History Professor Awarded Prestigious NEH Fellowship

Jarod Roll among nation's top scholars chosen for distinction

History professor Jarod Roll has been awarded a National Endowment for the Humanities fellowship. Photo by Kevin Bain/Ole Miss Communications

OXFORD, Miss. – Jarod Roll, associate professor of history at the University of Mississippi, has been awarded a coveted fellowship by the National Endowment for the Humanities.

The yearlong fellowship allows scholars in the humanities to focus solely on their research or writing. Of the 1,298 scholars who applied for the 2017 fellowship, only 86 – less than 7 percent – were chosen for the award. Roll, a highly regarded historian of modern America with a focus on labor in U.S. history, joined the faculty in the Arch Dalrymple III Department of History in 2014.

He plans to use his fellowship, which begins in August, to complete a book project, tentatively titled “American Metal Miners and the Lure of Capitalism 1850-1950.” Roll is exploring the history of the white working-class anti-unionism and conservatism movements in the Tri-State Mining District of Kansas, Missouri and Oklahoma, a region that was national leader in the production of zinc and lead.

“Unlike miners elsewhere in the United States, the Tri-State miners resisted unionization and government reforms for over a century,” he said. “I am particularly interested in how their ideas about capitalism, as well as ethnicity and gender, influenced these views.

“Scholars in my field of labor history have not given much attention to workers who opposed unions, particularly over an extended period. My research fills that gap. It’s important, I think, to understand that white working-class conservatism is not a recent development, as some commentators would have it, but rather a subject with a deep history that we can trace back into the middle of the 19th century.”

“We are very proud of Dr. Roll’s achievement and what it represents for the university’s legacy of academic excellence,” Chancellor Jeffrey Vitter said. “This fellowship is one of the most coveted and competitive awards in the humanities, and Dr. Roll’s selection by the NEH is further evidence of his standing as one of the top humanities researchers in the country.”

The honor also is important because of the role humanities play in understanding and applying arts and sciences in today’s world, said Lee Cohen, dean of the UM College of Liberal Arts

“Research in the humanities helps us not only to contextualize development in the sciences, innovations in technology and advances in medicine, it offers us an opportunity to recognize that the work being done on campus by our faculty has a broad reach, beyond the laboratory, beyond the studies and beyond the classroom,” Cohen said.

“This work influences how we understand ourselves in very real, very tangible ways that impact our everyday lives. Dr. Roll being chosen for this well-regarded NEH fellowship indicates that his work is being recognized at the highest level, which is consistent with an R1 institution.”

Created in 1965 as an independent federal agency, the National Endowment for the Humanities supports research and learning in history, literature, philosophy and other areas of the humanities by funding selected peer-reviewed proposals from around the nation.

“NEH provides support for projects across America that preserve our heritage, promote scholarly discoveries and make the best of America’s humanities ideas available to all Americans,” said William D. Adams, NEH chairman. “We are proud to announce this latest group of grantees who, through their projects and research, will bring valuable lessons of history and culture to Americans.”

Roll has previously authored two books “Spirit of Rebellion: Labor and Religion in the New Cotton South” (University of Illinois Press, 2010) and “The Gospel of the Working Class: Labor’s Southern Prophets in New Deal America” (University of Illinois Press, 2011).

UM Graduate School to Host Expo

Event to showcase more than 100 programs of study

Photo by Robert Jordan/Ole Miss Communications

OXFORD, Miss. – The University of Mississippi Graduate School is preparing for its first-ever expo showcasing the possibilities for graduate education spanning a wide range of programs and UM campuses.

The expo is set for 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Wednesday (Feb. 15) at the Gertrude C. Ford Center for the Performing Arts.

Designed to showcase more than 100 graduate programs of study, the event will be structured similar to a career fair. Representatives from more than 60 master’s programs, 40 doctoral programs and five specialist programs will be on hand to answer questions about areas of study, admissions and funding.

“We encourage all students to attend this event to get answers to any questions they may have concerning graduate school,” said Brenteria Travis, manager of graduate admissions. “We hope that this event will ignite an interest and erase any apprehension students may have about graduate education.”

