University of Mississippi

Archaeology students reflect on Virginia field school experience

Two of our students, Nikki Mattson and Martha Grace L. Mize, are featured in the latest issue of Virginia Archaeologist, the newsletter of the Council of Virginia Archaeologists (COVA). Both students were COVA grant recipients, which allowed them to work on research and outreach projects in Virginia. For more, see the COVA newsletter (PDF). Our students’s features are on pages 14-16.

Jodi Skipper awarded Award of Merit


Congratulations to Jodi Skipper, awarded the Award of Merit to Preserve Marshall County & Holly Springs, Inc., by the Mississippi Historical Society! The award is presented to individuals or organizations for their outstanding archival, historical, museum or records management work.  Dr. Skipper’s award was announced at the annual meeting of the Mississippi Historical Society in Corinth on March 7th, 2015.

You can read more about Dr. Skipper’s work here.



Sexual-Harrassment Survey

The SEAC Sexual Harassment survey was created by the Southeastern Archaeological Conference Sexual Harassment committee to research and address the issue of sexual harassment experienced by women researchers in the field. It was formed and chaired by Dr. Maureen Meyers (starting in 2013); other committee members are: Tony Boudreaux (East Carolina U), Stephen Carmody (U of Tennessee)  Victoria Dekle (Southern Missouri State U), Elizabeth Horton (Arkansas Archaeological Survey) and Alice Wright (Appalachian State University).
The survey went live in September, and was open for two months. Approximately 600 people responded; of these, over 60% have experienced sexual harassment in the field, and 13% have experienced sexual assault. A poster detailing preliminary findings was presented at the 2014 SEAC meeting in November and is available on the SEAC website.
As a result of the survey, SEAC has created a Task Force on Women in Archaeology to address this issue. The preliminary results of the survey will be published in the SEAC newsletter in March, and a peer-reviewed article on the results will be submitted this summer. In addition, Dr. Meyers was interviewed last week by Nature magazine for an article about Sexual Harassment in the Sciences.

In The News: Drs. Jodi Skipper and Carolyn Freiwald in “Behind the Big House”



University of Mississippi archaeologists Carolyn Freiwald and Jodi Skipper began excavations at the Hugh Craft House in Holly Springs during the cold snap in November 2014, with a crew of Sociology and Anthropology Department graduate and undergraduate students, as well as participation by Rust College students working with Dr. Alisea McLeod. Construction work on foundation of the 1850s mansion and detached kitchen building (that likely also served as the slave quarters) revealed evidence for consumption of whitetail deer, turkey, pig, and cow, as well as antebellum ceramics and other artifacts identified by homeowner and historian Chelius Carter. Drs Skipper and Freiwald hoped to identify features associated with culinary practices of the time, as well as other household activities. The team identified features including a posthole, old piping, and a burned area in the yard. They plan to return in April 2015 to continue the investigation in conjunction with the Behind the Big House program (April 7th-12th) which features tours of several extant slave dwellings, and the Holly Springs Annual Pilgrimage Tour of Historic Homes and Churches.

Bughouse dig

Great Review! Robbie Ethridge in The William and Mary Quarterly

WilliamMaryQuarterlyRobbie Ethridge’s books From Chicaza to Chickasaw: The European Invasion and the Transformation of the Mississippian World 1540-1715  and Mapping the Mississippian Shatter Zone: The Colonial Indian Slave Trace and REgional Instability in the American South (with Shuck-Hall) were recently featured in a review of books in The William and Mary Quarterly (October 2014), the leading journal in early American History.  The review essay by Denise Ileana Bossy entitled, “Shattering Together, Merging Apart: Colonialism, Violence, and the Remaking of the Native South” discussed Ethridge’s concept of the Shatterzone as foundational to the work on the colonial Indian south. Congratulations Robbie! Read More at:

New Book!! James Thomas’ “Working to Laugh”

ThomasBookWorking to Laugh: Assembling Difference in American Stand-Up Comedy Venues

By James M. Thomas

Rowman & Littlefield, 2015

For decades, stand-up comedy has been central to the imbrication of popular culture and political discourse, reshaping the margins of political critique, and often within the contexts of urban nightlife entertainment. In Working to Laugh: Assembling Difference in American Stand-Up Comedy Venues, James M. Thomas (JT) provides an ethnographic analysis of urban nightlife sites where this popular form of entertainment occurs. Examining the relationship between the performance, the venue, and the social actors who participate in these scenes, JT demonstrates how stand-up venues function as both enablers and constrainers of social difference, including race, class, gender, and heteronormativity, within the larger urban nightlife environment. JT’s analysis of a professional comedy club and a sub-cultural bar that hosts a weekly comedy show illuminates the full range of stand-up comedy in the American cultural milieu, from the highly organized, routinized, and predictable format of the professional venue, to the more unpredictable, and in some cases, cutting edge format of the amateur show. 

