2nd Blair Legacy Series Conference:

“Unlocking V. O. Key, Jr.”


Sixty years ago, with a research grant from The Rockefeller Foundaion, V. O. Key Jr. published his seminal work, Southern Politics in State and Nation. Key’s book redefined the field of southern politics and remains one of the most cited and influential works not only in 20th-century political science, but in southern history as well. The Blair Center and the Rockefeller Institute have invited eight scholars of political science and history and one keynote speaker, Byron E. Shafer, Glenn B. and Cleone Orr Hawkins Chair of Political Science at the University of Wisconsin, Madison and former Andrew W. Mellon Professor of Political Science at Oxford University. The participating scholars will measure the transcendent and timeless elements of Key’s analysis of the southern electorate, as well as update core elements of the book for the 21st -century reader. Panelists will meet in two closed sessions to work collaboratively and to offer feedback on their contributions which will be collected in the book Unlocking V. O. Key, Jr. to be published by the University of Arkansas Press. The participating panelists included the following:


Byron Shafer
Glenn B. and Cleone Orr Hawkins Chair of Political Science
University of Wisconsin, Madison

Prior to his position at Wisconsin, Shafer served as the Andrew W. Mellon Professor of Political Science at Oxford University. In addition to his numerous articles, many of which have been collected in The Two Majorities and the Puzzle of American Politics (Kansas 2003), he is the author of Quiet Revolution: The Struggle for the Democratic Party and the Shaping of Post-Reform Politics (Russell Sage Foundation, 1983), Bifurcated Politics: Evolution and Reform in the National Party Convention (Cambridge, 1988), The Two Majorities: The Issue Context of Modern American Politics (Johns Hopkins, 1995). His most recent book, The End of Southern Exceptionalism: Class, Race, and Partisan Change in the Postwar South (Harvard, 2006), won the Best Book on Race Ethnicity and Politics given by the American Political Science Association, the V. O. Key Prize for the Best Book on Southern Politics given by the Southern Political Science Association, and was included in the “6th Annual Year of Ideas” list by the New York Times Magazine.


Harold Stanley
Geurin-Pettus Distinguished Chair in American Politics and Political Economy
Southern Methodist University

Stanley previously served as Chair of the Political Science department at the University of Rochester. In addition to publishing over 40 scholarly articles and book chapters, Stanley is the author of Vital Statistics on American Politics (Congressional Quarterly Press), released annually since 1988, Voter Mobilization and the Politics of Race: The South and Universal Suffrage, 1952-1984 (Praeger, 1987), and Senate v. Governor, Alabama 1971: Referent for Opposition in a One-Party Legislature (Alabama, 1975). He has served on the editorial boards of the Journal of Politics and the American Review of Politics and is a past President of the Southern Political Science Association.


Susan MacManus
Distinguished Professor in the Department of Government and International Affairs
University of South Florida

In addition to countless scholarly articles, she is the author or co-author of Politics in States and Communities (Prentice-Hall, 2009), Politics in Florida, 2nd ed. (Florida Institute of Government, 2007), Florida Politics: Ten Media Markets, One Powerful State (Florida Institute of Government, 2004), Politics in States and Communities (Prentice-Hall, 2003), Mapping Florida’s Political Landscape: The Changing Art & Politics of Reapportionment and Redistricting (Florida Institute of Government, 2002), Targeting Senior Voters: Campaign Outreach to Elders and Others With Special Needs (Rowman & Littlefield, 2000), Citrus, Sawmills, Critters, and Crackers: Life in Early Lutz and Central Pasco County (University of Tampa Press, 1998), Young v. Old: Generational Combat in the 21st Century (Westview Press, 1996), and Doing Business with Government: Federal, State, Local & Foreign Government Purchasing Practices for Every Business and Public Institution (Paragon House, 1992), among others. MacManus currently serves as a member of the Governor’s Council of Economic Advisors and she is a past winner of the Diane D. Blair Award for Outstanding Achievement in Politics and Government given by the Southern Political Science Association.


