MISSISSIPPI HUMANITIES COUNCIL ANNOUNCES RECIPIENTS OF 2015 PUBLIC HUMANITIES AWARDS

(JACKSON, MS) – The Mississippi Humanities Council is delighted to announce recipients for its 2015 Public Humanities Awards, which recognize outstanding contributions by Mississippians to the study and understanding of the humanities. These recipients will be honored at a public ceremony and reception Friday, February 13, 2015, at the Old Capitol Museum in Jackson. The award recipients are:

Cora Norman Award — Dr. Estus Smith, founding board member, Mississippi Humanities Council, Jackson, MS

Preserver of Mississippi Culture — Preserve Marshall County and Holly Springs, Inc.

Humanities Partner Award — H.T. Holmes, retiring director, Mississippi Department of Archives and History, Jackson, MS

Humanities Scholar Award — Dr. Eric Weber, associate professor of public policy leadership, University of Mississippi, Oxford, MS

Thirty-one recipients of the 2014 Humanities Teacher Awards, which pay tribute to outstanding faculty in traditional humanities fields, will also be honored at the event.

“We are pleased to be able to recognize these outstanding teachers, scholars and organizations who have made significant contributions to the cultural life in our state,” said Dr. Stuart Rockoff, executive director of the Council. “The outstanding work of each of our each of our winners exemplifies how the humanities can help us understand where we Mississippians have been and what we can become. By reaching out and bringing the humanities to the larger public, they embody the Council’s motto that ‘the humanities are for everyone.’ ”

The Council invites all Mississippians to join them at their 2015 Public Humanities Awards ceremony and reception February 13 at 5:30 p.m. at the Old Capitol Museum in Jackson. A silent auction featuring Mississippi Miscellany will once again be featured.

Tickets for the Mississippi Humanities Council Public Humanities Awards ceremony and reception are $50 each and may be purchased by sending a check to the Mississippi Humanities Council, 3825 Ridgewood Road, Room 317, Jackson, MS 39211 or online at www.mshumanities.org. Information about the awards and the reception is available at www.mshumanities.org or 601-432-6752.

The Mississippi Humanities Council is funded by Congress through the National Endowment for the Humanities to provide public programs in traditional liberal arts disciplines to serve nonprofit groups in Mississippi.

MISSISSIPPI HUMANITIES COUNCIL ANNOUNCES RECIPIENTS OF 2014 PUBLIC HUMANITIES AWARDS

(JACKSON, MS) – The Mississippi Humanities Council is delighted to announce recipients for its 2014 Public Humanities Awards, which recognize outstanding contributions by Mississippians to the study and understanding of the humanities. These recipients will be honored at a public ceremony and banquet Friday, February 28, 2014, at the Hilton Hotel in Jackson. This year’s award recipients are:

Humanities Scholar Award — Dr. Robert Luckett, Jackson, MS

Humanities Educator Award — William Arinder, Amory, MS

Humanities Partner Award — Oxford Conference for the Book, Center for the Study of Southern Culture University of Mississippi, Oxford, MS

Preserver of Mississippi Culture — Sam Brookes, Jackson, MS

Special Recognition Award — Tenn-Tom Moving Youth, Inc., Aberdeen, MS

Public Humanities Achievement Award — Dr. Barbara Carpenter, Amite City, LA

Twenty-nine recipients of the 2013 Humanities Teacher Awards, which pay tribute to outstanding faculty in traditional humanities fields, will also be honored at the banquet.

“Each year the Mississippi Humanities Council honors teachers and scholars who have made a significant contribution to the cultural and educational life of our state,” said Dr. Stuart Rockoff, executive director of the Council. “The diversity of their interests and work reflects the broad sweep of the Council’s mission to foster the public humanities in Mississippi. Each of the award recipients embodies the Council’s motto that ‘the humanities are for everyone.’”

The Council invites all Mississippians to join them at their 2014 Public Humanities Awards Banquet February 28 at the Hilton Hotel in Jackson. A silent auction featuring Mississippi Miscellany will proceed the banquet at 6 p.m., with dinner beginning at 7 p.m.

