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Auburn University at Montgomery’s 2020 Southern Studies Conference to highlight life and issues in the American South

Auburn University at Montgomery’s 2020 Southern Studies Conference to highlight life and issues in the American South

Under the 10 from “The Bottom,”  a photo series by LSU Assistant Professor of Photography Johanna Warwick
What: Auburn University at Montgomery 2020 Southern Studies Conference. The conference features the exhibition “The Bottom” by photographer Johanna Warwick. The exhibit is open through March 13 in AUM’s Goodwyn Gallery.

When: Friday, January 31 – Saturday, February 1

Where: 109 Goodwyn Hall

Registration: The conference’s keynote addresses and “The Bottom” photography exhibit are free and open to the AUM campus community and general public. All professional and student session attendees must register for the conference. The cost is $130 for professionals and $90 for students. To register as a professional or student, visit

a bench in front of a house

Auburn University at Montgomery’s (AUM) 2020 Southern Studies Conference will explore issues — from religion and same sex marriage to food preparation practices and Native-American culture — specific to life in the American South.

An interdisciplinary international conference on all aspects of the American South, the annual Southern Studies Conference draws faculty, students and historians from higher education institutions across the nation. This year’s conference will be held January 31- February 1 at Goodwyn Hall on AUM’s campus.

Leading up to the conference, AUM will present the exhibition “The Bottom” through March 13 in Goodwyn Gallery. Presented by Louisiana State University Assistant Professor of Photography Johanna Warwick, the exhibit showcases a series of photographs depicting the historic neighborhood Old South Baton Rouge in Louisiana. Warwick will give a public artist talk on the exhibit, which is supported by the Alabama State Council on the Arts, at 5 p.m. Friday, Jan. 31 in 109 Goodwyn Hall. The lecture will focus on how Warwick’s photography engages with issues of race, class, urban planning and the built environment in Baton Rouge.

For the two-day conference, 18 scholarly panels will address an array of interdisciplinary topics in Southern Studies, including presentations dedicated to literature and sociology, history and foodways, and music and art. The conference also will feature poster presentations by AUM undergraduate and graduate students.

“We are excited to have speakers from an array of institutions across the Southeast and beyond sharing their scholarly research to shed light on important cultural issues and aspects of life in the American South,” said Naomi Slipp, AUM assistant professor of art history and conference director. “We encourage attendees to enrich their participation in this year’s conference by attending our keynote addresses and the photography exhibition ‘The Bottom.’”

a man wearing a suit and tie

Dan T. Carter

The conference’s Friday and Saturday keynote lectures are open to the general public and AUM campus community. Historian Dan T. Carter, Educational Foundation University Professor Emeritus at the University of South Carolina, will present his lecture “The Future of Southern Studies: Reflections of a Narrative Historian,” at 2 p.m. Friday, Jan. 31. The lecture, which explores the future of southern studies as a discipline, is supported by the Alabama Humanities Foundation. Jodi Skipper, associate professor of anthropology and southern studies at the University of Mississippi, will present the conference’s second keynote lecture “Beyond the Big House: The Politics of Interpreting Slavery in the South.” Skipper will discuss her research investigating how African-American historic sites interact with the production of heritage in tourism spaces via the “Behind the Big House” program in Marshall County, Mississippi. Her talk, which is supported by the AUM Lectures Committee, is set for 12:45 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 1.

Conference attendees can also participate in a guided tour of downtown Montgomery given by Michelle Browder of More than Tours, a local tour company that specializes in sharing Montgomery’s rich history, music, culture and art.

For a full schedule of conference speakers and topics, view the 2020 Southern Studies Conference online program.

a woman wearing glasses and smiling at the camera

Jodi Skipper

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