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Center for the Study of the Gulf South

News and Events

USM, Hattiesburg hosting Mississippi Historical Society Meeting March 10-11

The Mississippi Historical Society (MHS) will take in the hospitality of Hattiesburg and The University of Southern Mississippi (USM) when the city and school host the organization’s annual spring meeting March 10-11. Read more here.


Owen HymanGuest Lecture by Dr. James Hyman “Coastal Resistance and Coastal Resilience: Black History in the Mississippi Gulf South.”

Tuesday, February 22, 2022

12:15 p.m. - 1:00 p.m.

Gulf Park Campus – Hardy Hall in Ballroom

The talk is co-sponsored by the Center for the Study of the Gulf South and the School of Coastal Resilience.

Dr. Owen James Hyman teaches African American Studies at the University of Mississippi. His dissertation, "The Cut and the Color Line: An Environmental History of Jim Crow in the Deep South's Forests," received the 2018 C. Vann Woodward Prize for the best dissertation in southern history from the Southern Historical Association. His research has been funded by fellowships from the Forest History Society, the Southern Labor Archives, and the Department of Black Studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara.

Contact: Dr. Douglas Bristol (




Baird Fellowship Lecture “When We Were Freshmen”: Judson College and the Rise of the New Baptist Woman presented by E. Gabrielle Walker

Tuesday, March 8, 2022

5:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.

LAB Gonzales Auditorium


E. Gabrielle Walker, the 2021-2022 Baird Fellowship recipient, is a Louisiana native currently living in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Southwest Virginia. She entered the Ph.D. program at Southern Miss in August 2014, studying post-Reconstruction Southern women. Walker’s dissertation, “‘If These Walls Could Speak’: Judson College and the New Baptist Woman, 1890-1930,” explores the ways in which Progressive Era ideology made a lasting impact on Southern Baptist white women attending a Southern Baptist college. Collegiate experiences led to their questioning traditional Southern Baptist thought patterns and expansively interpreting religion to fit a modern, scientific worldview. These “new” Baptist women then used conservative Southern religious institutions as a means to reinterpret their position in church and society.

The Center for the Study of the Gulf South sponsors the Baird Fellowship and awards $1,500 each year to one History graduate student to support travel for research purposes.


Dr. Andrew GutowskiGuest Lecture by Dr. Andrew Gutkowski "The Poisoned Land: Hazardous Waste, Civil Rights, and the Struggle for Environmental Equity in the U.S. South."

Tuesday, April 5, 2022

5:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.

LAB Gonzales Auditorium


Andrew Gutkowski is an Assistant Professor at USM in the School of Interdisciplinary Studies, where he teaches courses in Environmental Justice, Social Advocacy, and Black Studies. He has a Ph.D. in History from the University of South Carolina (2020) with concentrations in Modern U.S., African American, and Environmental History. His current book project explores how post-war struggles over civil rights and industrial pollution in the U.S. South shaped the uneven distribution of environmental hazards – toxic waste facilities, Superfund sites, brownfields – that defines much of the region’s industrial landscape today. His research has recently been published in The Journal of American History.


vholdenGuest Lecture by Dr. Vanessa Holden “Surviving Southampton: African American Women and Resistance in Nat Turner’s Community”

Thursday, April 21, 2022

5:30 p.m. - 6:30 p.m.

LAB Gonzales Auditorium


Dr. Vanessa Holden, professor of History and African American and Africana Studies at the University of Kentucky, will speak on "Surviving Southampton: African American Women and Resistance in Nat Turner's Community."

Dr. Holden’s book, Surviving Southampton: African American Women and Resistance in Nat Turner’s Community (University of Illinois Press) explores the contributions that African American women and children made to the Southampton Rebellion, often called Nat Turner’s Rebellion. Her writing has been published in Slavery and Abolition: A Journal of Slave and Post-Slave Studies, Perspectives on History, Process: A Blog for American History, and The Rumpus. Dr. Holden also co-convenes #SlaveryArchive Book Club with #SlaveryArchive co-founders Dr. Jessica M. Johnson (Johns Hopkins University) and Dr. Ana Lucia Araujo (Howard University), and co-convener Dr. Alex Gil (Columbia University).

Dr. Holden is also the director of the Central Kentucky Slavery Initiative at the University of Kentucky and serves as a faculty adviser on a number of public history and digital humanities projects, including Freedom on the Move and The Chronicle of African Americans in the Horse Industry. Follow her on Twitter @drvholden .

Contact: Jerra Runnels (

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Center for the Study of the Gulf South
346 Liberal Arts Building (LAB)
118 College Dr. #5047
Hattiesburg, MS 39406

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730 East Beach Boulevard
Long Beach, MS 39560

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