Diane D. Blair Center for Southern Politics & Society

3rd Blair Legacy Series Conference:

“C. Vann Woodward for a New Century: Politics and Identity in the Modern South”


On the 50-year anniversary of its publication, Woodward’s The Burden of Southern History will be the focus of this retrospective. Over the course of two days, invited scholars will reconsider the key essays that comprise Woodward’s landmark collection through discussion of the ongoing relevance of his research and ideas. Woodward’s work tackles questions of equality, white southern identity, the political legacy of Reconstruction, the heritage of populism, and the place of the South within the nation. Scholars will participate in working sessions where they will begin to prepare a manuscript that will provide both the academic community and the general public with an interdisciplinary analysis of the contemporary South through the lens created by C. Vann Woodward over a half-century ago. Participants included:


James C. Cobb

B. Phinizy Spalding Distinguished Professor of History

University of Georgia

A former president of the Southern Historical Association, Cobb has written widely on the interaction between economy, society, and culture in the American South. His books include The Selling of The South: The Southern Crusade for Industrial Development, 1936-1990 (Illinois, 1993), and The Most Southern Place on Earth: The Mississippi Delta and the Roots of Regional Identity (Oxford , 1992). His most recent book, Away Down South: A History of Southern Identity, was published by Oxford University Press in 2005.


Elsa Barkley Brown

Associate Professor of History and Women’s Studies

Faculty, Afro-American Studies and American Studies

University of Maryland

Professor Barkley Brown holds a joint appointment with history and women’s studies and is an affiliate faculty in Afro-American Studies and American Studies. She is co-editor of the two-volume Major Problems in African-American History (publisher, 2000) and the two-volume Black Women in America: An Historical Encyclopedia (publisher, 1993). Her articles have appeared in Signs, Feminist Studies, History Workshop, Sage, Public Culture, and The Journal of Urban History. She has twice been awarded the Letitia Woods Brown Memorial Publication Prize for best article in African-American Women’s History. She has also won the A. Elizabeth Taylor Prize for best article in Southern Women’s History, the Martin Luther King, Jr. Prize for best article in African-American History, and the Anna Julia Cooper Award for Distinguished Scholarship in Black Women’s Studies. Barkley Brown has held fellowships from the W.E.B. DuBois Institute, Harvard University, and the American Philosophical Society.


Charles Bullock, III

Richard B. Russell Professor of Political Science

University of Georgia

Department of Political Science

Charles S. Bullock, III, holds the Richard B. Russell Chair in Political Science and is Josiah Meigs Distinguished Teaching Professor at the University of Georgia. He has been at the University of Georgia since 1968 with the exception of one year when he served as legislative assistant to Congressman Bill Stuckey and two years when he was Professor of Political Science at the University of Houston. In 2005 and 2009, he was a senior fellow at Oxford University’s Rothermere American Institute.

Bullock is author, co-author, or co-editor of 25 books and more than 150 articles. He has published in major political science, public administration, and education journals. His most recent books are The New Politics of the Old South (publisher, date), 4th edition, co-edited with Mark Rozell; and Triumph of Voting in the South (publisher, date), co-authored with Keith Gaddie; and Georgia Politics in a State of Change (publisher, date) also written with Keith Gaddie. Runoff Elections in the United States (publisher, 1992), a comprehensive analysis of runoff elections that Bullock co-authored with Loch Johnson, won the V. O. Key Award for the best book on Southern politics.


Jane Dailey

Associate Professor of History

University of Chicago

Department of History

Jane Dailey is Associate Professor of History at the University of Chicago. Her first book, Before Jim Crow: The Politics of Race in Postemancipation Virginia (University of North Carolina Press, 2000), analyzed the conditions that facilitated and, ultimately, undid interracial democracy in the post-Civil War South. An edited collection, Jumpin’ Jim Crow: Southern Politics from Civil War to Civil Rights (Princeton University Press, 2000, with Glenda E. Gilmore and Bryant Simon), continued the theme of African-American resistance to white domination from Reconstruction through the 1950s. A third book, The Age of Jim Crow: A Norton Documentary History (Norton, 2008), examines the creation and dissolution of legal segregation in America through primary sources. The recipient of fellowships from the American Council of Learned Societies, the American Academy in Berlin, and the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, Dailey is currently finishing a book on race, sex, and the Civil Rights Movement from emancipation to the present that will be published by Harcourt. She is also writing the second volume of The American Republic a two-volume textbook on United States history for Bedford Books.