Representatives from the School of Law and UM Medical Center also will be in attendance to talk to students about their programs. Other attendees include faculty and staff members from Ole Miss organizations with information regarding funding and research opportunities.

“We are excited to be hosting this event that aims at encouraging our current students and alumni to consider attending graduate school here in one of our esteemed programs at the University of Mississippi,” said Christy Wyandt, professor of pharmaceutics and interim dean of the Graduate School.

All undergraduate, graduate and former students are invited to attend.

UM Museum Hosts Family Activity Day

Event takes children on a journey to China

Children and their families create works of art inspired by museum exhibits at Family Activity Day. Photo Nathan Latil/Ole Miss Communications

OXFORD, Miss. – The University of Mississippi Museum will host “On the Silk Road” Family Activity Day from 10 a.m. to noon Saturday (Feb. 11).

The free event is based on the new photography exhibit “Dunhuang through the Lens of James and Lucy Lo.” Children of all ages and their families are invited to celebrate the Chinese New Year and learn about the Year of the Rooster through activities that involve traveling along the Silk Road trade routes through interactive projects. Pre-registration is not required.

“We are thrilled to share the museum’s current exhibition, ‘Dunhuang through the Lens of James and Lucy Lo,’ with families in this interactive family day,” said Emily McCauley, the museum’s curator of education. “At first glance, this exhibit may not seem as accessible to our youngest of learners, so this family day will aim to bring Chinese New Year and the many traditions and traded goods of the Silk Road to life for all ages.” 

Families can follow trade route maps to visit Guangzhou, China, stop at the exhibit in Dunhuang, create peacock fans in Goa, India, and make blue-and-white wares in Venice, Italy.

Children must be accompanied by an adult throughout the drop-in event, and snacks will be provided.

For more information, contact McCauley at esdean@olemiss.edu or 662-915-7073.





Ford Center Hosts ‘Murder on the Nile’ on Valentine’s Day

Production honors Agatha Christie's staging of classic whodunit

Agatha Christie’s ‘Murder on the Nile’ will be performed Feb. 14 at the Ford Center by Aquila Theatre. Photo courtesy Richard Termine

OXFORD, Miss. – An evening of deceit, intrigue and murder is in store for audiences Feb. 14 at the Gertrude C. Ford Center for the Performing Arts when Aquila Theatre brings its production of mystery writer Agatha Christie’s “Murder on the Nile” to the University of Mississippi.

The 7:30 p.m. performance is Christie’s own staging of her 1937 novel “Death on the Nile.” The story is set on a paddle steamer making its way along the Nile River in 1940s Egypt. When a famous heiress boards the ship, passengers begin a frenzy, which quickly involves treachery, theft and death.

The whodunit tale performed by colorful and mysterious characters in Christie’s signature style add to the drama of the classic novel. Aqulia Theatre, in its 25th anniversary, brings critically acclaimed direction, acting, physicality and design to give life to the story.

“We are happy to again welcome Aquila Theatre to the Ford Center with ‘Murder on the Nile,'” said Kate Meacham, Ford Center marketing director. “It’s such a great opportunity for University of Mississippi students and the Oxford community to experience theater at its finest.”

Tickets, available at the UM Box Office inside the Ford Center, are $22 for balcony seating, $26 for Tier 2 box and Mezzanine seating and $30 for Orchestra/Parterre and Tier 1 box seating. They also can be purchased online at http://www.fordcenter.org/.

The play, written by Christie in 1942, was first performed in Dundee in 1944.

“In so many ways ‘Murder on the Nile’ was a product of the darkest days of World War II, a time when the very existence of Britain was under constant threat of a Nazi invasion and German bombers pounded major cities,” Aquila Theatre founder Peter Meineck said. “At that time, Christie lived just outside London and worked at University College Hospital, in the heart of the city.

“Like all Londoners, she would have endured the frightening and almost daily bombing raids on the city during the Blitz. Small wonder a play like ‘Murder on the Nile,’ set in the pre-war years with its colonial travelers sailing away into heat, ancient history and intrigue, would have appealed to people in war-torn Britain.”

