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  • Tuesday, June 25, 2019 7:47 AM | Beth English (Administrator)

    On SLSA’s latest Working History podcast, "Beef: Exploitation, Innovation, and How Meat Changed America," Joshua Specht discusses his new book, Red Meat Republic: A Hoof-to-Table History of How Beef Changed America (Princeton University Press 2019), and how the history of beef production tells the story of broad changes in the American economy, society and political landscape during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.

    Joshua Specht is Lecturer in History at Monash University in Australia. He is a historian of the nineteenth-century United States, and uses approaches from environmental history to study topics that have traditionally been the focus of business or economic history. 

  • Thursday, May 23, 2019 10:29 AM | Beth English (Administrator)

    On SLSA’s latest Working History podcast, "Appalachia: A Regional Reckoning," Anthony Harkins and Meredith McCarroll discuss their edited volume Appalachian Reckoning: A Region Responds to Hillbilly Elegy (West Virginia University Press, 2019), the complexities of the region known as Appalachia, and challenging popular stereotypes of the region and the people who live there.

    Anthony Harkins is Associate Professor of History at Western Kentucky University. His book Hillbilly: A Cultural History of an American Icon (Oxford University Press, 2004) won the 2005 Susanne M. Glasscock Book Prize for Interdisciplinary Humanities Scholarship from Texas A&M University. His new project explores the origins, development and potential consequences of envisioning the great center of the nation as "the middle of nowhere" from the perspectives of both coastal commentators and self-defined "Flyover People." In particular, he is investigating the impact of central transportation and communication developments (especially transcontinental passenger air travel, the interstate highway system, and television) on the changing ways Americans envisioned the cultural and geographic boundaries and intersections of the nation.

    Harkins has published in Studies in American HumorAppalachian JournalThe Journal of Appalachian Studies and Historically Speaking. He is the Co-Editor of the Media section of the Encyclopedia of Appalachia (Univ. of Tennessee Press, 2006) and serves as a historical consultant on several film documentaries.

    Meredith McCarroll is the director of writing and rhetoric at Bowdoin College. She was born and raised in Western North Carolina and earned her PhD at the University of Tennessee. She is the author of Unwhite: Appalachia, Race, and Film. Her work has also been published in Southern Cultures, South Carolina Review, and Pluck.

    Listen to Working History on Spotify, iTunes, and  SoundCloud, and subscribe on these platforms to keep up to date on future episodes.

  • Thursday, March 14, 2019 11:26 AM | Beth English (Administrator)

    On SLSA’s latest Working History podcastJessica Wilkerson, Assistant Professor of History and Southern Studies at the University of Mississippi, discusses her book, To Live Here You Have to Fight: How Women Led Appalachian Movements for Social Justice, and the recent history of feminist social justice activism in Appalachia.

    Jessica Wilkerson is Assistant Professor of History and Southern Studies at the University of Mississippi. Born and raised in East Tennessee, she earned her MA in Women’s History from Sarah Lawrence College and PhD in History from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Her first book, To Live Here, You Have to Fight: How Women Led Appalachian Movements for Social Justice (University of Illinois Press, 2019), traces the alliances forged and the grassroots movements led by women in the Appalachian South in the 1960s and 1970s. The project, based on her dissertation, received the OAH Lerner-Scott Prize and the Labor and Working-Class History’s Herbert Gutman Prize. 

    Wilkerson’s article “The Company Owns the Mine But They Don’t Own Us: Feminist Critiques of Capitalism in the Coalfields of Kentucky,” was published in April 2016 in Gender & History and received the A. Elizabeth Taylor Prize for the best article in women’s history from the Southern Association for Women Historians. She has also published in Southern Cultures and Working U.S.A.: The Journal of Labor and Society, and she contributed to North Carolina Women: Their Lives and Times—Volume 2(University of Georgia Press). She has contributed to oral history projects at the Southern Oral History Program (UNC), including the “Long Women’s Movement in the American South.” You can hear more about that project here. In the spring 2017, she began a collaboration with her students on an oral history project documenting LGTBQ life and history in Mississippi. She has also written for 100 Days in Appalachia, SalonRewire News, Washington Post, and Longreads. Her research interests include women’s and gender history, working-class history, U.S. social movements, Appalachian history, and oral history.

    Professor Wilkerson teaches classes in southern history, women’s and gender history, contemporary U.S. history, and oral history.

