Joseph Thompson

Thompson

Joseph Thompson

Assistant Professor

226 Allen Hall


The US South, Twentieth Century America


662-325-3604

jthompson@history.msstate.edu

Education

Ph.D. United States History, University of Virginia, 2019
M.A. United States History, University of Virginia, 2015
M.A. Southern Studies, University of Mississippi, 2013
B.A.  American Studies and Anthropology, Phi Beta Kappa, University of Alabama, 2002

Academic Career

Assistant Professor, Department of History, Mississippi State University, 2019-

Publications

PUBLICATIONS

Journal Articles
• “The Unreconstructed Joke: ‘The Good Old Rebel’ and the Imaginary South at the Heart of the Radical Right,” Southern Cultures (forthcoming).
• “Nostalgic for Utopia: Anne Romaine’s Folk Music Protest in the New Left South,” Southern Cultures 24, no. 3 (Fall 2018): 45-61.
• “DASH-Amerikan: Keeping Up with the Social Media Ecologies of the Kardashians,” co-authored with the Praxis Digital Humanities cohort, American Quarterly 70, no. 3 (September 2018): 609-611.

Book Chapters
• “Country Music, the Blues, and Agricultural History” in The Wiley Blackwell Companion to American Agricultural History, ed. R. Douglas Hurt (Hoboken: John Wiley & Sons, forthcoming).
• “‘Home Is Where the Hatred Is’: Gil Scott-Heron’s Toxic Domestic Spaces and the Rhizomatic South” in Ecocriticism and the Future of Southern Studies, ed. Zackary Vernon (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 2019).
• “Planes, Pencils, and Politics: How Race and Labor Practices Shaped Postwar Atlanta,” in Reconsidering Southern Labor History: Race, Class, and Power, eds. Matthew Hild and Keri Leigh Merritt (Gainesville: University of Florida Press, 2018). Awarded “Best Book Related to Labor Education 2018-2019” by the United Labor Education Association.

Book Reviews
• Review of The South of the Mind: American Imaginings of White Southernness, 1960-1980, by Zachary J. Lechner. The Register of the Kentucky Historical Society (forthcoming).
• Review of I’d Fight the World: A Political History of Old-Time, Hillbilly, and Country Music, by Peter La Chapelle. The Journal of Popular Music Studies 32, no. 1 (March 2020): 137-139.
• Review of Blackface Nation: Race, Reform, and Identity in American Popular Music, 1812-1925, by Brian Roberts. The Journal of African American History 104, no. 3 (Summer 2019): 485-488.
• “A Polyphonic South: Tyina L. Steptoe on Houston’s Racial and Sonic Fluidity,” South: A Scholarly Journal 49, no. 2 (Spring 2017/2018): 200-202.
• Review of Africa in Stereo: Modernism, Music, and Pan-African Solidarity, by Tsitsi Ella Jaji. The Journal of African American History 101, No. 3 (Summer 2016): 380-382.
• Review of Battle Hymns: The Power and Popularity of Music in the Civil War, by Christian McWhirter. The Southern Register (Summer 2012): 24-25.

Public Writing and Media Appearances
• “The Scripto Strikes,” The New Georgia Encyclopedia (forthcoming).
• “The longtime connection between race, country music and military recruitment,” The Washington Post, June 9, 2020.
• “GI Bill opened doors to college for many vets, but politicians created a separate one for blacks” The Conversation, November 9, 2019.
• “Behind the Scenes at BackStory,” C-SPAN 3, original airdate July 4, 2019.
• “The Scripto Strikes: James V. Carmichael and Black Women’s Labor Organizing in Downtown Atlanta,” Atlanta Studies, September 4, 2018.
• “Whitey on the Moon,” Enviro-History, March 16, 2018.
• “Crowning Glory: A History of Hair in America” interview with the Slate podcast BackStory, original air date May 4, 2018.
• “Stars, Stripes, and Country Music,” interview with PBS’s American Experience, November 8, 2017. 
• “Woody Guthrie and the Making of the Folk,” We’re History, July 14, 2016.
• “Progressivism in the South,” We’re History, January 26, 2016.

INVITED PRESENTATIONS

Keynote
• “ReSounding the Archives,” Symposium for the Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media, University of Virginia (2018).

