UM History Professor Named Distinguished Lecturer

Jarod Roll is third UM faculty member chosen for honor by the national organization

OXFORD, Miss. – University of Mississippi history professor Jarod Roll, who teaches about modern America, the South, religion and the working-class experience, has been named a 2015-2016 distinguished lecturer by the Organization of American Historians.

Jarod Roll

Jarod Roll

“The distinction came as a complete surprise to me,” said Roll, an associate professor at UM. “It is certainly an honor to be listed among so many terrific historians, and also very humbling. I look forward to sharing my work and insight into the historian’s craft with the audiences this program is intended to reach.”

The OAH Distinguished Lectureship Program is a speaker’s bureau dedicated to American history, which helps groups identify and contact leading historians who can share their expertise. The lecturers speak across the country each year, visiting both college campuses and undergraduate and graduate student conferences. They also appear at public events sponsored by historical societies, museums, libraries and humanities councils. The group named 48 OAH Distinguished Lecturers for 2015-2016.

Ted Ownby, UM professor of history and director of the Center for the Study of Southern Culture, and UM Professor of History Emeritus Sheila Skemp previously served as OAH distinguished lecturers.

Roll wrote “Spirit of Rebellion: Labor and Religion in the New Cotton South,” which won the Herbert G. Gutman Prize, the Missouri History Book Award, and the C.L.R. James Award. He’s also coauthor of “The Gospel of the Working Class: Labor’s Southern Prophets in New Deal America,” which received the H.L. Mitchell Prize from the Southern Historical Association.

His current project, “Poor Man’s Fortune: America’s Anti-Union Miners,” explores the long history of working-class conservatism in base metal mining.

Some of Roll’s lectures are “The Other Lost Cause: Southern Labor and Working Class History,” “Missouri Miners Breaking Bad: How the ‘Show-Me-State’ Got Its Name,” “Labor’s Southern Prophets in New Deal America” and “The Alchemy of America’s Lead Rush: When Miners Turned Hard Rock into Gold.”

Joseph P. Ward, professor and chair of the Arch Dalrymple III Department of History at UM, said the honor for Roll is no surprise. 

“This is a fantastic honor for Professor Roll, who in his short time on our faculty has already built upon his strong reputation as a scholar and teacher of modern American history,” Ward said. 

The group, which was founded in 1907 and is headquartered at the historic Raintree House on Indiana University’s Bloomington campus, is described as the world’s largest professional association dedicated to American history and scholarship. It has more than 7,800 members from the United States and abroad.