Tickets for the Mississippi Humanities Council Public Humanities Awards ceremony and banquet are $45 each or $340 for a table of eight and may be purchased by sending a check to the Mississippi Humanities Council, 3825 Ridgewood Road, Room 317, Jackson, MS 39211. Information about the awards and the banquet is available at www.mshumanities.org or 601-432-6752.

The Mississippi Humanities Council is funded by Congress through the National Endowment for the Humanities to provide public programs in traditional liberal arts disciplines to serve nonprofit groups in Mississippi.

NEW DISCUSSION SERIES TO EXPLORE AMERICAN MUSLIM STORIES

(JACKSON, MS) – Jackson, MS, August 20, 2013–The Mississippi Humanities Council received a $4,500 grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the American Library Association to host two five-part reading and discussion series titled “Let’s Talk About It: Muslim Journeys.” The Council is one of 125 libraries and state humanities councils across the country selected to participate in the project, which seeks to familiarize public audiences in the United States with the people, places, history, faith and cultures of Muslims in the United States and around the world. The Muslim Journeys theme the Council has chosen to explore is “American Stories.”

Books to be discussed in the local series include Prince Among Slaves: The True Story of an African Prince Sold into Slavery in the American South by Terry Alford; The Columbia Sourcebook of Muslims in the United States by Edward E. Curtis IV, editor; Acts of Faith: The Story of an American Muslim, in the Struggle for the Soul of a Generation by Eboo Patel; A Quiet Revolution: The Veil’s Resurgence, from the Middle East to America by Leila Ahmed; and The Butterfly Mosque by G. Willow Wilson.

While the large presence of Muslims in the United States dates to the 1960s, Muslims have been a part of the history of America since colonial times. American Muslims’ stories draw attention to the ways in which people of varying religious, cultural, ethnic and racial backgrounds interact to shape both their communities’ identities and our collective past.

The first discussion series will run from September 2013 to March 2014. Participation is free and open to all. Discussions will take place from 6 to 7:30 p.m. at the Margaret Walker Center, located in historic Ayer Hall on the campus of Jackson State University (1400 John R. Lynch Street). Participants must provide their own books, either borrowed from a library or purchased.

The schedule for the first discussion series includes:

  • Sept. 12, 2013 — Prince Among Slaves
  • Dr. Robert Luckett, scholar; Dr. Berthrone Mock-Muhammad, facilitator

  • Oct. 10, 2013 — Acts of Faith
  • Dr. Loye Ashton, scholar; Dr. Robert Luckett, facilitator

  • Nov. 14, 2013 — The Columbia Sourcebook of Muslims in the United State
  • Imam Plemon T. El-Amin, scholar; Rev. Don Fortenberry, facilitator

  • Feb. 13, 2014 — A Quiet Revolution
  • Dr. Loye Ashton, scholar

  • March 6, 2014 — The Butterfly Mosque
  • Dr. Loye Ashton, scholar

For more information, contact the Margaret Walker Center at 601-979-2055 or the Mississippi Humanities Council at 601-432-6752.

COUNCIL WELCOMES TWO NEW BOARD MEMBERS

(JACKSON, MS) – Two new board members have joined the Mississippi Humanities Council, Sharman Bridges Smith of Brandon and Kathryn Lewis of Perkinston.

Sharman Bridges Smith recently retired after 12 years as executive director of the Mississippi Library Commission. During her tenure, she directed construction of the agency’s $10 million facility and oversaw adoption of a statewide accreditation program for public library systems. Smith, a Mississippi native, is no stranger to the state or the state’s public libraries, having been the Clinton Librarian, the Director of the Lincoln-Lawrence-Franklin Regional Library System in Brookhaven, and at MLC for 20 years before going to Iowa in 1992.

During her nine years in Iowa, Smith served as state librarian of Iowa where she managed the renovation/restoration of the 100-year-old state library building and worked closely with the Iowa library community to secure the state’s first direct state aid program for public libraries. In 2001, Smith returned to her home state to become MLC executive director.

Smith holds a master of library science degree from George Peabody College in Nashville, TN, and a bachelor of science degree in library science/psychology from the Mississippi University for Women.