Leigh Ann Duck

Associate Professor of English

University of Memphis

Department of English

Leigh Anne Duck is Associate Professor of English at the University of Memphis, where she is also a faculty affiliate of the Center for Research on Women and the Women’s Studies Program. Her research focuses on the literature and culture of the modern and contemporary U.S. and South Africa. She is interested in modernism, constructions of race and nation, and theories concerning space, narrative, and memory. She has published essays on the work of Zora Neale Hurston and William Faulkner, as well as on the study of “postplantation” literatures and representations of the South in film in such journals as the Journal of American FolkloreAmerican Literary History, and American Literature. Her book, The Nation’s Region: Southern Modernism, Segregation, and U.S. Nationalism, was published in 2006. She is Visiting Associate Professor at the University of Copenhagen during the 2009-2010 academic year.


Robert C. McMath

Dean, Honors College

Professor of History

University of Arkansas, Fayetteville

Bob McMath is the Dean of the Honors College and Professor of History at the University of Arkansas. Between 1972 and 2005, McMath taught History at Georgia Tech and served in administrative posts ranging from chair of the History Department to Vice Provost. McMath has also served as the interim Provost of the University of Arkansas. He is the author or co-author of numerous articles and seven books on American history. He is best known among historians for his work on protest movements and politics in the U.S. and Canada. One book, American Populism (publisher, date), provides the script for a forthcoming PBS program produced by Bill Moyers for which he serves as consultant and commentator. Additionally, McMath was the lead author on Engineering the New South: Georgia Tech, 1885-1985, which is still regarded as a model study of technological universities.


Wayne Parent

Russell B. Long Professor of Political Science

Louisiana State University

Department of Political Science

Wayne Parent is the Russell B. Long Professor of Political Science at Louisiana State University. He has recently served as both Department Chair and Associate Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. His research focus is on southern politics, elections, and Louisiana politics. Dr. Parent is a frequent commentator on national and Louisiana politics for the local, state, and national media. His recent and notable publications include Inside the Carnival: Unmasking Louisiana Politics (LSU Press, 2006), “Louisiana’s Stormy Politics” in Political Encyclopedia of U.S. States and Regions (CQ Press, 2008), and Blacks in the American Political System (University of Florida Press, 1995). He is a graduate of Louisiana State University and received his Ph.D. from Indiana University, Bloomington.


Hanes Walton, Jr.

Professor, Center for Afroamerican and African Studies

Research Professor, Center for Political Studies

University of Michigan

Hanes Walton, Jr., is Professor, Center for Afroamerican and African Studies; and Research Professor, Center for Political Studies, at the University of Michigan. Dr. Walton’s principal areas of interest are African-American politics, presidential elections, and public policy. His current book (due out this year) explores and analyzes the manner in which the political context variable influences the political behavior of the African-American community. His large scale work on commemorative public policies is presently in the data collection stage. This work has been underway since 1983.


Patrick Williams

Associate Professor of History

University of Arkansas, Fayetteville

Patrick Williams received his B.A. from the University of Texas and his Ph.D. from Columbia University. He edits the Arkansas Historical Quarterly and is the author of Beyond Redemption: Texas Democrats after Reconstruction (publisher, 2007). He has published articles in the Journal of Southern History and the Southwestern Historical Quarterly and co-edited A Whole Country in Commotion: The Louisiana Purchase and the American Southwest (publisher, 2005) with S. Charles Bolton and Jeannie Whayne. Williams has won Fulbright College’s Master Teacher Award, and in 2009, he was inducted into the University of Arkansas Teaching Academy. He also produces the History Department Newsletter each year.