Meineck wanted to explore the production of the play from this perspective, while also honoring the performance originally created for the stage, he stated in a director’s note.

“In so doing, I discovered that behind her deft mystery writing lay acute observations of British culture and society and many poignant reflections of Europe in the late 1930s and early 1940s,” he said.

“My aim is that we get to enjoy this brilliant classic murder mystery once again while also being thoroughly entertained in the finest style and traditions that Aquila Theatre has become so well-known for.”

In conjunction with the performance, Aquila Theatre will hold a Physical Theatre Masterclass at 2:30 p.m. Feb. 14 in the Ford Center’s Studio Theatre. The class will focus on movement and vocal exercises for experienced high school and college level performers.

For more information, visit http://www.fordcenter.org/.

Ford Center Hosts Renowned Fauré Quartett

Audiences can expect an eclectic mix of classical and pop at Feb. 7 show

Faure Quartett will perform at the Ford Center Feb. 7

OXFORD, Miss. – The Gertrude C. Ford Center for the Performing Arts at the University of Mississippi will host the acclaimed piano quartet The Fauré Quartett for an eclectic performance Tuesday evening (Feb. 7).

Fauré Quartett is one of the world’s leading piano quartets and is praised for its visionary approach to compositions outside of the mainstream. The group has collaborated with artists such as Rufus Wainwright and produced critically acclaimed recordings of classical works by Mozart, Brahms and Mendelssohn and pop songs from Peter Gabriel and Steely Dan.

“The Fauré Quartett is one of the world’s leading piano quartets, and we are excited to have the opportunity to bring them to the Ford Center,” said Kate Meacham, the center’s marketing director. “Our audience can expect music of the highest quality with performances of works by Mahler, Brahms and Gabriel Fauré.”

Tickets for the 7:30 p.m. show are $22 for balcony level, $26 for the mezzanine and Tier 2 box seat, and $30 for the orchestra/parterre levels and Tier 1 box seats. Tickets can be purchased online at http://www.fordcenter.org/ or at the UM Box Office inside the Ford Center. A 20 percent discount is available for faculty, staff and retirees.

The group features Dirk Mommertz on piano, Erika Geldsetzer on violin, Sascha Frömbling on viola and Konstantin Heidrich on cello. The musicians met in 1995 during their time studying in Karlsruhe, Germany, and signed a contract in 2006 with Deutsche Grammophon.

The quartet has since toured the world, playing at venues such as Concertgebouw Amsterdam, Berlin Philharmony and Wigmore Hall London.

Eggleston Exhibit Extended in Conjunction with Special Programs

UM Museum adds lecture and film screening on acclaimed photographer's work

The UM Museum’s ‘Extraordinary Gaze of William Eggleston’ exhibit is extended through Feb. 18 in conjunction with supporting programs. Photo by Robert Jordan/Ole Miss Communications

OXFORD, Miss. – Art and photography lovers have a little more time to visit the University of Mississippi Museum’s exhibit “The Beautiful Mysterious: The Extraordinary Gaze of William Eggleston” with an enhanced experience through both a film screening and lecture to support it.

The exhibit will remain on display through Feb. 18 in conjunction with the programs, presented in partnership with Friends of the Museum. Additional support was provided by the University Lecture Series.

Anne Tucker, scholar and curator emerita of the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston, will deliver a lecture on Eggleston’s work at 7 p.m. Feb. 9 in the speakers’ gallery at the University Museum.

In conjunction with the Oxford Film Festival, the museum presents a free film screening of “William Eggleston in the Real World” at 6 p.m. Feb. 14 at the Lyric Oxford, followed by a discussion by filmmaker Michael Almereyda.

Tucker has worked for the Houston museum since 1976 as a consultant and curator of photography. In 1978, she was named the museum’s curator, and in 1984 was named the Gus and Lyndall Wortham Curator of Photography. From 1976 to 2008, she increased the museum’s photograph collection to more than 24,000 pieces.

