Organizers of a symposium to honor the late Dr. Arthur J. Kaul, longtime professor of journalism at the University of Southern Mississippi, want the event to be a permanent tribute to the legacy he left in scholarship and teaching.
On Feb. 27, “Subverting the Dominant Paradigm: Celebrating the Legacy of Arthur J. Kaul” will include panel discussions focusing on Kaul’s areas of expertise, including literary journalism, media ethics, the history of journalism and teaching/mentorship. The symposium will be held in the R.C. Cook University Union Hall of Honors, with a luncheon to be held in Union Room B.
Kaul, who died last year at age 62, will be inducted posthumously into the School of Mass Communication and Journalism Hall of fame at a luncheon that day in Cook Union Rooms A and B. The school will also announce the first winner of the Arthur J. Kaul Memorial Scholarship during the luncheon.
“Dr. Kaul had such a positive and enduring impact on the field of journalism, his students and this university,” said Dr. Chris Campbell, director of the Southern Miss School of Mass Communication and Journalism and one of Kaul’s former students. “We believe this symposium is an appropriate way to honor him and advance the scholarship and ideas that brought him joy.”
Kaul joined the Southern Miss faculty in 1984. A respected lecturer and active academic leader, he was chosen for the University Excellence in Teaching Award in 1989 and served on the university’s faculty senate, including as its president. Prior to entering academia, he worked as a reporter and education writer for daily newspapers in Kentucky and Missouri.
His wife Nancy Kaul, a collection development officer for Southern Miss University Libraries, recently initiated the memorial scholarship endowment with a $10,000 donation. Funds from the endowment will be used to support Southern Miss mass communication and journalism doctoral students nearing completion of their program.
Kaul said it was her late husband’s desire to provide financial support for doctoral students in journalism who have completed their coursework and are in the critical stages of research and writing their dissertation.
“He received such assistance while working on his doctorate at Southern Illinois University, and he never forgot the difference it made in helping complete his Ph.D. and begin a long and successful academic career,” she said. “He loved his students and this is a very appropriate way to honor his legacy as a teacher, scholar and mentor.”
The keynote address at the luncheon will be delivered by two journalists who were part of the New Orleans Times-Picayune's Pulitzer Prize-winning coverage of the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, photographer Ted Jackson, a Southern Miss graduate, and Jed Horne, retired metro editor of the Times-Picayune and author of the acclaimed "Breach of Faith: Hurricane Katrina and the Near Death of a Great American City."
"Art Kaul was a fan of great photojournalism and the kind of literary journalism that Jed Horne's books represent. So the luncheon should be a real treat," Campbell said.
Panel presenters will include Southern Miss faculty and alumni who worked with Kaul or were students who studied under him. Symposium panel times and topics are as follows:
• 8:45 – 10 a.m.: History of Journalism
• 10:05 – 11:20 a.m.: Media Ethics
• 11:30 – 1 p.m.: Luncheon
• 1-2:15 p.m.: Literary Journalism
• 2:20 – 3:35: Teaching/Mentorship
Retired Southern Miss journalism professor Dr. Gene Wiggins, who will moderate the symposium’s Media Ethics panel, said the symposium is an appropriate way to honor his late colleague and friend. “I’m honored to take part in this event, and I know many of his former students look forward to participating and attending.”
Dr. Beth Christian, a professor of mass communication and journalism at Louisiana Tech University, said Kaul inspired her both as an undergraduate and later as a doctoral student at Southern Miss. She is a scheduled presenter for the Literary Journalism panel discussion.
“He was the first journalism professor I met when I came to Southern Miss in 1993. I can still picture his cross-stitched "Subvert the Dominant Paradigm" on the wall of his office and his "If you aren't outraged, you aren't paying attention" poster above his desk,” she said.
“Words can't convey the kind of teacher he was. He exuded what he taught literally with every fiber of his being, and a day doesn’t pass that I don’t recall or talk about something he taught me.”
Tickets for the luncheon are $25, and proceeds from the luncheon will support the Arthur J. Kaul Memorial Fund. For more information about the symposium, contact the Southern Miss School of Mass Communication at 601.266.4258; or e-mail symposium coordinators Dr. Fei Xue at
; Pete Smith at
; or Ginger Carter at
From left, John Sherk, development officer, major gifts for the Southern Miss College of Arts and Letters, accepts a check for $10,000 from Nancy Kaul to initiate the Arthur J. Kaul Memorial Scholarship Fund in honor of her late husband, who was a longtime member of the university’s School of Mass Communication and Journalism faculty. (Southern Miss Marketing and Public Relations photo by David Tisdale)
About The University of Southern Mississippi
The University of Southern Mississippi, founded in 1910, is a comprehensive doctoral and research-extensive university fulfilling its mission of being a leading university in engaging and empowering individuals to transform lives and communities. In a tradition of leadership for student development, Southern Miss is educating a 21st century work force providing intellectual capital, cultural enrichment and innovation to Mississippi and the world. Southern Miss is located in Hattiesburg, Miss., with an additional campus and teaching and research sites on the Mississippi Gulf Coast; further information is found at www.usm.edu.