arts & letters



Arts & Letters News

Gulf South History & Humanities Conference

It is a point of emphasis for the College of Arts and Letters to encourage our faculty to work collaboratively for the collective benefit of the university and broader community.   A cross-departmental and -disciplinary contingent of A&L Gulf Coast faculty members did precisely that on a trip to annual Gulf South History and Humanities Conference, which was held from October 9-11 in Galveston, TX.

  • Will Watson (English) presented "Love Cage: Larry Brown's Dystopian Vision of the Mississippi Gulf Coast in Fay."
  • Damon Franke (English) presented "Vachel Lindsay at Gulf Park, 1923: The Gospel of Beauty and Unrequited Love."
  • Douglas Bristol (History) chaired "Surf, Sand, & Sun: The Emergence of Galveston as a Tourist Destination."
  • Deanne Nuwer (History) presented "Dusti Bonge: Painting and the Delights of Preservation on Biloxi's Gulf Coast," and "The Story of Volunteers in Hurricane Katrina."


Eagles Write! and Mississippi Authors

In observance of the National Day on Writing this month, the English Department is celebrating first year composition students by exhibiting excerpts from select essays submitted by their instructors.

The department of Art & Design asked students to create posters celebrating famous Mississippi authors.

Both the essay excerpts and the posters are on display at Cook Library through October 31, or you can view them online here:

Eagles Write!

Mississippi Authors


Ebola & the Pistorious Verdict

Instructor of Paralegal Studies Robert Harenski talks about the legal issues associated with the ongoing Ebola crisis in the United States and the sentencing of South African Olympian Oscar Pistorius, who was convicted of culpable homicide in the shooting death of his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp. Listen to the Gulf Coast Mornings Radio program here.


Bob Pauley Discusses Terrorist Attacks in Ottawa

Dr. Pauly assesses the causes, characteristics and consequences of the terrorist attacks on the National War Memorial and Parliament Building in the Canadian capital city of Ottawa on Gulf Coast Morning Radio.

Segment 1

Segement 2


Dreaming is Believing

Alexis Jones, a senior majoring in Public Relations, won a special runner-up package from the Council of Public Relations Firms for her video Dreaming is Believing, which includes an all-expense paid trip to New York where her video will be shown at the Council members' dinner. Watch her award-winning video here. Way to go, Alexis!


Books by Arts & Letters Faculty

Arts & Letters is full of creative, engaged scholars and researchers.

Take a look at a few of the books published by our faculty.






Looking for a Cool Class to Take this Spring?

Visit our gallery of featured Arts & Letters classes.


Southern Miss Acquires 103rd Infantry Division Archives for McCain

Through the efforts of Kenneth Swope of the Dale Center for the Study of War & Society & Stephen Haller at McCain Archives, Southern Miss has acquired the complete archives of the 103rd Infantry (Cactus) Division from World War II. The Dale Center will also assume oversight of a redesigned website for the 103rd, currently being constructed by Danielle Sypher-Haley, webmaster of the College of Arts & Letters. Representatives of the 103rd will be on campus November 6-8 to deliver the materials to the McCain Library & Archives.


Dumbo Dance Festival in NYC

Kelly Ferris Lester's choreographic work "Shared Bond" was accepted into two adjudicated festivals in NYC. The Dumbo Dance Festival performance is Sept. 27, 2014 and the Brockport Alumni Showcase was presented on June 20. The work was performed by two Department of Dance alumni, Lauren Guynes and Kristen Rizzuto, who both are following their career paths in NYC. Lester is an Associate Professor in the Department of Dance.


Philosophical Fridays

• Friday, October 24

"Is There Natural Evidence for God's Existence?"

Stephen Evans, Baylor University

• Friday, November 14

"On Winning and Ranking in Sports"

Seth Bordner, University of Alabama


All talks are at 2 pm in Gonzales Auditorium (LAB 108) and are free and open to the public.


Sponsored by the Department of Philosophy & Religion with the support of the Mississippi Humanities Council.





In Search of Mississippi Community Cookbooks

The Mississippi Community Cookbook Project helmed by Andrew P. Haley (History), Wendy Atkins-Sayre (Communication Studies) and Dana Fennell (Sociology) is collecting and digitizing pre-1970 Mississippi community cookbooks in order to preserve and comment on the history of small towns all over the state.

Cookbooks donated to the project will become part of the permanent collection at McCain Archives.  (If you are reluctant to give up a family heirloom, they understand, but would still love to take a look at your cookbook.)  To donate, please contact Andrew Haley at


Celebrate Halloween with Arts and Letters

Don't worry--you can still go trick-or-treating: both events are on Thursday, October 30.

Stop by LAB 204 at 12:15 to hear a lecture on Zombie movies by Todd Platts (Department of Anthropology & Sociology), then head over to Marsh Auditorium at 7:30 for a screening of the 1920s silent Film Das Cabinet des Dr. Caligari, brought to you by Douglas Rust (School of Music).


Facebook: Getting Maximum Impact

Many people at USM are trying their hand at event promotion on Facebook. For maximum impact, rather than create a new page for an event, try creating an event for your department's existing page, so you'll have built-in followers. Not sure how to do that? Check out this video created by Kerri Walker, A&L Public Relations Intern.


Jeanne Gillespie on Middle Eastern Folk Music

Associate Dean Jeanne Gillespie was a guest blogger on  Smithsonian Folkways, and commented on their two new releases: Morocco: Arabic Traditional Music and  Middle East: Sung Poetry. Read more (and listen to samples of these wonderful collections) here.


This Fall in the Department of Theatre

• The Liar by Pierre Corneille

   October 2-12, 2014

• Top Girls by Caryl Churchill

   October 30-November 2

• The Wind in the Willows
   November 13-23

Click here to learn about this fall's Pre-Performance Talk Series with Chris Miles of Foreign Languages and Literatures, Morgan Frank of English, and Eric Tribunella of English.



Fiction Reading by Mary Miller Wednesday, October 29, 7:30 pm, LAB 108

Mary Miller grew up in Jackson, Mississippi. Her collection of stories, Big World, was published in 2009 by Short Flight/Long Drive Books. A graduate of the Michener Center for Writers at the University of Texas, she will return to Mississippi in the fall of 2014 to serve as the John and Renée Grisham Writer-in-Residence at Ole Miss. The Last Days of California is her first novel. She writes about stories at






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