Tucker, who has a particular interest in Eggleston’s work, will offer two opportunities to discuss the exhibit. Besides the evening lecture on Feb. 9, she will conduct a daytime gallery discussion for art, photography and documentary studies students.

In an essay about the exhibit, Tucker recalled the first time she laid eyes on Eggleston’s photographs at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City in 1976.

“A woman next to me in the MoMA exhibition exclaimed that his pictures were ‘exotic,'” she said. “I call them home.”

Tucker grew up in Louisiana, making numerous trips to the Mississippi Delta with relatives.

“It is impossible for me to look at some of Eggleston’s pictures and not recall those memories,” she said. “I can’t be objective, whatever that means.

“In his photographs I recognize the hot, humid quality of a Southern summer as well as languid puffy clouds, rust-colored dirt, two-lane blacktop roads and dried wild grasses with burrs that would stick to your socks and scratch your legs. I can smell the sappy pine forests and hear the cicadas.

“There are many of Eggleston’s pictures that are fresh, engaging and, at times, disturbing, but which evoke in me no identity with his world. Other images preserve scenes that are gone and situations that needed to be gone. Above all, he also stopped to see – really see – that life is so daily.”

Almereyda, film director, writer, producer and cinematographer best known for his modern-day adaptation of “Hamlet” starring Ethan Hawke, will attend the screening of “William Eggleston in the Real World.” He will also be available for a brief Q&A session at the conclusion of the screening.

In this film, Almereyda explores the connection between Eggleston’s mysterious personality and industry-changing work, in addition to revealing his parallel commitments as a musician, draftsman and videographer.

The film, open to the general public, was nominated for a Gotham Award for Best Documentary from the Independent Filmmaker Project. Almereyda studied art history at Harvard, but left early to pursue filmmaking.

His first film as writer-director, “A Hero of Our Time,” was completed in 1987 and featured Dennis Hopper. It was screened in the 1992 Sundance Film Festival. Other screenplays of his include “Cherry 2000,” “Twister” and “Until the End of the World.”

Almereyda has also contributed text for “William Eggleston: For Now” (Twin Palms, 2010).

For more information about these events, visit http://museum.olemiss.edu/.

Randalls Establish Endowment for AICPA Collection

Fund will help UM to preserve materials and make them available online

Lee and Kathy Randall established a $30,000 endowment for AICPA collection support.

OXFORD, Miss. – Lee Randall loves the University of Mississippi. He earned a bachelor’s degree in accountancy from Ole Miss in 1971 and after retiring from Entergy as vice president and general auditor, Randall wanted to give back to his alma mater.

Randall and his wife, Kathy, of New Orleans, have created the Lee and Kathy Randall AICPA Collection Support Endowment for the J.D. Williams Library in the amount of $30,000.

“I’m a graduate of Ole Miss and wanted to give something back to the university,” he said. “The collection is a bridge between the library and accountancy, my first love. Hopefully our gift will encourage others to provide support as well.”

The National Library of the Accounting Profession at UM houses more than 200,000 accounting items. Included in this impressive count is the huge library of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, the national organization for practicing accountants. This constitutes the largest collection of accounting materials in the world.

“Lee and Kathy Randall’s generous gift will allow the library to increase our digitizing efforts with the AICPA collection,” said Cecilia Botero, UM dean of libraries. “Once digitized, the library makes these resources freely available through the library homepage.

“Making these resources digitally available enables greater access of this important information, not only to our students, but to anyone in the world with online internet access.”

The AICPA donated its century-old collection of books, pamphlets, manuscripts and periodicals to the university in two installments, one in 2001 and the last in 2014. These materials document the social, political and regulatory history of a profession critical to the development of the modern world economy.

The accounting standards set by the AICPA have governed how wealth in the American economy is defined and reported. Such an important responsibility has involved the country’s accountants, business leaders and politicians in long and contentious debates, and many of these discussions are archived in the Ole Miss Accounting Library collection.

The gift from the Randalls will help fund the hiring of a graduate assistant to preserve parts of the collection and support ongoing maintenance of the collection, which is viewed by students and researchers more than 100,000 times each year.

