This year, five Mississippi State history professors are bringing others into MSU’s intellectual orbit. Professor Kathryn Barbier is at the US Air Force Academy, where, as a Distinguished Visiting Professor, she is sharing with the cadets and their professors the newest insights into military history, especially the latest work on World War II. Professor Ann Daly is spending this year at the American Antiquarian Society in Massachusetts where she is the Hench Fellow. Her work there focuses on the intersection of money, politics and technology in early American culture. Professor Christian Flow has a Fellowship at the Society of Fellows in the Humanities at the University of Southern California. There he explores how different observational contexts create new interpretations, impressions and meanings in already analyzed texts and thoughts.
Two history faculty have carried their insights abroad. Professor Mark Hersey is the Fulbright Commission Bicentennial Chair in American Studies at the University of Helsinki. He is teaching the prominent environmental studies program there about the environmental history of the American south, especially that of the nearby Black Belt. An uncommonly productive place to explore the historical nexuses of nature and culture, Hersey uses the Black Belt to examine the ways “in which cultural identities have been cobbled onto and read out of the material world.” Professor Morgan Robinson is at the Institut Fur Asien- Und Afrika-Wissenschaften at the Humboldt University in Berlin. As a Humboldt Fellow, her work there centers around the making of the African University. In particular, she looks at the traditions of intellectual curiosity and inquiry that have characterized East Africa during the two centuries prior to 1985. It traces the mingling of European, particularly German influences, with the indigenous eyes, thoughts and practices of native East Africans.
Each Mississippi State faculty member will be in Starkville in August 2022, filled with new insights and understanding that their interactions with other scholars have given them. Not only will the places they visited be far better off for their time in residence but Mississippi State faculty and students will benefit markedly from their intellectual sojourns.