- A University of Southern Mississippi history professor and prize-winning
author has been named the new editor-in-chief of the online publication
Mississippi History NOW.
Dr. Greg O'Brien,
an expert in ethnohistory and American Indian culture, gained unanimous
approval on May 3 from the Mississippi Historical Society, replacing
former editor-in-chief Dr. Ray Skates, Southern Miss emeritus.
grateful for the trust placed in me by the Mississippi Historical
Society," said O'Brien, who won the 2003 McLemore Prize for
the best book published on a Mississippi history topic in 2002.
Published by University of Nebraska Press and released in March,
the book is titled "Choctaws in a Revolutionary Age, 1750-1830."
History NOW Web site (http://mshistory.k12.ms.us/) is an innovative
and award-winning project published by the Mississippi Historical
Society since August 2000. Its goal is to increase knowledge about
all aspects of Mississippi's past for students and the public. Each
month a new article by a historian is presented along with a corresponding
lesson plan designed by a Mississippi educator.
In the near
future, fund raising to keep the site going will be a top priority,
O'Brien said. "We are looking for foundation and corporate
sponsorship. In addition, I plan to continue the accomplished work
of my predecessor and of the editor (Peggy Jeanes) in bringing a
wide array of Mississippi history topics to the public's attention,"
specialty courses at Southern Miss include American Indian History
and Colonial America, also won the prestigious Fletcher M. Green
and Charles W. Ramsdell Award last fall as author of the best article
published in the Journal of Southern History during the two preceding
years. The article was titled "The Conqueror Meets the Unconquered:
Negotiating Cultural Boundaries on the Post-Revolutionary Southern
News of the
Web site's effectiveness is already filtering in, O'Brien said.
"Just last week I heard from a teacher on the Gulf Coast who
used one of my articles for MHN in his class, and he said that his
students successfully learned about the removal of the Choctaw Indians
in the 1830s in an easily accessible and engaging format,"
A member of
the Southern Miss faculty since 1998, O'Brien became a tenure-track
assistant professor at Southern Miss in 2000 and was promoted to
the rank of associate professor last year. He earned a bachelor
of arts at Randolph-Macon College in 1988, a master's degree at
James Madison University in 1994 and a doctorate at the University
of Kentucky in 1998.
fields also include American environmental history, the American
Revolution and early U.S. history.