Kathryn Lewis spent the first 32 years of her career teaching speech and theatre at Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College in Perkinston, Mississippi. During that period, she performed, wrote or directed plays while maintaining her role as chair of the fine arts department. Since leaving full-time employment on the college campus, she has provided professional development workshops for teachers and demonstration lessons in schools throughout Mississippi. She has led numerous arts-focused community projects, including The Telling Trees, a project to research, document and present the history of Stone County, MS, through the arts. In 2010 she focused classroom lessons on her new children’s book: The Longleaf and Me…A-Z. Her second book, Watersheds and Me…A-Z, came out in the fall of 2012.

Lewis is a field advisor for the Mississippi Whole Schools Initiative, she is a recipient of the National Storytelling Network Oracle Award for the Southeast and a Top 10 Mississippi Business Woman of the Year (2010). She received a Cowboy Maloney Award for Outstanding Contribution to Theatre in Mississippi, a Mississippi Alliance for Arts Education Distinguished Service Award, and in 2011, The Telling Trees project received the Mississippi Humanities Award for Preservation of Mississippi History. She is listed in Southern Artistry, an artist roster hosted by the South Arts, and on the Teaching Artist Roster of the Mississippi Arts Commission. She is a frequent presenter at arts education and education conferences in Mississippi and is a life member of the Mississippi Alliance for Arts Education.

CAFÉ HUMANITIES DELVES INTO THE COMPLEX SUBJECT OF FOOD

(TUPELO, MS) – Café Humanities, the Mississippi Humanities Council’s book discussion series will begin Monday, June 11, in the Reception Hall at Link Centre. The program is part of the “FOOD: For Thought, for Life” initiative, designed to reach as many Mississippians as possible with information about food issues and food culture in our state.

The program is part of the “FOOD: For Thought, for Life” initiative, designed to reach as many Mississippians as possible with information about food issues and food culture in our state. According to MHC Executive Director, Dr. Barbara Carpenter, “Third only to air and water, food is an all-consuming necessity to sustain life, yet something most citizens take for granted. This discussion series takes a look at food and culture, food and heritage, food and ecology and environmental concerns. Join us as we look at the delights of food, the reasons that ‘you are what you eat,’ and finally the serious issues regarding every aspect of food, from production to food choices to health issues and public responsibilities. “

The opening session in the Reception Hall at Link Centre on Monday, June 11 will be a sign-up reception and introduction to Gum Tree Bookstore’s collections of books on various aspects of food. Over the following six weeks, group members will read three food-related books and discuss their thoughts and ideas under the guidance of discussion leader Jeff Tomlinson, director of the Lee County Library, Tupelo. Discussion sessions will be held from 6:30 – 8:00 p.m. on Monday, June 25, and July 9 and 23.

An overview of the three featured titles follows:

Dinner with Tennessee Williams, by Troy Gilbert and Chef Greg Picolo, with Williams scholar Dr. W. Kenneth Holditch, is part food memoir and part cookbook. Each chapter focuses on one of Williams’ plays, with an essay on the play, food quotes from the play’s dialogue, a menu based on the play, and photographs from Williams’ life.

High on the Hog: A Culinary Journey from Africa to America, by culinary historian Jessica B. Harris, according to a review from the Center for the Study of Southern Culture, “is a sweeping yet intimate view of food in African American life and the profound influence of blacks on American food culture. It is unusually well crafted and written with style and grace. Harris is an engaging guide in this journey that begins in Africa and ends in the twenty-first century.”

The Omnivore’s Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals, by naturalist and food activist Michael Pollan, begins with a simple question: “What should we have for dinner?” According to The Washington Post, “To Pollan, the omnivore's dilemma is twofold: what we choose to eat. . .and how we let that food be produced. His book is an eater's manifesto, and he touches on a vast array of subjects, from food fads and taboos to our avoidance of not only our food's animality, but also our own. . .His approach is steeped in honesty and self-awareness. His cause is just, his thinking is clear, and his writing is compelling.”

Link Centre is located at 1800 W. Main Street. All sessions will run from 6:30-8 p.m. Gum Tree Bookstore will give Café Humanities participants a 10 percent discount on purchase of the three featured books. For more information or to sign up, contact Melanie Dees (662-690-4011, mdeas@link-centre.org), Emily Gatlin (662-842-6453, books@reedsms.com) or David Morgan (601-432-6752, david@mhc.state.ms.us) .

