Rebecca A. Tuuri

Assistant Professor

Rebecca Tuuri joined the University of Southern Mississippi history faculty in the fall of 2013.  She is a native of the Gulf South—growing up in New Orleans and then attending Rice University in Houston for BAs in history and studio art.  She then ventured to the north for her PhD in U.S. women’s and gender history from Rutgers University, only to return south to teach first at Tulane and now at USM.
Tuuri’s research traces the civil rights activism of the National Council of Negro Women (NCNW), the largest black women’s organization in the 1960s and 1970s.  She looks especially at its deliberate decision to sponsor the interracial, interfaith women’s group Wednesdays in Mississippi, a project for middle-aged, middle-class black and white women who wanted to support the efforts of Freedom Summer in 1964.  Tuuri examines how the creation of interracial and interfaith networks of middle-class women constituted activism in and of itself, but also how these networks led to antipoverty work later.
She has taught survey courses in African American, United States, and Women’s and Gender history, as well as specialized courses on slavery, the civil rights movement, and modern America.