“We are grateful to Lee and Kathy for their generous gift to enhance the AICPA Library,” said Mark Wilder, dean and KMPG Chair of Accountancy. “Through the support of the Randalls, the AICPA Library holdings will be more readily accessible by practitioners, researchers and students throughout the region, nation and world.

“This library has been on our campus for 15 years now and has generated unprecedented national and international visibility for the university and School of Accountancy. The library has played a key role in the Patterson School becoming a mainstay as one of the top 10 accounting schools in the nation.”

By agreement with the AICPA, Royce Kurtz, associate professor and AICPA research and instruction librarian, is digitizing and making freely available older AICPA publications on the internet.

Other items he is digitizing include the Accounting Historians Journal of the Academy of Accounting Historians, an enormous historical collection published by agreement with the accounting firm Deloitte, and a large collection of items that are old enough to be out of copyright. The library’s full-text digital accounting collections contain 400,000 pages from some 8,000 books, pamphlets, and journal articles.

Working accountants, scholars and students from around the world access the library’s digitized accounting materials online more than 90,000 times a year.

Ole Miss doctoral students in accounting regularly use the collection for their research, as do accounting scholars around the world. Their research has been published in some of the top journals in accounting. This service to international scholars is one of the most important benefits of the collection for the university, helping bolster its status as a Carnegie R-1 institution, identifying Ole Miss as a university of highest research activity.

“Processing and digitizing is an ongoing task,” Kurtz said. “The Randalls’ generous donation will enable me to begin preservation of the VHS video tapes, replace aging scanners and employ accounting students to more speedily digitize and process the collections.”

Having this collection at Ole Miss helps the accountancy school maintain its reputation and ranking as one of the nation’s top schools, Randall said.

“I hope our donation will allow students and researchers to better utilize this collection and that it will be there for many years to come,” he said.

Together Oxford Offers Opportunity for Open Discussion

Community invited to build constructive dialogue Jan. 30 at Paris-Yates Chapel

Together Oxford will be hosted at the Paris-Yates Chapel at 6 p.m. Jan. 30. Photo by Kevin Bain/Ole Miss Communications

OXFORD, Miss. – Two University of Mississippi faculty members in the Department of Social Work are hosting Together Oxford, a community workshop on building relationships and peaceful and constructive dialogue on issues of privilege, race and violence next week on campus.

The session is set for 6 p.m. Monday (Jan. 30) at Paris-Yates Chapel.

Faculty members Tony Caldwell and Jandel Crutchfield will moderate the discussion, which will include Ole Miss faculty, staff and students, Oxford residents, local clergy, area law enforcement, educators and social workers.

“My goal is to help all participants answer the question: if we are all a human family and divorce is not an option, then how do we live together?” Caldwell said.

The discussion will include a lecture format with opportunities for audience participation.

“The demographics of our state and our country have changed and will continue to change, so as we guide our students in understanding and responding to these changes, we believe it’s essential for communities to do the same,” she said.

“Thus, the goal of the workshop is to facilitate self-assessment of participants regarding their approach to issues of race and violence. In addition, we hope participants take away a framework for dealing with these issues that lends itself to sustaining the health of the human family.”

The two held a similar event in Tupelo last year and plan to continue to visit other cities in Mississippi.

“Together Tupelo was an effort to address dealing with issues of race and violence after what some called the ‘Summer of Hate,’ following the deaths of police officers and unarmed black men in Texas, Louisiana and Minnesota,” she said.

“While there is no specific case we are responding to in our Together Oxford event, we believe the community can benefit from our work around these issues. As social workers, we follow a long tradition of leaders that help communities navigate these issues.”

Crutchfield invites all citizens with an interest in peaceful and constructive dialogue, and encourages campus organizations and faith communities to invite their members as well.

University Offers Mobile Dining Options While Renovating Union

Meal plan users have variety of options

Students will continue to have dining options on campus while the Student Union undergoes renovation. Photo by Nathan Latil University Communications

OXFORD, Miss. – The Ole Miss Student Union is undergoing an expansion and renovation that will alter dining options at the University of Mississippi during the spring semester.

