Faculty Book Talk series opens 2024 with discussion on religion, effects on activism

Contact: Sarah Nicholas

STARKVILLE, Miss.—Mississippi State faculty members continue tackling current social issues in the Faculty Book Talk series, this month highlighting Elizabeth Miller, a Department of English associate professor.

Book Talk promotional posterWith the series hosted by the College of Arts and Sciences and free to all, Miller’s discussion is Feb. 23 at 3:30 p.m. in Mitchell Memorial Library’s Grisham Room and includes a conversation on her book “Liturgy of Change: Rhetorics of the Civil Rights Mass Meeting.”

The 2023 University of South Carolina Press publication defines civil rights mass meetings as a “transformative rhetorical and religious experience,” bringing attention to the pattern of religious genres—song, prayer and testimony—that structured the events. It further delves into ways these genres created rhetorical opportunities for ordinary people to speak up and develop activism.

“The MSU Faculty Book Talk series celebrates academic books and the MSU faculty who write them,” said Eric Vivier, MSU associate professor of English and series director. “These events are great opportunities for faculty to share their research with the MSU community and for the MSU community to learn about the research happening on campus,” said Vivier, also a faculty fellow with MSU’s Judy and Bobby Shackouls Honors College.

Additional spring Faculty Book Talks will include Pete Smith—associate professor in the Department of Communication—on March 22, highlighting his most recent book “Birddogs and Tough Old Broads: Women Journalists of Mississippi and a Century of State Politics, 1880s-1980s.” It’s a 2023 Lexington Books publication––an imprint of Rowman & Littlefield.

Joey Thompson, an assistant professor in the Department of History, will present an April 19 lecture on his book “Cold War Country: How Nashville’s Music Row and the Pentagon Created the Sound of American Patriotism.” The University of North Carolina Press publication is expected to be released April 2.

MSU’s College of Arts and Sciences includes more than 5,000 students, 300 full-time faculty members, nine doctoral programs and 25 academic majors offered in 14 departments. Complete details about the College of Arts and Sciences can be found at www.cas.msstate.edu.

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