Department of Sociology and Anthropology

University of Mississippi

Recent Publications

Books & Monographs | Research Articles | Chapters in Edited Volumes | Public Commentary & Scholarly Engagement

Our faculty are actively engaged in research and publish in a wide range of areas. Below are links to selected recent publications. You can also follow our department on ResearchGate.

Books & Monographs

Are Racists Crazy? How Prejudice, Racism, and Antisemitism Became Markers of Insanity

Sander L. Gilman & James Thomas
New York University Press, 2016

In 2012, an interdisciplinary team of scientists at the University of Oxford reported that – based on their clinical experiment – the beta-blocker drug, Propranolol, could reduce implicit racial bias among its users. Shortly after the experiment, an article in Time Magazine cited the study, posing the question: Is racism becoming a mental illness? In Are Racists Crazy? Sander Gilman and James Thomas trace the idea of race and racism as psychopathological categories., from mid-19th century Europe, to contemporary America, up to the aforementioned clinical experiment at the University of Oxford, and ask a slightly different question than that posed by Time: How did racism become a mental illness? Using historical, archival, and content analysis, the authors provide a rich account of how the 19th century ‘Sciences of Man’ – including anthropology, medicine, and biology – used race as a means of defining psychopathology and how assertions about race and madness became embedded within disciplines that deal with mental health and illness.

Working to Laugh

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

James M. Thomas
Lexington Books, 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.

Sociology of Human Rights

The Sociology of Human Rights

Mark Frezzo
Polity Press, 2015

Mark Frezzo explores the sociological perspective on human rights, which he shows to be uniquely placed to illuminate the economic, political, social, and cultural conditions under which human rights norms and laws are devised, interpreted, implemented, and enforced. Sociologists treat human rights not as immutable attributes but as highly contested claims that vary across historical time and geographic space, and investigate how human rights can serve either to empower or to constrain social actors, from large societies to small communities and identity groups. Frezzo guides readers through the scholarly, pedagogical, and practical applications of a sociological view of major debates such as foundationalism vs. social constructionism, universalism vs. particularism, globalism vs. localism, and collective vs. individual rights.

Affective Labour

Affective Labour

James M. Thomas & Jennifer Correa
Rowman & Littlefield, 2015

Affective Labour explores four distinct landscapes in order to demonstrate how collective feelings are organized by social actors in order to both reproduce and contest hegemony. Utilizing a variety of methods, including participant observation, in-depth interviews across field sites, and content analysis of mass media, Correa and Thomas demonstrate the centrality of affective labor in enabling and constraining prevailing norms and practices of race, citizenship, class, gender, and sexuality across multiple spatial contexts: the U.S.- Mexico border, urban nightlife districts, American college campuses, and emergent social movements against the police state.

Archaeological Perspectives on the Southern Appalachians

Archaeological Perspectives on the Southern Appalachians: A Multiscalar Approach

Maureen Meyers & Ramie A. Gougeon
University of Tennessee Press, 2015

In Archaeological Perspectives of the Southern Appalachians, Ramie A. Gougeon and Maureen S. Meyers have brought together a dozen archaeologists to delineate multiscalar approaches to Native American sites throughout southern Appalachia. The essays range in topic from ceramic assemblages in northern Georgia to public architecture in North Carolina to the frontiers of southern Appalachia in Virginia. Throughout the volume, the contributors discuss varying scales of analysis in their own research to flesh out the importance of maintaining different perspectives when evaluating archaeological evidence.

From Chicaza to Chikcasaw

From Chicaza to Chikcasaw: The European Invasion and the Transformation of the Mississippian World, 1540-1715

Robbie Ethridge
University of North Carolina Press, 2013 (paperback)

In this sweeping regional history, anthropologist Robbie Ethridge traces the metamorphosis of the Native South from first contact in 1540 to the dawn of the eighteenth century, when indigenous people no longer lived in a purely Indian world but rather on the edge of an expanding European empire. Using a framework that Ethridge calls the “Mississippian shatter zone” to explicate these tumultuous times, From Chicaza to Chickasaw examines the European invasion, the collapse of the precontact Mississippian world, and the restructuring of discrete chiefdoms into coalescent Native societies in a colonial world. The story of one group–the Chickasaws–is closely followed through this period.

