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  • Historical News and Notices

The Association

Like most organizations, the Southern Historical Association is adjusting to the pandemic, determined to endure. In consultation with President Thavolia Glymph and Vice President Steven Hahn, this year's program committee has determined not to hold an in-person meeting in Memphis but to hold some parts of the program virtually in November and schedule the rest for presentation at next year's supersized meeting in New Orleans. The program committee, chaired by Kendra Taira Field, Joseph P. Reidy, and Randy J. Sparks, has pulled together a stellar slate of panels and plenaries covering such diverse topics as "The Chickasaws and Mississippian Culture," "Radical Women/Queering Southern History," "Caribbean Slavery," "African American Farmers and Land Loss," "Universities and Slavery/Universities and Segregation," and "Memphis after Martin Luther King." Be sure to check your email inbox for SHA eNewsletter updates and follow us on Twitter (@TheSouthernSHA) or Facebook ( to get the latest information about scheduling.

In response to COVID-19, over the summer the SHA inaugurated a microgrant program for graduate students to write reflective blog entries about their research, teaching, and planning for the future in the shadow of the pandemic. Graduate school can be lonely and isolating under the best of circumstances, and, for many, the pandemic has exacerbated these feelings. The blog posts are alternately sad, serious, and funny and provide a forum for graduate students to connect and discuss a diverse array of personal and professional experiences in this time of global disruption. You can read all of the entries at our blog——and we thank all the donors who helped fund the program.

The 2021 Program Committee co-chairs, Gregory Downs, University of California, Davis, and Adrienne Petty, College of William and Mary, have issued a call for papers for the eighty-seventh annual meeting, which is scheduled to be held in New Orleans, Louisiana, November 3–6, 2021. The call for papers notes, "Submissions for single papers are accepted, and we encourage session proposals that include three papers, as well as two commentators and a chair. In the spirit of diversity and inclusion, we especially welcome panels that bring scholars together who are not typically in conversation with one another, whether by reason of subfield of history, sex, race, or institution. We want to showcase the diversity of both the association and the region. If you are having trouble finding or forming a diverse panel, please email the SHA office ( or the program co-chairs and we will help you." As a reminder, the SHA Executive Council recently modified one of its rules for program participants. Formerly, the Association observed what was often called the "two-year off" rule, which required individuals who have been on a particular program to sit out the next two meetings. The new rule makes an exception for chairs and commentators, who are only required to sit out one year. [End Page 769]

All proposals for the 2021 program must be submitted through the online submission portal ( The deadline for submissions is September 15, 2020.

Like many of you, we at the SHA offices continue to work remotely, sheltering-in-place, worrying about those close to us and those far away. As we conclude this issue of "News and Notices," we want to send a word of solidarity and support to our SHA community in these turbulent times. Humanity has enormous capacities for resilience and grace. As historians we know that, contrary to what we see on the news, we are at our best when things are worst. We will get through this to again raise a glass and enjoy our collective company. Until then, take care of yourselves, and each other.


Sarah Woolfolk Wiggins, long identified with the history department at the University of Alabama, passed away on April 12, 2020. Eighty-five years earlier, on June 29, 1934, she was born in Montgomery, Alabama. She attended Huntingdon College, at the time primarily a women's college in Montgomery, and received a bachelor's degree in 1956. At Louisiana State University, Sarah earned her master's degree...


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