  • Thursday, February 14, 2019 2:51 PM | Beth English (Administrator)

    On SLSA’s latest Working History podcast, award-winning and New York Times bestselling author Wiley Cash discusses his novel, The Last Ballad, writing fiction inspired by the South, and exploring the complexities of southern class, race, and gender relations against the backdrop of the 1929 Loray Mill strike.

    Wiley Cash is the New York Times bestselling author of the novels The Last BalladA Land More Kind than Home, and This Dark Road to Mercy. The founder of the Open Canon Book Club and co-founder of the Land More Kind Appalachian Artists Residency, he has been a fellow at the MacDowell Colony, Yaddo, and the Weymouth Center. He serves as the writer-in-residence at the University of North Carolina-Asheville and teaches in the Mountainview Low-Residency MFA. He lives in North Carolina with his wife and their two young daughters.

    Follow Working History on SoundCloud and subscribe on iTunes to check out past episodes and keep up to date on future episodes.

  • Thursday, February 14, 2019 10:14 AM | Beth English (Administrator)

    SLSA Board Member Jessie Wilkerson's book, To Live Here, You Have to Fight: How Women Led Appalachian Movements for Social Justice, is now available from the University of Illinois Press.  Described as, "Inspiring yet sobering," To Live Here, You Have to Fight "reveals Appalachian women as the indomitable caregivers of a region--and overlooked actors in the movements that defined their time." Read a recent review of the book in the Pacific Standard, listen to an interview with Jessie on BYY Radio's Top of the Mind, and stay tuned to Working History for a forthcoming episode about the book.

  • Wednesday, January 23, 2019 1:03 PM | Beth English (Administrator)

    SLSA Board Member Keri Leigh Merritt recently discussed with the Atlanta Journal-Constitution how her family history informs her scholarly work, and the many intersections of poverty, racism, and policy in the South. "Poverty informs everything that’s currently happening politically," Merritt notes, "and studying poverty gives us clear answers about how to move forward and make America a more equitable society, particularly in the South." The full interview is available on ACJ.com.

  • Wednesday, December 19, 2018 7:56 AM | Beth English (Administrator)

    On the latest episode of Working History, Matthew Hild and Keri Leigh Merritt discuss their new edited volume, Reconsidering Southern Labor History, the nexus of race, class and power in the history of labor in the South, and how a new generation of southern labor scholars are changing our understanding of labor's past, present and future in the region.

    Keri Leigh Merritt works as an independent scholar in Atlanta, Georgia. She received her B.A. in History and Political Science from Emory University, and her M.A. and Ph.D. (2014) in History from the University of Georgia. Her research focuses on race and class in U.S. history. Merritt’s work on poverty and inequality has garnered multiple awards. Her first book, Masterless Men: Poor Whites and Slavery in the Antebellum South, was published by Cambridge University Press in 2017. With Matthew Hild she is the co-editor of Reconsidering Southern Labor History: Race, Class, and Power. She is currently conducting research for books on radical black resistance during Reconstruction, and on the role of sheriffs and police in the nineteenth century South.

    Matthew Hild is an instructor of history, specializing in southern history and American labor history and agricultural history at Georgia Tech. He earned his Ph.D. from Georgia Tech’s School of History and Sociology in 2003. He has taught intermittently at Georgia Tech since 2002, and has also taught at Auburn University, Georgia State University, Rhodes College, and the University of West Georgia. He is the author of Greenbackers, Knights of Labor, and Populists: Farmer-Labor Insurgency in the Late–Nineteenth Century South (University of Georgia Press, 2007) and a contributing author to Populism in the South Revisited: New Interpretations and New Departures (University Press of Mississippi, 2012).  He is currently writing Arkansas's Gilded Age: The Rise, Decline, and Legacy of Populism and Working-Class Protest, which is under contract with the University of Missouri Press. Courses that he has taught at Georgia Tech include U.S. History to 1877, U.S. History since 1877, History of the New South, U.S. Labor History, America in the Gilded Age and Progressive Era, and Technology and Science in the Industrial Age.

    Follow Working History on SoundCloud and subscribe oiTunes to check out past episodes and keep up to date on future episodes.