2011 James Mooney Award, Southern Anthropological Society

Research Articles

2017. Carolyn Freiwald & T. Pugh. “The origins of early Colonial Cows at San Bernabé, Guatemala: Strontium isotope values at an early Spanish mission in the Petén Lakes region of northern Guatemala.” Environmental Archaeology (forthcoming)

2017. Marcos Mendoza, Robert Fletcher, George Holmes, Laura Ogden, and Colombina Schaeffer. “The Patagonian Imaginary: Natural Resources and Global Capitalism at the Far End of the World.” Journal of Latin American Geography (forthcoming)

2017. Amy McDowell. “Aggressive and Loving Men: Gender Hegemony in Christian Hardcore Punk.” Gender & Society 31(2): 223-44. doi:10.1177/0891243217694824

2017. Maureen Meyers. “Social Integration at a Frontier and the Creation of Mississippian Social Identity in Southwestern Virginia.” Southeastern Archaeology 36(2): 1-10. doi:10.1080/0734578X.2017.1292075

2017. Marcos Mendoza. “Post-Neoliberal Labor In Patagonia: Informality and Citizenship in the Green Economy.” Dialectical Anthropology (forthcoming) doi:10.1007/s10624-017-9446-9

2017. Connor J. Wiktorowicz, Bettina Arnold, John E. Wiktorowicz, Matthew L. Murray, and Alexander Kurosky. “Hemorrhagic Fever Virus, Human Blood, and Tissues in Iron Age Mortuary Vessels.” Journal of Archaeological Science 78: 29-39. doi:10.1016/j.jas.2016.11.009

2017. Jeffrey Broadbent, John Sonnett, Iosif Botetzagias, Heike Brugger, Marcus Carson, Anabela Carvalho, Chris Edling, Dana Fisher, Georgios Giouzepas, Randolph Haluza-Delay, Koichi Hasegawa, Keiko Hirao, Christian Hirschi, Ana Horta, Kazuhiro Ikeda, Jun Jin, Dowan Ku, Myanna Lahsen, Ho-Ching Lee, Tze-Luen Lin, Thomas Malang, Jana K. Ollmann, Diane Payne, Sony Pellissery, Stephan Price, Simone Pulver, Jaime Sainz, Keiichi Satoh, Clare Saunders, Luisa Schmidt, Mark Stoddart, Pradip Swarnakar, David Tindall, Philip Vaughter, Paul Wagner, Sun-Jin Yun. “Conflicting Climate Change Frames in a Global Field of Media Discourse.” Socius (forthcoming). doi:10.1177/2378023116670660

2017. Michelle Kaiser & Anne Cafer. “Exploring Long-Term Food Pantry Use: Differences between Persistent and Prolonged Typologies of Use.” Journal of Hunger and Environmental Nutrition (forthcoming). doi:10.1080/19320248.2016.1157554

2017. Gabriel D. Wrobel, Carolyn Freiwald, Amy Michael, Christophe Helmke, Jaime Awe, Douglas J. Kennett, Sherry Gibbs, Josalyn M. Ferguson, and Cameron Griffith. “Social identity and geographic origin of Maya burials at Actun Uayazba Kab, Roaring Creek Valley, Belize.” Journal of Anthropological Archaeology 45: 98-114. doi:10.1016/j.jaa.2016.11.004

2016. Kathryn McKee, Kirsten Dellinger, Annette Trefzer, and Jeffrey T. Jackson. “The Catfish Industry and Spatial Justice in the Mississippi Delta: Steve Yarbrough’s The Oxygen Man.” Journal of American Studies 50 (4): 853-871. doi:10.1017/S0021875815002649

2016. Amy McDowell. ““This is for the Brown Kids!” Racialization and the Formation of “Muslim” Punk Rock.” Sociology of Race and Ethnicity. doi:10.1177/2332649216647747

2016. Willa M. Johnson. “From My Place: Teaching the Holocaust in the Deep South Fifty-Three Years After Desegregation.” Teaching Theology and Religion 19 (1): 57-75. doi:10.1111/teth.12320

2016. Barbara H. Combs, Kirsten Dellinger, Jeffrey T. Jackson, Kirk A. Johnson, Willa M. Johnson, Jodi Skipper, John Sonnett, James M. Thomas, and Critical Race Studies Group. “The Symbolic Lynching of James Meredith: A Visual Analysis and Collective Counter Narrative to Racial Domination.” Sociology of Race and Ethnicity 2 (3): 338-353. doi:10.1177/2332649215626937

2016. Willa M. Johnson & Kirk A. Johnson. “Karl Schwesig’s Schlegelkeller: Anatomy of a Rejection of Prewar Violence at LIFE magazine.” International Journal of Politics, Culture, and Society. doi:10.1007/s10767-016-9220-z

2016. Jodi Skipper. “Community Development through Reconciliation Tourism: The Behind the Big House Program in Holly Springs, Mississippi.” Community Development 47 (4): 514-529. doi:10.1080/15575330.2016.1146783

2016. Anne Cafer & Michelle Kaiser. “An Analysis of Difference in Predictors of Food Affordability between Rural and Urban Counties.” Journal of Poverty 20 (1): 34-55. doi:10.1080/10875549.2015.1094760

2016. Timothy W. Pugh, Katherine Miller, Carolyn Freiwald, and Prudence M. Rice. “Technologies of domination at Mission San Bernabé, Petén.” Ancient Mesoamerica 27 (1):49-70. doi:10.1017/S0956536116000067

2016. Miguel Centellas. “The Santa Cruz Autonomía Movement: A Case of Non-Indigenous Ethnic Popular Mobilization?” Ethnopolitics 15 (2): 245-264. doi:10.1080/17449057.2015.1018710

2016. John Sonnett. “Ambivalence, Indifference, Distinction: A Comparative Netfield Analysis of Implicit Musical Boundaries.” Poetics 54 (1):38-53. doi:10.1016/j.poetic.2015.09.002

2016. Marcos Mendoza. “Educational Policing: Park Rangers and the Politics of the Green (E)state in Patagonia.” Journal of Latin American & Caribbean Anthropology 21 (1): 173-192. doi:10.1111/jlca.12195

Chapters in Edited Volumes

2017. John Green. “Community Development in the Era of Large-Scale Data: Integrating Quantitative Data and Community Engagement.” In S. Kenny, B. McGrath, & R. Phillips (eds.), Routledge Handbook of Community Development. Routledge, Taylor & Francis.

2017. Robbie Ethridge. “Communication Networks in the Mississippian World at the Time of Soto.” Gregory A. Waselkov & Marvin T. Smith (eds.), Forging Southeastern Identities: Social Archaeology of the Mississippian to Early Historic South. University of Alabama Press.

2017. Miguel Centellas. “Bolivian Politics: Continuities, Changes, and Contradictions.” In Harvey F. Kline, Christine J. Wade, and Howard J. Wiarda (eds.), Latin American Politics & Development, 9th ed. Westview Press.

2017. Jodi Skipper, K. Green, and Rico D. Chapman. “Public History, Diversity, & Higher Education: Three Case Studies on the African American Past.” In Michele Grigsby Coffey & Jodi Skipper (eds.), Navigating Souths: Transdisciplinary Explorations of a U.S. Region. University of Georgia Press.

2017. Kirsten Dellinger, Jeffrey T. Jackson, Kathryn McKee, and Annette Trefzer. “Interlocality and Interdisciplinarity: Learning from Existing Models of the Global South.” In Michele Grigsby & Jodi Skipper (eds.), Navigating Souths: Transdisciplinary Explorations of a U.S. Region. University of Georgia Press.

2017. Carolyn Freiwald. “Barton Ramie and in-migration to the Belize River Valley: Strontium isotopes and burial patterns.” In M. Charlotte Arnold, Christopher Beekman, and Grégory Pereira (eds.), Ancient Mesoamerican Cities: Populations on the Move. University Press of Colorado.

2017. J. Hoggarth, Carolyn Freiwald, and Jaime Awe. “Evidence for Classic and Postclassic population movement at Baking Pot, Belize.” In M. Charlotte Arnold, Christopher Beekman, and Grégory Pereira (eds.), Ancient Mesoamerican Cities: Populations on the Move. University Press of Colorado.

2017. Mark Frezzo. “Why a Sociology of Human Rights?” In Louis Esparza, Keri Iyall Smith, and Judith Blau (eds.), Of the People, By the People, For the People. Routledge.

2016. Maureen Meyers. “The House that Trade Built: Exchange Before and After the Collapse of Mississippian Chiefdoms.” In Ronald K. Faulseit (ed.), Beyond Collapse: Archaeological Perspectives on Resilience, Revitalization, and Transformation in Complex Societies. Southern Illinois University Press.

2016. Bettina Arnold & Matthew L. Murray. “Two Hallstatt Burial Mounds in the Hohmichele Group in the Speckhau, Markung Heiligkreuztal, Gde. Altheim, Kreis Biberach.” In Dirk Krausse, Manuel Fernández Götz, Leif Hansen, and Inge Kretschmer (eds.), The Heuneburg and the Early Iron Age Princely Seats: First Towns North of the Alps. Archaeolingua.

2016. Robbie Ethridge. “European Invasions and Early Settlement, 1500-1680.”  In Frederick Hoxie (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of American Indian History. Oxford University Press.

2016. Jeffrey T. JacksonKirsten Dellinger, Kathryn McKee, and Annette Trefzer. “Interdisciplinary Perspectives on the Global South and Global North.” In Gregory Hooks (ed.), Sociology of Development Handbook. University of California Press.

2016. Matthew L. Murray. “Landscapes of Ancestors—The Structuring of Space around Iron Age Funerary Monuments in Central Europe.” In Erica Hill & Jon Hageman (eds.), Ancient Ancestors: The Archaeology of the Revered Dead. University Press of Florida.

Public Commentary & Scholarly Engagement

2017. Amy McDowell. “Aggressive and Loving Men: Gender Hegemony in Christian Hardcore Punk.” Gender & Society Blog, April 20. https://gendersociety.wordpress.com/2017/04/20/aggressive-and-loving-men-gender-hegemony-in-christian-hardcore-punk/

2016. Miguel Centellas (guest), “Episode 18: Bolivian Politics,” Understanding Latin American Politics: The Podcast (hosted by Greg Weeks) December 30 https://player.fm/series/understanding-latin-american-politics-the-podcast/episode-18-bolivian-politics

2016. Dinorah Azpuru, Andy Baker, Tomas Bilbao, John Carey, Hunter Carter, Miguel Centellas, Javier Corrales, Alexandra Delano, Brian Fonseca, Stephen Kaplan, Tom Long, Frank Mora, Gray Newman, Orlando Pérez, Ivan Rebolledo, Christopher Sabatini, Peter Siavelis, Antonia Stolper, Admiral James Stavridis, Gregory Weeks, Amy Williams, Natasha Zaretsky, Elizabeth Zechmeister, Recommendations for US-Latin America/Caribbean Policy, 2016 Elections, Global Americans US Scholars Working Group http://latinamericagoesglobal.org/reports/global-americans-consensus-campaign/

2016. Miguel Centellas (guest), “Bolivia’s President Loses Key Referendum,” Worldview with Jerome McDonnell (WBEZ/NPR, Chicago), February 26 https://soundcloud.com/wbez-worldview/bolivias-president-loses-key-referendum

2016. Miguel Centellas. “Evo Morales and the MAS’s Future.” Latin America Goes Global, February 18 http://latinamericagoesglobal.org/2016/02/evo-morales-and-the-mass-future/