Last April, students and faculty gathered for the inaugural session of Southern Conversations, a series of informal discussions about southern history and historical methodology that is guided by student questions and interests.
The first Conversation’s theme, “Gender Matters,” covered the past, present, and future of gender analysis in southern historical scholarship. Drs. Lesley Gordon, John Giggie, and Julia Brock each gave a short introduction of how gender analysis and their own gendered experiences in academia have shaped their academic careers and work.
Students then queried the professors about important secondary literature related to the topic, as well as how the faculty have used gender in their own historical work.
Dr. Giggie’s discussion of “disruptive” modes of southern historical scholarship that he has used to challenge traditional academic hierarchies and archival research spurred further questions from students about exactly what such disruptive training might look like. Students also discussed the ways in which some perspectives get hidden in both archival and non-archival research, such a oral history research.