Keith Gaddie
Professor of Political Science
University of Oklahoma

Previously, he was on the faculty of the Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine in New Orleans. He is the author or co-author of The Economic Realities of Political Reform: Elections and the U.S. Senate (Cambridge, 1995), David Duke and the Politics of Race in the South (Vanderbilt, 1995), Regulating Wetlands Protection: Environmental Federalism and the States (State University of New York, 2000), Elections to Open Seats in the US House: Where the Action Is (Rowman & Littlefield, 2000), and Born to Run: The Origins of the Political Career (Rowman & Littlefield, 2004). He is also the editor of The Almanac of Oklahoma Politics 1998, The Almanac of Oklahoma Politics 2000, The Almanac of Oklahoma Politics 2002 (2001), and The Political Encyclopedia of U.S. States and Regions (Congressional Quarterly Press, 2008).


Margaret Reid
Professor and Chair of the Department Political Science
University of Arkansas

Her research focuses on gendered workplaces, complexities involving the implementation of multi-actor policy partnerships, and sustainable domestic and international community development. She is the co-author of Glass Walls and Glass Ceilings: Women’s Representation in State and Municipal Bureaucracies (Greenwood, 2003). Her scholarly articles have appeared in Journal of Women, Politics & Policy, Administration & Society, Public Administration Review, American Review of Public Administration, Review of Public Personnel Administration, Urban Affairs Review, State and Local Government Review, Journal of Management Information Systems, Information and Management Journal of Asian and African Studies, International Journal of Tourism Research and in numerous edited works. Reid has also served as a visiting scholar at the University of Yarmouk, Irbid, Jordan, and the Clinton School of Public Service at the University of Arkansas, Little Rock.


Dan T. Carter
Education Foundation Professor of History Emeritus
University of South Carolina

Carter currently lives in western North Carolina and is actively involved in local politics. He is the author of Scottsboro: a Tragedy of the American South (Oxford, 1969), which inspired a film based on the case, When the War Was Over: the Failure of Self-Reconstruction in the South, 1865-1867 (Louisiana State University, 1985), The Politics of Rage: George Wallace, the Origins of the New Conservatism and the Transformation of American Politics (Louisiana State University Press, 1995), and From George Wallace to Newt Gingrich: Race in the Conservative Counterrevolution, 1963-1994 (Louisiana State University Press, 1999).


Charles Reagan Wilson
Kelly Gene Cook, Sr. Chair of History and Professor of Southern Studies
Former Director of the Center for Southern Studies
University of Mississippi

Wilson is the author of Baptized in Blood: The Religion of the Lost Cause, 1865-1920 (Georgia, 1980) and Judgment and Grace in Dixie: Southern Faiths from Faulkner to Elvis (Georgia, 1995). He is also coeditor of the Encyclopedia of Southern Culture (North Carolina, 1989), which received the Dartmouth Prize from the American Library Association for best reference book. The Encyclopedia has been expanded into a thirteen individual volumes titled Religion, Agriculture and Industry, Geography, Myth, Manners, and Memory, Language, Foodways, Law and Politics, Music, and Gender. He is also the editor of Religion and the American Civil War (Oxford, 1998), The New Regionalism (Mississippi, 1996), and Encyclopedia of Religion in the South, 2nd ed. (Mercer, 2005).


Kari Frederickson
Associate Professor and Director of the Summersell Center for the Study of the South
University of Alabama

Frederickson is the author of The Dixiecrat Revolt and the End of the Solid South, 1932-1968 (North Carolina, 2001), which was the winner of the Harry S. Truman Book Award. She is the co-editor of Making Waves: Female Activists in Twentieth-Century Florida (Florida, 2003), and she wrote the new introduction for The Unexpected Exodus: How the Cold War Displaced One Southern Town by Louise Cassels, reprinted in the Southern Classics Series at the University of South Carolina Press. She is currently working on her new book manuscript entitled, “The Cold War in Dixie: Transforming the American South, 1945 to the Present.”


Pearl K. Ford
Assistant Professor of Political Science and African American Studies
University of Arkansas

Ford previously taught at Johnson C. Smith University in Charlotte, North Carolina. Ford is currently editing African Americans in Georgia: A Reflection of Politics and Policy in the New South to be published by Mercer University Press. She is also co-authoring a series of articles on the way in which symbolic racism influenced southern voters in the 2008 election. A native of Savannah, Georgia, she earned a B.A. in political science from Savannah State College and a Ph.D. in Political Science from Howard University.