The Student Union Food Court will be closed during this transitional period. To accommodate dining for faculty and staff, Ole Miss Dining will extend hours of operation in all of its dining locations as well as adding temporary dining solutions – Chick-Fil-A Mobile, POD Mobile and Dodo Pizza – for the semester.

“We are excited about the impending changes to our campus portfolio and are confident in the steps we have taken to ensure the dining needs of our faculty, staff and students are met,” said Chip Burr, general manager of Ole Miss Dining Services. “Our great partnership with the university continues to drive our investment into making Ole Miss Dining an inclusive experience that is healthy, innovative and sustainable.”

Students, faculty and staff will not lose the value of their meal plans. Students with Rebel 100 will maintain a block of 100 meals. Students with Rebel 50 Plus 1, Spring Greek 50 and Upperclassmen 50 meal plans will have a block of 50 meals.

Block meals will be available at the Rebel Market, the Marketplace at the Residential College, breakfast or lunch at the Grill at 1810 or an $8 equivalent of menu items at Freshii, Einstein Brothers Bagels, Raising Cane’s, Steak ‘n Shake, Chick-fil-A Mobile and P.O.D. Mobile.

Rebel Unlimited Plus 1, faculty and staff meal plans, Spring Greek Plus 1, Upperclassmen Plus 1 and Upperclassmen Weekday Plus 1 will not be affected.

Food service will resume at the Ole Miss Student Union for the 2017 fall semester. Dining options in the new facility will include a full-service McAllister’s Deli, an expanded Chick-fil-A, Qdoba, Panda Express and Which-Wich, featuring premium sandwiches, vegan and vegetarian options.

UM Museum Opens Photography Exhibit of Buddhist Caves

Images from China illustrate artistic and architectural achievements

The exhibit ‘Dunhuang through the Lens of James and Lucy Lo’ is open at the UM Museum. Submitted photo

OXFORD, Miss. – Photographs of the intricately painted Mogao and Yulin Caves in Dunhuang, China are on exhibit at the University of Mississippi Museum.

“Dunhuang through the Lens of James and Lucy Lo” features photographs taken of the caves by the Los in the 1940s. The nearly 500 caves containing artwork are in the northwestern area of China along the ancient Silk Road and are a major Buddhist pilgrimage site. The caves, which served as spaces for meditation and worship, were painted between the fourth and 14th centuries.

The exhibit opened Jan. 10 in conjunction with the Southeast Conference of the Association for Asian Studies, held on the UM campus Jan. 13-15. The free exhibit runs through April 29, and an opening reception is set for 6-8 p.m. Jan. 31.

Joshua Howard, Croft associate professor of history and international studies and a Chinese historian, proposed this exhibit to the University Museum.

“These photographs have high artistic value,” Howard said. “James and Lucy Lo used natural light and often placed mirrors in the caves to create special lighting effects and create a sense of the caves’ spirituality.

“James Lo also experimented with his photo angles; for instance, shooting a 50-foot reclining Buddha from the vantage point of the head of the statue rather than from the feet looking toward the head. The result is a more intimate and serene shot of the Buddha. Other landscape photos they took give a sense of the harsh but beautiful desert terrain the caves inhabit.”

The collection of 31 black-and-white photographs is from the Lo Archive and the P.Y. and Kinmay W. Tang Center for East Asian Art at Princeton University. The Mogao and Yulin caves illustrate artistic and architectural achievements, as well as provide an intimate look at the history of Buddhism and other religions of the region.

Museum officials were excited about the opportunity to open the exhibit to conference attendees, said Robert Saarnio, museum director. The conference included workshops, panel discussions, lectures and film screenings of Asian poetry and literature, history, language, art, philosophy and politics.

“These are exactly the kinds of multidisciplinary and cross-campus partnerships that the museum seeks to foster and welcome, wherein great art and artifact content can be exhibited in such close correspondence to curricular, research and teaching endeavors,” Saarnio said.

The museum, at the corner of University Avenue and Fifth Street, is open 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays.