The Southern Labor Studies Association is pleased to announce the results of the 2019 election. The newly elected Officers and Executive Board Members will begin their terms of service on October 1.
Vice President: Keri Leigh Merritt
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.
Treasurer: Matthew Hild
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).
Executive Board Members (in alphabetical order)
Mary Frederickson (1-year term)
Mary Frederickson is currently an affiliated faculty member in the Institute for Liberal Arts at Emory University and Professor Emeritus of History at Miami University, Oxford, Ohio, where she taught from 1988-2015. At Miami, she was awarded the Distinguished Educator Award from the College of Arts and Science and the Distinguished Teaching Award from the Ohio Academy of History. Her research and teaching focus on gender, race, labor studies, and the social impact of disease. In 2010 she was a visiting scholar at the Woodrow Wilson Center in Washington, DC. The following year, she published Looking South: Race, Gender, and the Transformation of Labor, a study of the low-wage, anti-union and state-supported industries that marked the creation of the New South and now the Global South. In 2012-13, she was named Senior Mellon Fellow at the James Weldon Johnson Institute at Emory University. Since 2013 she has been a Visiting Professor at Emory, in both the Graduate Institute of Liberal Arts and the Rollins School of Public Health. She serves as series editor of “Public Health in the US and Global South,” for Southern Spaces. Recent publications include Gendered Resistance: Women, Slavery, and the Legacy of Margaret Garner, 2013, (co-edited with Delores M. Walters); and Global Women’s Work: Perspectives on Gender and Work in the Global Economy, 2018 (with Beth English and Olga Sanmiguel-Valderrama). Her many published articles include works on labor and cultural history, new trajectories in women’s history, and the relationship between historical consciousness and activism. The National Council for Research on Women, Fulbright-Hays, and the National Endowment for the Humanities have funded her research.
Brian Kelly (2-year term)
Brian Kelly is a lifelong trade unionist active in the University and College Union (UCU) at Queen’s University Belfast. His early research was on interracial unionism in the New South, but in recent years he has focused on the formative struggles that accompanied slave emancipation. His first book, Race, Class and Power in the Alabama Coalfields, 1908-1921 (Illinois, 2001), won a number of awards, including the Southern Historical Association's H. L. Mitchell Prize for an outstanding book in Southern working-class history, and its Frances Butler Simkins Award for the best first book by an author in Southern history. In the years since he has published widely on the problem of racial antagonism and its impact on working-class politics in the US. Formerly a Walter Hines Page Fellow at the National Humanities Center in North Carolina, he holds non-residential fellowships at the Institute for Southern Studies (University of South Carolina) and the W. E. B. Du Bois Institute (Harvard University). He is past director of the After Slavery Project and is competing a study of black labor in Reconstruction South Carolina.
Sarah McNamara (2-year term)
Sarah McNamara is Assistant Professor of History and affiliated faculty in the Latina/o, Mexican American Studies Program at Texas A&M University. Her research focuses on Latinx, labor, women and gender, and immigration histories in the modern United States. She is at work on her first book, “From Picket Lines to Picket Fences: Latinas and the Remaking of the Jim Crow South, 1930-1964.” McNamara has two forthcoming articles, “Borderland Unionism: Latina Activism in Ybor City and Tampa, Florida,” which will appear in the 2019 summer issue of the Journal of American Ethnic History, and “A Not-So Nuevo Past: Latina Histories in the U.S. South,” in Labor: Studies in Working Class History as well as a special issue of the JAEH that interrogates the long history of multi-ethnic immigration to the U.S. South. In March 2018, her chapter “Settlement of Ybor City, 1885-1930,” was published in 50 Events that Shaped Latino History. Beyond historical work, McNamara is dedicated to interdisciplinary collaboration and sharing research on Latinx, immigration, and women and gender with a broad audience. She has written for Public Seminar, The Washington Post and published an ethnopoetic piece about the experience of undocumented activists in the U.S. South with South Writ Large. In addition to scholarship, McNamara is dedicated to student and community activism. At Texas A&M, McNamara acts as the faculty to sponsor to CMSA, previously the DREAMAct Club, which advocates for DACA and undocumented students at Texas A&M through collective action and university administrative change. McNamara’s work has received support from the American Historical Association, the American Libraries Association, and the National Endowment for the Humanities, among others.
Susan O'Donovan (2-year term)
Susan Eva O’Donovan is Associate Professor of History at the University of Memphis and has held appointments with History and African & African American Studies at Harvard University and the Freedmen and Southern Society Project at the University of Maryland. A scholar of nineteenth-century race, labor, and politics, she has written extensively on African American experiences in the post emancipation South. Susan is currently at work on a new project, Becoming Citizens: The Political Lives of Slaves. Under contract with Metropolitan Books, Becoming Citizens explores the relationship between what slaves did for their owners and what they came to know and do for themselves in the years leading up to secession. Susan has served on/chaired numerous university and professional committees; she is co-director of the Memphis Massacre Project; a founding member of the After Slavery Project; and the district coordinator for West Tennessee History Day, an affiliate of National History Day.