Politics Dominate Autumn Schedule at UM Overby Center

Twelfth year of programing continues with Wednesday evening discussion

OXFORD, Miss. – Fresh off the success of bringing the popular MSNBC program “Morning Joe” to Oxford, the University of Mississippi’s Overby Center for Southern Journalism and Politics is preparing a slate of election year-themed discussions on campus.

The center’s 12th year of programs at Ole Miss began Friday (Sept. 14), with an evening at the Gertrude C. Ford Center for the Performing Arts featuring “Morning Joe” hosts Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski, along with historian and commentator Jon Meacham and biographer Walter Isaacson.

All remaining Overby Center programs this season are slated for the center’s auditorium, where events are free and open to the public. Arrangements have been made for free parking in the lot next to the auditorium.

“A broad array of nationally recognized journalists and commentators will give our audiences valuable insights,” said Charles Overby, chairman of the Overby Center.

The fall lineup features:

  • Wednesday (Sept. 19), 5:30 p.m., “In the Dark” Investigative journalists for an acclaimed podcast will talk about their yearlong probe into the reasons why a Winona man has been tried six times for a quadruple murder. Curtis Flowers has been in the Mississippi State Penitentiary in Parchman for 21 years even though he has won repeated appeals. Madeleine Baran and Samara Freemark will reveal how their work focused on the prosecutor, the witnesses and how justice works – or doesn’t.
  • Sept. 25, 5:30 p.m., “Deep South Dispatch” – John Herbers was a Mississippi reporter who covered the early stages of the civil rights movement for United Press International before moving to a distinguished career at The New York Times. At the end of his life, he collaborated with his daughter, Anne Farris Rosen, on a memoir about his experiences in the South in the 1960s that was published this year. Rosen will talk about her father with other journalists in Mississippi during that period.
  • Oct. 10, 5:30 p.m., “Showcasing an Outstanding Alumnus” – James Autry, an Ole Miss graduate who rose to become editor-in-chief of Better Homes and Gardens and then took over as general manager of the Meredith Corp.’s magazine empire, returns to Oxford to talk about his years as an executive, educational speaker, consultant and poet. His latest volume of poetry, “Mississippi,” has just been published.
  • Oct. 19, 11 a.m., “Election Thoughts” – Two-and-a-half weeks before this fall’s critical congressional elections, political journalist Peter Boyer will be on hand to discuss the chances of a Democratic takeover on Capitol Hill. A native Mississippian, Boyer attended Ole Miss. His background ranges from The New Yorker to Newsweek, from Frontline to Fox News. He is a national correspondent for The Weekly Standard.
  • Nov. 14, 5:30 p.m., “Reading the Returns” – A pair of veteran Mississippi political handlers with opposing partisan interests – Republican Austin Barbour and Democrat Brandon Jones – will debate the outcome of the Nov. 6 election as well as a prospective runoff later in the month for the U.S. Senate seat formerly held by Thad Cochran.