MISSISSIPPI HUMANITIES COUNCIL ANNOUNCES NEW MEMBERS

(JACKSON, MS) – The Mississippi Humanities Council recently welcomed three new members.

Jack Garner, a native of Grenada and a graduate of the University of Mississippi, is president of The Ramey Agency, LLC, a Jackson-based advertising agency. Garner joined The Ramey Agency in 2001 following a 29-year career with Union Planters Bank where he served as president and CEO. In addition to his day job, Garner is also an accomplished artist whose work is part of the permanent collection of the Mississippi Museum of Art. He is the father of two grown sons and grandfather of four.

Dr. Marie Davis Heim of McHenry is a retired instructor of development studies at Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College-Jefferson Davis Campus. During her time with MGCCC, she taught ABE/GED courses and served as a contract workforce trainer. Before joining MGCCC, Heim taught at Jefferson Davis Elementary School in Long Beach and Stone Elementary School in Wiggins. Her community service resume is long and varied, including stints as a judge for talent shows, art shows, science projects, reading projects and county fairs, hospitality hostess at the Dizzy Dean Welcome Center, project director for a Toys for Tots and Angel Tree and volunteer for Helping Hands, Warm Hearts collecting blankets and coats for the homeless in south Mississippi. Heim is a native of Wiggins, with degrees from MGCCC-Perkinston, the University of Southern Mississippi and William Carey College.

Shannon Johnson Warnock, Ridgeland, joined the Council as a governor-appointee. She is the immediate past chair of the Mississippi Parole Board. A native of Brandon, Warnock earned an undergraduate degree in English from Mississippi State University and a juris doctorate degree from Mississippi College School of Law. She served on the campaign staff of Kirk Fordice, Mississippi’s first Republican governor since Reconstruction and later directed his Washington Office of Federal/State Programs. She has served on numerous boards and councils, including Mississippi Boychoir, Ballet Mississippi, the American Cancer Society, the Mississippi Task Force on Gender Fairness, the Mississippi State Medical Association Alliance and Mississippi Children’s Museum Income Development Committee, among others. In 2006, she was listed in the “Top 40 Under 40” by the Mississippi Business Journal. She lives in Ridgeland with her husband and three children.

Outgoing board members include Dr. David Beckley, Holly Springs, and Dr. Rod Risley, Flora. Resignations were also accepted from Melody Golding, Vicksburg, and Dix Nord, Gulfport.

Council officers include Pamela Pridgen, Hattiesburg, chair; Luther Brown, Cleveland, vice chair; Alex Thomas, Florence, secretary; and Ricki Garrett, Clinton, treasurer.

The Mississippi Humanities Council is funded by Congress through the National Endowment for the Humanities to provide public programs in traditional liberal arts disciplines.

Twenty-two Mississippians serve four-year terms on the Council as volunteers. Five Council members are appointed by the governor and the others elected by the Council. Half of the members are public and half academic, and every effort is made to maintain balance by race, gender and geographic distribution to assure representation for all Mississippians.

Any Mississippi resident may nominate persons to serve on the Council. Calls for nominations are regularly announced in the Council’s publications and at Council-supported events.

The Mississippi Humanities Council does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, disability or age.

For information on Mississippi Humanities Council program and grant applications, please visit www.mshumanities.org.

MHC ELECTS NEW MEMBERS, OFFICERS

(JACKSON, MS) – The Mississippi Humanities Council welcomes four new members who will gather in Oxford, MS, later this month for orientation and training.

Dr. Jean Kelly Chamberlain, Jackson, is a native of Utica, Mississippi. She received her early education in Hinds County Public Schools. Following graduation from Hinds County Agricultural High School, she earned an associate of arts degree in pre-English from Utica Junior College (now known as Hinds Community College) and a bachelor of arts degree in English from Tougaloo College. She earned a master of arts in English at the University of Dayton in Ohio and later a doctor of education degree in secondary education from Mississippi State University. She has served as a field staff specialist with the Mississippi Educational Services Center; English educator at Mississippi State University, Mississippi University for Women and Jackson State University; and scholar for the Mississippi Council of Teachers of English and the Mississippi Humanities Council. With a distinguished record as English educator, writing program administrator and former humanities division chair, Dr. Chamberlain currently serves as chair of the Department of English and Modern Foreign Languages at Jackson State. She continues to support the humanities while teaching courses in writing and literature and while preparing English teachers for working in secondary schools. In 2009, the Mississippi Humanities Council presented her with the Humanities Educator Award for her “innovative techniques and formats to reach a wide audience with the ideas and techniques of the humanities.”

