Tammy Ingram on the Importance of Roads and the Foundation of the Dixie Highway

At the turn of the 20th century, roads dominated everyday life. They determined where people could and could not travel, as well as whether or not other people, goods, services and even ideas could reach them. Roads dominated conversations around the ballot box and the dinner table, but good roads eluded most Americans and virtually all Southerners

Oscars 2014: History in Pictures

We would like to congratulate all of last night’s Oscar winners, but there are a few winners who are especially close to our hearts at UNC Press. After the dust of pre-Oscar predictions settled, Twelve Years a Slave arose victorious last night winning the Oscar for Best Picture, Best Actress in a Supporting Role, and Best Adapted Screenplay. When director Steve McQueen accepted the Oscar he said, “Everyone deserves not just to survive but to live,” and we could not be more happy that such an important film has received the recognition it deserves.

Jacqueline E. Whitt: Cooperation without Compromise: Military Chaplains’ Responses to the End of DADT

As the movement for the repeal of DADT gained political momentum, dozens of retired military chaplains and civilian religious organizations expressed grave concerns that a repeal of DADT would coerce military chaplains into performing services contrary to the dictates of their religious confession or would effectively silence their protected religious speech about the sinfulness of homosexuality. There were warnings of mass resignations or a mass exodus from the military chaplaincy by evangelical chaplains (who fill most chaplain billets). Ultimately, few chaplains have actually resigned their military commissions as a result of their opposition to the repeal of DADT or the ruling of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) as unconstitutional.

Remembering Pete Seeger

Remembering Pete Seeger through interviews conducted by William Ferris in his book “The Storied South” and by Fiona Ritchie and Doug Orr for their book “Wayfaring Strangers.”

Video: Jonathan Holloway on Jim Crow Wisdom: Memory and Identity in Black America since 1940

A video of Jonathan Holloway’s talk about his book Jim Crow Wisdom, which was given at the Gilder Lehrman Institute in January 2014 in New York City. This video was made by the Gilder Lehrman Institute.

Jacqueline E. Whitt: Merry Chrismahanukwanzakah from Uncle Sam

The difference between the two positions is stark—but the key to understanding the divergence rests in recognizing the different assumptions and interpretations of the First Amendment. For groups such as the Military Association of Atheists and Freethinkers and the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, the establishment clause is at the heart of the argument. And for [Tony] Perkins and many other religious groups and individuals, the free exercise clause is central to the question. The problem, of course, is that the First Amendment doesn’t give primacy to one clause over the other. They are co-equal and held in tension.

Video: Adrian Miller on Soul Food and Red Drink

Video: From his book “Soul Food,” author Adrian Miller reads a selection from the chapter on red drink.

50 Years Ago: Historians on the Legacies of JFK

Blair L. M. Kelley and Kathryn Cramer Brownell consider the assassination of JFK in the contexts of the civil rights movement, media spectacle, and shifting political structures.

Jonathan Scott Holloway: Where Does a Historian Find the Truth?

I still rely on and value deeply these brick-and-mortar archives, but my research in Jim Crow Wisdom has taught me to value the archive of the imagination as well. Like any archive, the imagination is a place that is fundamentally about assemblage: a mixture of our best efforts to remember the past accurately, the eroding effects of time, and a desire for narrative clarity and poignancy. Relying on the imagination for its archival properties is central to this book and helps us develop a richer sense of memory and of history.

Adam D. Shprintzen: Beyond, Beyond Meat

Meat substitutes attempted to provide these gustatory benefits while also ensuring a violence-free diet. In fact, early meat substitutes were positioned as being even more effective than meat in their strength- and muscle-building properties.

Jonathan Scott Holloway: Whose Dream? Whose History?

Even though the museum recognizes Smith’s protest, if only barely, her protest tells us something valuable about the production of history and the sanctification of certain experiences over others. Here, a single person with a particular set of memories and a determination to remember a figure of such importance as King in a specific way finds herself facing an institution with a public commitment to remembrance that has become her own horror.

Interview: Lee A. Craig on Josephus Daniels

Josephus Daniels was a progressive, a warm-hearted family man, a man who genuinely cared about the country’s less-fortunate and down-trodden, at least as he defined them. Yet at the same time, he was a white supremacist, who used the coercive powers of the state to keep blacks in a socially and economically inferior state for generations.

Eric S. Yellin: Woodrow Wilson’s Inauguration a Disheartening Anniversary

It was not just careers that came to an end in Woodrow Wilson’s Washington. African Americans also lost a claim to their legitimacy as American citizens and participants in the national state. Marked as corrupt and untrustworthy, black Americans have struggled ever since to clear their names as honest and trust-worthy citizens, a struggle that continues into our own time.

Randal Maurice Jelks: Remembering “Letter from a Birmingham Jail”

King’s letter scribbled on the edges of a newspaper is a democratic critique and draws attention to public aspect of faith traditions. In a democracy, faiths must always be self-critical and publicly criticized.

David W. Stowe: From the Book to the Breakfast Table

I had a new image of the Times Op-Ed department as a kind of graduate seminar on steroids, not just fact-checking and copy-editing but asking the rigorous questions.

Award-winning books from UNC Press (updated)

We are honored and delighted to share the news of some of our most recent award-winning books. Hope you’ll join us in congratulating these fine authors. And you may want to consider using some of these books in your classroom or kitchen. Click the cover images or book titles to go to the book page …

Continue reading ‘Award-winning books from UNC Press (updated)’ »

Laura Browder: Women’s Gun Culture in America

The image of the armed woman as white, suburban-looking, and thoroughly domesticated is but one aspect of women’s gun culture, and women’s relationship to guns, in the United States.

Edward J. Blum and Paul Harvey: Jesus Jokes and Racial Pain

Jesus has had a long, exciting, funny, and painful life in America. From the slave ships of the Atlantic Ocean to the Hollywood sets along the Golden Coast, from the visions out of Indian country to the artwork of children, from the firing of bullets to the construction of billboards, Jesus has been born, crucified, and resurrected in America’s racial sagas. Those of the twenty-first century laugh because there is so much to cry over.

Fiona Deans Halloran: Thomas Nast, Horace Greeley, and the Gift of Gaffe

Where did he find his inspiration? Frequently in what we would call gaffes. Those little slips that so reveal the true character of any politician helped to inspire Nast’s pencil to new heights.