Colloquium Speaker
• “Drafting Elvis: Memphis, Music, and the Military,” Rhodes College, Memphis, Tennessee (2020).
• “Seems Like I’ve Been Here Before: Historical Connections Between the 1960s and the Present,” Lecture for the Columbus and Lowndes County Historical Society (2019).
• “Planes, Pencils, and Politics: How Race and Labor Practices Shaped Postwar Atlanta,” Southern Labor History Brown Bag, Georgia State University, Atlanta, Georgia (2017).
• “ ‘I Won’t Be Reconstructed’: Exploring Confederate Memory in Popular Culture,” Center for the Study of Southern Culture, University of Mississippi, Oxford, Mississippi (2013).

Panelist
• Graduate Council Luncheon, Southern Historical Association, Louisville, Kentucky (2019).
• “Political History, Podcasting, and Public Engagement” with Brian Balogh, Nathan Connolly, and Joyce Chaplin, Remaking American Political History Conference, Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana (2019).
• “Country Music and the Vietnam War,” International Country Music Conference, Nashville, Tennessee (2018).
• “Nat ‘King’ Cole’s Civil War: How the Intimate Sounds of Pop Music Ignited Alabama’s Racial Tensions in the 1950s,” American Studies Association, Toronto, Canada (2015).

CONFERENCE PARTICIPATION (SELECTED)

• “G.I. Blues: The Military Roots of Country’s Teenaged Rebellion,” Museum of Pop Culture Music Conference, Presenter, online (2020).
• “Explaining Presidential Scandals,” Managing Scandal in the White House Conference, Panel Chair, Mississippi State University (2019).
• “Undead and Unreconstructed: The ‘Good Old Rebel’ and the Ghosts of the Confederacy in Popular Song,” Museum of Pop Culture Music Conference, Presenter, Seattle, Washington (2019).
• “ ‘It was home’: U.S. Soldiers and the Creation of a Global Country Music Community International Association for the Study of Popular Music, New Orleans, Louisiana (2019).
• “ ‘Whatever happened to the protest and the rage?’: Gil Scott-Heron and the Pentagon’s Environmental Racism,” American Historical Association, Chicago, Illinois (2019).
• “Cadence Count: Capturing Soldiers’ Voices for State Violence,” American Studies Association, Atlanta, Georgia (2018).
• “Foreign Love: U.S. Soldiers, Country Music, and the Gender Politics of Transnational Sexual Encounters,” Museum of Pop Culture Music Conference, Presenter and panel organizer, Seattle, Washington (2018).
• “‘The Army Goes Country and Western’: Race, Politics, and Music Row Militarism in the 1950s, International Association for the Study of Popular Music, Nashville, Tennessee (2018).
• “Geisha Girls, Frauleins, and Filipino Babies: U.S. Soldiers, Country Music, and the Racial Politics of Transnational Sexual Encounters,” Southern Historical Association, Birmingham, Alabama (2018).
• “Listening for the Silent Majority: Political Dissent and Country Music Militarism During Vietnam,” American Studies Association, Chicago, Illinois (2017).
• “Planes, Pencils, and Politics: How Race and Labor Practices Shaped Postwar Atlanta,” Labor and Working Class History Association, Seattle, Washington (2017).
• ‘Brought to You By Your United States Air Force’: How Country Radio and Military Recruitment Joined Forces in the 1960s,” Museum of Pop Culture Music Conference (formerly EMP), Presenter and panel organizer, Seattle, Washington (2017).
• “From North Mississippi to Okinawa: O.B. McClinton, Military Integration, and the Racial Politics of Country Music,” Southern American Studies Association, Presenter and panel organizer, Williamsburg, Virginia (2017).
• “‘Home Is Where the Hatred Is’: Gil Scott-Heron’s Toxic Domestic Spaces,” American Studies Association, Presenter and panel organizer, Denver, Colorado (2016).
• “Black Speck: The Confounding Country Voice of O.B. McClinton,” EMP Pop Conference, Presenter and panel organizer, Seattle, Washington (2016).
• “Anne Romaine’s Progressive Nostalgia: The Politics of Folk Music Activism in the Sunbelt South,” Organization of American Historians, Providence, Rhode Island (2016).
• “Nat ‘King’ Cole’s Civil War: How the Intimate Sounds of Pop Music Ignited Alabama’s Racial Tensions in the 1950s,” Southern American Studies Association, Presenter and panel organizer, Atlanta, Georgia (2015).

