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Executive Board

Terms ending 2023

Rana Hogarth | University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign

Rana Hogarth is associate professor of history at the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign. Her scholarship interrogates the circulation of ideas about racial difference in North America and the Caribbean as they emerged through the language of medicine and its allied fields.  Her first book, Medicalizing Blackness: Making Racial Difference in the Atlantic World, 1780, (University of North Carolina Press, 2017), shows how medical ideas about blackness formed a corpus of knowledge that white physicians drew upon to cultivate their medical authority and professional expertise. It focuses on the process through which physicians invested blackness with medical and practical meaning. Thus, her book shows how white inhabitants of slave societies deployed medical knowledge about Black people’s bodies to improve plantation labor efficiency and safeguard colonial and civic interests.  

She is currently at work on her second book, which examines how myths about mixed-race people that emerged from slave societies in the Southern United States and the Caribbean informed eugenic era discourse. This project specifically takes up the question of how Black people, and mixed race people with Black and white ancestry, became targeted by white eugenicists for study in the early decades of the twentieth century. In answering that question, and others, this project will show how the contexts of slavery, emancipation, Reconstruction, and the “nadir” of race relations influenced the ways in which eugenicists regarded African American and mixed race bodies. In this way, this project will show how legacies of slavery and its aftermath became essential to advancing the eugenicist project of measuring racial intermixture and racial fitness. 

Eladio Bobadilla | University of Kentucky

Dr. Eladio Bobadilla is an assistant professor of history at the University of Kentucky. A Navy veteran and a graduate of Weber State University, he completed his dissertation on the history of the modern immigrants’ rights movement at Duke University in 2019 under the supervision of Dr. Nancy MacLean. While at Duke, he received several major fellowships and grants, including the Gilder Lehrman Scholarly Fellowship, the Mellon Fellowship for Dissertation Research in Original Sources, the Ottis Green Fellowship, a Bass Instructional Fellowship, the John Higham Research Fellowship, and the George Pozzetta Dissertation Award. He is an immigration expert for the Scholars Strategy Network and the recipient of the 2020 Herbert G. Gutman Dissertation Prize. He is currently working on his first book, which will be published as part of the Working Class in American History series of the University of Illinois Press.

Mike Thompson | University of Tennessee at Chattanooga

Mike Thompson is a UC Foundation Associate Professor and Head of the History Department at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. He is an active member of UTC’s chapter of United Campus Workers (UCW), and specializes in the history of the American South and slavery, as well as early American social, labor, and maritime history. His first book, Working on the Dock of the Bay: Labor and Enterprise in an Antebellum Southern Port (Columbia: University of South Carolina Press, 2015 hardcover, 2018 paperback), is a study of waterfront labor and laborers in Charleston, South Carolina, between the American Revolution and the Civil War. Mike’s manuscript for this project was awarded the 2011 Hines Prize from the College of Charleston’s Carolina Lowcountry and Atlantic World (CLAW) Program, for which he now serves as an affiliate faculty member. Working on the Dock of the Bay also was a finalist and runner-up for the South Carolina Historical Society’s 2016 George C. Rogers Jr. Award. He now is working on a project that examines how racialized perceptions of disease susceptibility impacted labor and working people in antebellum southern cities, tentatively titled Working Feverishly: Epidemics and Labor in the Urban Old South. In addition to serving as the History Department’s Internships Coordinator, Mike currently is on UTC’s Council of Academic Department Heads and Institutional Review Board. He has led student study trips to Charleston, South Carolina, and Nashville, Tennessee, and in 2018 received UTC’s ThinkAchieve Award for experiential learning.

Terms Ending 2024

Jarod Roll | University of Mississippi

Jarod Roll is a professor of history at the University of Mississippi. His scholarship focuses on workers at the margins of organized labor in the United States after 1865, particularly in agricultural and rural-industrial settings, with an emphasis on working-class social and economic thought. He is the author of three prize-winning books: Poor Man’s Fortune: White Working-Class Conservatism in American Metal Mining, 1850-1950 (University of North Carolina Press, 2020), Spirit of Rebellion: Labor and Religion in the New Cotton South (University of Illinois Press, 2010), and, with coauthor Erik Gellman, The Gospel of the Working-Class: Labor’s Southern Prophets in New Deal America (University of Illinois Press, 2011). He is currently working on a collaborative project with Erik Gellman, Max Krochmal, and Sarah McNamara to write a national history of UCAPAWA-FTA, the CIO’s Communist-led agribusiness union, from the 1930s to the 1950s. He is a member of United Campus Workers of Mississippi.

Iliana Yamileth Rodriguez | Emory University

Iliana Yamileth Rodriguez is a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of History at Emory University. Her scholarship focuses on U.S. Latinx communities through questions of race, ethnicity, labor, and migration. With a regional focus on the U.S. South, Rodriguez’s work examines Latinx histories alongside ethnic political, economic, and cultural place-making practices in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. Her current manuscript project, “Mexican Atlanta: Migrant Place-Making in the Latinx South,” traces the history of Metro Atlanta’s Mexican community formation since the 1970s. Rodriguez is committed to archive building and public scholarship that center marginalized histories. To this end, she is currently working with the University of Georgia to record and archive oral histories for the Latinx Georgia Oral History Project.

Joshua Hollands | University College London

Joshua Hollands is a lecturer in United States History at University College London’s Institute of the Americas. He completed his PhD at UCL in 2019. Josh’s research interests lie at the intersection of sexuality, class, gender and race in the post-1945 United States. His recently completed PhD thesis examines histories of homophobic workplace discrimination in the US South and Southwest, and the movements that emerged to counter it. Each chapter of his thesis, entitled: Work and Sexuality in the Sunbelt: Homophobic Workplace Discrimination in the US South and Southwest, 1970 to the present, examine episodes of discrimination in different Sunbelt cities and companies. Chapters focused on individual organisations such as Apple Computer, Cracker Barrel, Duke University and ExxonMobil shed light on mainstream LGBT strategies for equality within corporations, as well as the extent to which victories at these companies impacted wider rights for sexual minorities in southern cities. Similarly, case studies on organisations of business elites in Sunbelt cities including Houston and Williamson County, Texas, demonstrate how battles over workplace rights in both the private and public sectors informed conservative rhetoric in opposition to, and in some cases, acceptance of LGBT rights during the closing decades of the twentieth-century.

In 2017, Josh was awarded the Robert H. Zieger Prize for Southern Labor Studies for research on discrimination at the Cracker Barrel restaurant chain. He was also a finalist for the Business History Conference’s 2021 Krooss Prize, and is the recipient of the Labor and Working Class History Association’s 2021 Herbert G. Gutman Dissertation Prize. He is currently working on his first book, which will be published as part of the Working Class in American History series of the University of Illinois Press. During the 2021–22 academic year, Josh is a Fulbright Scholar at Elon University in North Carolina. He is also a member of the UCL branch of the University and College Union (UCU).

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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