Behind the Big House: Slavery, Memory, and Vulnerability in Mississippi

Wednesday, December 13, 2023 - 6:00pm
Join us for this virtual Gallier Gathering with Dr. Jodi Skipper, anthropologist of historical sites, on her work with Behind the Big House. About this Event: Since 2012, Jodi Skipper has worked as a scholar-in-collaboration with Behind the Big House, a slave dwelling interpretation program that began in Holly Springs, Mississippi. The program is a collaborative effort between groups working to retool the city’s narrative from one which largely interpreted the lives of slave-owning families into one that more comprehensively incorporated the lives of enslaved people. This talk will explore Skipper’s attempts to form equitable partnerships with members of the Holly Springs community through the concept of vulnerability, more specifically the processes of earning trust through continuous exposure to collaborators. About the Speaker: Jodi Skipper is an Associate Professor of Anthropology and Southern Studies at the University of Mississippi. Since 2012, she has worked as a scholar-in-collaboration with Behind the Big House, a Mississippi slave dwelling interpretation program, which expanded to the state of Arkansas. After receiving one of eight Whiting Foundation Public Humanities fellowships in 2017, she created, a website designed to help make the program model more accessible to individuals and institutions thinking through how they might incorporate slavery into historic site narratives. She co-edited (with Michele Coffey) Navigating Souths: Transdisciplinary Explorations of a US Region in 2017 and an autoethnography, Behind the Big House: Reconciling, Slavery, Race and Heritage in the U.S. South, in 2022. Photo credit: Sally Godard.

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