Ralph Didlake, Jackson, is founder and director of the Center for Bioethics and Medical Humanities at the University of Mississippi Medical Center. He is a graduate of the University of Mississippi and the University of Mississippi School of Medicine. He trained in general surgery, also at UMMC, and completed a surgical fellowship in organ transplantation at the University of Texas Health Science Center in Houston. After practicing transplant, general and vascular surgery for 23 years, Dr. Didlake developed a compelling interest in the human context of modern medical and surgical care. This interest led to a master's degree in bioethics and health policy from the Neiswanger Institute for Bioethics at Loyola University, Chicago. Currently, Dr. Didlake is professor of surgery and director of the CBMH. His focus is professionalism education, research ethics and the medical humanities.

D.E. Magee, Jackson, received a bachelor of science degree in chemistry from Central State University in Wilberforce, Ohio; a master of science in biochemistry from Howard University in Washington, D.C.; and a doctorate of medicine from Meharry Medical College in Nashville, Tenn. He finished his residency in ophthalmology at Thomas Jefferson University Medical Center in Philadelphia, Penn. Since then, Dr. Magee has been in the private practice of ophthalmology at the Magee Clinic in Jackson. He serves on the board of directors of the Davis Planetarium as program chair. Additionally, he is secretary of the board of directors of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Jackson. He is a volunteer Big Brother with the Big Brothers/ Big Sisters organization, and is past president of the Hinds County Project Head Start Advisory Council. He is mentor to high school and college students in summer pre-health career programs, as well as to medical students interested in ophthalmology.

Dr. Andrew P. Mullins Jr., Oxford, returns to the Council after having served previously from 2001 to 2009. He serves as chief of staff to the chancellor and associate professor of education at the University of Mississippi. A native of Macon, Miss., Mullins was a high school teacher and administrator for eight years after graduating from Millsaps College with a degree in history. While teaching he completed a masters in history from Mississippi College in 1976 and a PhD in college administration from the University of Mississippi in 1992. He has served as a special assistant to two governors and three state superintendents of education. While working on Governor William Winter's staff, he was fully involved in the passage of the 1982 Education Reform Act. He is the author of a book entitled Building Consensus, A History of the Passage of the Education Reform Act of 1982 which is an account of the political process involved in the Winter administration's efforts to change the education system in Mississippi, as well as The Measure of Our Days: Writings of William F. Winter, a collection of the governor's most thoughtful writings on his home state, the South and America in general. Since June 1994, Mullins has worked with three chancellors in various areas of responsibility including government relations and is co-director of the Mississippi Teacher Corps Program. Mullins continues to teach K-12 teachers who are in graduate school.

Outgoing board members include Dr. E. Harold Fisher, Jackson; Dr. Candice Love Jackson, formerly of Jackson; Dr. George Mitchell, Jackson; and Dorothy Roberts McEwen, Ocean Springs.

Council officers include Pamela Pridgen, Hattiesburg, chair; Luther Brown, Cleveland, vice chair; Alex Thomas, Florence, secretary; and Ricki Garrett, Clinton, treasurer.

The Mississippi Humanities Council is funded by Congress through the National Endowment for the Humanities to provide public programs in traditional liberal arts disciplines to serve nonprofit groups in Mississippi.

Twenty-two Mississippians serve four-year terms on the Council as volunteers. Five Council members are appointed by the governor and the others elected by the Council. Half of the members are public and half academic, and every effort is made to maintain balance by race, gender and geographic distribution to assure representation for all Mississippians.

Any Mississippi resident may nominate persons to serve on the Council. Calls for nominations are regularly announced in the Council’s publications and at Council-supported events.

The Mississippi Humanities Council does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, disability or age.

For information on Mississippi Humanities Council program and grant applications, please visit www.mshumanities.org.