New Book!! Shine Choi’s “Re-Imagining North Korea”

ChoiNKBookRe-Imagining North Korea in International Politics: Problems and alternatives
By Shine Choi


The global consensus in academic, specialist and public realms is that North Korea is a problem: its nuclear ambitions pose a threat to international security, its levels of poverty indicate a humanitarian crisis and its political repression signals a failed state.

This book examines the cultural dimensions of the international problem of North Korea through contemporary South Korean and Western popular imagination’s engagement with North Korea. Building on works by feminist-postcolonial thinkers, in particular Trinh Minh-ha, Rey Chow and Gayatri Spivak, it examines novels, films, photography and memoirs for how they engage with issues of security, human rights, humanitarianism and political agency from an intercultural perspective. By doing so the author challenges the key assumptions that underpin the prevailing realist and liberal approaches to North Korea.

This research attends not only to alternative framings, narratives and images of North Korea but also to alternative modes of knowing, loving and responding and will be of interest to students of critical international relations, Korean studies, cultural studies and Asian studies.

New Publication! Amy McDowell in Qualitative Sociology

McDowell, Amy. 2014. “Warriors and Terrorists: Antagonism as Strategy in Christian Hardcore and Muslim ‘Taqwacore’ Punk Rock.” Qualitative Sociology. 37: 255-276. (Lead Article). A photograph from McDowell’s research is featured as the cover of this issue of Qualitative Sociology.

ABSTRACT: This article contributes to new scholarship in the sociological study of religion, which looks at how people define and communicate religion in secular spheres. I show how U.S. Christian Hardcore and Muslim “Taqwacore” (taqwa means “god consciousness” in Arabic) punks draw on the tools of a punk rock culture that is already encoded with its own set of symbols, rituals and styles to: 1) understand themselves as religious/punk and 2) express religion in punk rock environments. I find that both cases draw on a punk rock motif of antagonism—oppositional attitudes and violent rituals and symbols—to see themselves as religious/punk and express religion in punk in different ways. Christian punks use this motif to condemn other Christians for denouncing punk and create space for Protestant evangelical Christianity in punk. Taqwacores use this motif to criticize Islam for its conservatism as well as non-Muslims for stereotyping Muslims as religious fanatics. In the process, Taqwacores build a space for alienated brown youth who exist on the margins of mainstream American culture and traditional Islam.

New Publication by John Green !

Rural America Book Cover
New Publication!!
Green, John J. 2014. “The Status of African Americans in the Rural United States.” In Rural America in a Globalizing World: Problems and Prospects for the 2010s. Edited by Conner Bailey, Leif Jensen, and Elizabeth Ransom. Morgantown, WV: West Virginia Press.


This fourth Rural Sociological Society decennial volume provides advanced policy scholarship on rural North America during the 2010’s, closely reflecting upon the increasingly global nature of social, cultural, and economic forces and the impact of neoliberal ideology upon policy, politics, and power in rural areas.

The chapters in this volume represent the expertise of an influential group of scholars in rural sociology and related social sciences. Its five sections address the changing structure of North American agriculture, natural resources and the environment, demographics, diversity, and quality of life in rural communities.


Mississippi Students win best student papers at 2014 Alabama Mississippi Sociological Association Meetings

student award paper2


Congratulations to Jamiko Deleveaux (MA student in Sociology) and Emma Willoughby (BA student in Sociology, Anthropology, Biological Science, and Psychology) for their selection as winners of the “best student paper” competitions at the 2014 Alabama Mississippi Sociological Association meetings.  Pictured from left to right:  Jamiko Deleveaux, Dr. John Green, and Emma Willoughby.