing, public history projects, and networking with SLSA members.



Treasurer | Matthew Hild, University of West Georgia

Matthew Hild earned his Ph.D. in the History, Technology, and Society program at Georgia Tech, where he is currently a lecturer.  He also teaches at the University of West Georgia. His books include Greenbackers, Knights of Labor, and Populists: Farmer-Labor Insurgency in the Late-Nineteenth-Century South (University of Georgia Press), Arkansas's Gilded Age: The Rise, Decline, and Legacy of Populism and Working-Class Protest (University of Missouri Press), and, as co-editor with Keri Leigh Merritt, Reconsidering Southern Labor History: Race, Class, and Power (University Press of Florida).




Graduate Representative | David (Mac) Marquis, College of William and Mary

Mac spent 20+ years working for with non-profit organizations before returning to school to finish his undergraduate degree at UNC-Asheville. He received his M.A. from William & Mary in 2016. His dissertation is a social history of working-class in the Southern timber industry during the early twentieth century.



CONTACT Southern Labor Studies Association 

c/o Erik Gellman, SLSA/UNC Liaison

Department of History

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

102 Emerson Drive, CB #3195

Chapel Hill, NC 27599-3195

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