  • Wednesday, December 19, 2018 7:54 AM | Beth English (Administrator)

    STATEMENT ON SILENT SAM CONFEDERATE MONUMENT 

    The Southern Labor Studies Association stands in solidarity with the September 6, 2018 statement of the UNC Black Faculty in regards to the Confederate monument Silent Sam. We also stand with graduate student workers, who, in recent days and months, have done the vital work of connecting labor and racial injustice at UNC-Chapel Hill. As an organization that encourages dialogue and discussion about key issues and events relevant to the past and present of labor in the U.S. South and seeks to enhance connections between academics and labor activists in the U.S. South, a monument to a regime dedicated to the subjugation of labor has no place on any campus. We encourage other academic organizations and university departments to take a public stand on this issue.

    The Officers and Board of the Southern Labor Studies Association
    December 2018

  • Wednesday, November 28, 2018 10:14 AM | Beth English (Administrator)

    SLSA's latest Working History podcast, "Slavery and Memory," is available for listening on SoundCloud and iTunes. In the episode, Blain Roberts and Ethan J. Kytle, Professors of History at California State University, Fresno, discuss their co-authored book, Denmark Vesey's Garden: Slavery and Memory in the Cradle of the Confederacy, competing narratives about slavery in the South, and the fraught history of race, memory and memorialization in the region.

    Blain Roberts is a professor of history at California State University, Fresno. She is co-author, with Ethan J. Kytle, of Denmark Vesey’s Garden (The New Press). She is the author of Pageants, Parlors, and Pretty Women: Race and Beauty in the Twentieth Century South (University of North Carolina Press) whicwas named a 2014 Publishers Weekly Notable African American title, and won the 2014 Willie Lee Rose Prize for the best book in southern history written by a woman. Roberts has written articles for the Journal of Southern History and Southern Cultures and op-eds for the New York Times, The Atlantic, and the Chronicle of Higher Education. 

    Ethan J. Kytle is a professor of history at California State University, Fresno. He co-author, with Blain Roberts, of Denmark Vesey’s Garden (The New Press) and the author of Romantic Reformers and the Antislavery Struggle in the Civil War Era. He has written for the Journal of Southern History, American Nineteenth Century History, the New York Times, and The Atlantic

    Follow Working History on SoundCloud and subscribe on iTunes to check out past episodes and keep up to date on future episodes.


  • Wednesday, October 10, 2018 7:07 AM | Beth English (Administrator)

    SLSA's latest Working History podcast, "Revisioning the American Past through African American and Latinx History," is available for listening on SoundCloud and iTunes. In the episode, Paul Ortiz, Associate Professor and Director of Samuel Proctor Oral History Program at the University of Florida, discusses his most recent book, An African American and Latinx History of the United States, the myth of American exceptionalism, and globalizing America's past.

    Paul Ortiz received his Ph.D. from Duke University in 2000 and his B.A. from The Evergreen State College in 1990. He joined the University of Florida Department of History in 2008 after teaching at the University of California, Santa Cruz. His book Emancipation Betrayed: The Hidden History of Black Organizing and White Violence in Florida from Reconstruction to the Bloody Election of 1920 received the Harry T. and Harriette V. Moore Book Prize from the Florida Historical Society and the Florida Institute of Technology. He also co-edited and conducted oral history interviews for the award-winning, Remembering Jim Crow: African Americans Tell About Life in the Jim Crow South.

    Professor Ortiz has published and taught in the fields of African American history, Latino Studies, the African Diaspora, Social Movement Theory, U.S. History, U.S. South, labor, and documentary studies. He currently works with students in these and related fields. He is currently finishing a book titled ‘Our Separate Struggles Are Really One’: African American and Latino Histories which will be part of Beacon Press’s new “ReVisioning American History series. He is also working on a manuscript titledC.L.R. James, Caribbean Radicalism, and the Rise of the Modern Anti-Colonial Movement; a synthesis of the segregated South with William H. Chafe titled Behind the Veil: African Americans in the Age of Segregation, 1895-1965; and an essay on William Watson Davis’s landmark text, The Civil War and Reconstruction in Florida, for an anthology titled Looking Back without Anger: New Appraisals of “the Dunning School” and its Contributions to the Study of American History, edited by John David Smith.

    Follow Working History on SoundCloud and subscribe on iTunes to check out past episodes and keep up to date on future episodes. 


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CONTACT Southern Labor Studies Association 

c/o Evan Bennett, Treasurer

Department of History

Florida Atlantic University

777 Glades Road

Boca Raton, FL 33431

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