University of Mississippi

Barbara Combs

Assistant Professor of Sociology
Department of Sociology and Anthropology
P.O. Box 1848
University, MS 38677-1848

Phone: 662-915-7421
Office: Lamar 524
E-mail: bcombs@olemiss.edu

Biography
I love people. I always have, and I always will. My love of people alone, however, is not what makes sociology such a good fit for me: I love watching people, studying them, and I long to understand them. This is what makes sociology a natural fit for me.

I came to sociology after years of practicing law and as many years teaching college English. As often as I can, I try to incorporate literature and history into my teaching. Many of my favorite writers are from the South or they write about the South, and their writings have both cultivated my love of the South and heightened my interest in it.

I am interested in the places and spaces people create and the interactions which happen (or do not happen) in those areas. My research focuses on the contemporary American South, but I believe the past informs the present. Nostalgia, memory, and history are compelling and factor heavily into the narratives people create about the bounded geographical areas they share. Perhaps no place is this more true than the contemporary American South.

Research
My dissertation research focused on the role of place in attachment to two historic, black gentrifying Atlanta neighborhoods. I plan to expand that research to include additional southern cities as well as to examine the influence of the past in African Americans’ return migration patterns to the South.


Publications
Books
2013.  From Selma to Montgomery to Freedom: The Long March to Freedom. NY: Routledge.

Articles and Book Chapters
2013. “Black First, but Not Only: Racial Identity Formation in a Changing Black ‘Hood,”  pp.143-162 in Converging Identities: Blackness in the Modern African Diaspora, edited       by Julius Julius O. Adekunle, Hettie V. Williams (Carolina Academic Press)


Courses
I have taught Introduction to Sociology, Race and Ethnicity, Social Problems, Urban Sociology, Delinquency, Introductory Southern Studies Seminar I, Southern Studies Graduate Seminar II, and Race, Place, and Space.