Honors & Awards

GRANTS AND FELLOWSHIPS

2018 Mellon/ACLS Dissertation Completion Fellowship (2018-2019).
2018 Dean’s Dissertation Completion Fellowship, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, University of Virginia (declined).
2017 Smithsonian Institution Predoctoral Fellowship, National Museum of American History and the National Museum of African American History and Culture, Washington, D.C. (2017-2018).
2017 Digital Humanities Prototype Fellowship, The Scholars’ Lab, University of Virginia.
2016  Robert J. Huskey Conference & Travel Fellowship, Corcoran Department of History, University of Virginia.
2016 Joel Williamson Visiting Scholar Grant, Southern Historical Collection, University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill.
2016 Reed-Fink Award in Southern Labor History, Southern Labor Archives, Georgia State University.
2016 William and Madeline Welder Smith Research Travel Award, Briscoe Center for American History, University of Texas at Austin.
2016 Praxis Program in the Digital Humanities Fellowship, The Scholars’ Lab, University of Virginia (2016-2017).
2016 Rose Library Fellowship in Modern Politics and Southern History, Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia.
2015 Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences Summer Research Award, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, University of Virginia.
2014 Institute for Public History Internship at the Library of Virginia, Richmond, Virginia.
2014 Public Humanities Fellowship in South Atlantic Studies, Virginia Humanities. Charlottesville, Virginia.
2012 Short-term Research Fellowship, Frances S. Summersell Center for the Study of the South, University of Alabama.
2012 Summer Research Assistantship, University of Mississippi.
2011 Chris Fullerton Fellowship, Center for the Study of Southern Culture, University of Mississippi (2011-2013).
2011 Full-time Graduate Assistantship, Center for the Study of Southern Culture, University of Mississippi (2011-2013).

AWARDS

2019 Selected to join the “Southern Summit,” a cohort of emerging scholars studying the U.S. South, University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill.   2017 First Prize, Huskey Research Exhibition in the Arts and Humanities, University of Virginia.
2016  Graduate Teaching Award, American Studies Program, University of Virginia.
2015  Critoph Award, Southern American Studies Association.
2015  Finalist, Louis Pelzer Memorial Award, Organization of American Historians.
2013 Lucille and Motee Daniels Award, Best Thesis in Southern Studies, University of Mississippi.
2013 Graduate Achievement Award, University of Mississippi.
2012 Lucille and Motee Daniels Award, Best Paper by a First Year Graduate Student, Center for the Study of Southern Culture, University of Mississippi.
2012  Anne Abadie Award, Best Documentary Work, Center for the Study of 
       Southern Culture, University of Mississippi.

Research Experience

DIGITAL HUMANITIES AND PUBLIC HISTORY

• Researcher and Writer, BackStory a Slate podcast produced by Virginia Humanities, Charlottesville, Virginia (2016-2018).
• Development of Jukebox, an Omeka plug-in that embeds sound wave files within the Neatline mapping function (2017-present).
• Website Development and Writer, Praxis Program in the Digital Humanities Fellowship, The Scholars’ Lab, University of Virginia (2016-2017).
• Website Management and Omeka archival software instruction, AMST 2001 “Introduction to American Studies” website, University of Virginia (2014-2017). 
• Website Development and Content Curator, Remaking Virginia: Transformation Through Emancipation online exhibit, Library of Virginia. Richmond, Virginia. Institute for Public History Summer Internship (2014).
• Docent, L.Q.C. Lamar House, National Historic Landmark. Oxford, Mississippi (2012-2013).
• Archaeologist, University of Texas – San Antonio and Jacksonville State University (2002-2009).
• Student Assistant, Alabama Museum of Natural History, Tuscaloosa, Alabama (1998-2001).

Professional Associations

Organization of American Historians
American Studies Association
American Historical Association
Southern Historical Association
National Council on Public History

SERVICE

• Mississippi State University Honor Code Council (2020-present).
• Manuscript reviewer for The Journal of Popular Music Studies (2020-present).
• Working with the Library of Congress to prepare BackStory podcast research materials for the American Archive of Public Broadcasting (2019-present).
• Undergraduate Committee, Department of History, Mississippi State University (2019-present).
• Provided commentary on presentations at the MADCAP Seminar on the history of capitalism hosted by the Corcoran Department of History (2016-2018).
• Organized panels for conferences held by the American Studies Association, the Southern American Studies Association, and the Museum of Popular Culture (2015-present).
• Managing Editor, Essays in History, a peer-reviewed journal published by the Corcoran Department of History, University of Virginia (2015-2018).

<< Return to Faculty Page