Award-Winning Historian Dr. Keisha Blain to Present Third Annual Byington Lecture on the Contemporary South

Dr. Keisha Blain

MACON – Mercer University’s Spencer B. King Jr. Center for Southern Studies will welcome award-winning historian Dr. Keisha N. Blain on Jan. 24 for the third annual Laurie Byington Lecture on the Contemporary South.

Dr. Blain’s lecture, titled “Building a Movement: Black Women Organizing in the (Global) South,” is free and open to the public and will take place at 6 p.m. in the Presidents Dining Room inside the University Center on the Macon campus.

“Dr. Keisha Blain is a rising star in American history circles. Her work on the vast network of women across the globe who agitated for rights of all people helps us understand that the movement for freedom in the American South was part of a much broader coalition of activists,” said Dr. Doug Thompson, associate professor of history and southern studies and director of the Spencer B. King Jr. Center. “We are delighted to host Dr. Blain at Mercer and in Macon for this year’s Byington Lecture.”

Dr. Blain, assistant professor of history at the University of Pittsburgh, is a historian of the 20th century United States with broad interdisciplinary interests and specializations in African-American history, the modern African diaspora, and women’s and gender studies. Her research interests include black internationalism, radical politics and global feminisms.

She is the author of Set the World on Fire: Black Nationalist Women and the Global Struggle for Freedom (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2018) and co-editor of Charleston Syllabus: Readings on Race, Racism and Racial Violence (University of Georgia Press, 2016) and New Perspectives on the Black Intellectual Tradition (Northwestern University Press, 2018).

Her work has been published in several academic journals, such as the Journal of Social History and Souls, and popular outlets, including the Huffington Post, The Washington Post, and The Feminist Wire.

Dr. Blain is president of the African American Intellectual History Society and senior editor of its popular blog, Black Perspectives.

The Laurie Byington Lecture Series promotes an examination of the contemporary American South. Madge T. Byington established the series to honor her daughter, a 1992 graduate of the College of Liberal Arts and former member of the College of Liberal Arts Alumni Board of Directors, and to assist the University in bringing a distinguished expert, or recognized leader in his/her field or discipline, to the Macon campus to give an annual lecture.

The lectures and other activities of the Center are supported by funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities.

About the Spencer B. King Jr. Center for Southern Studies

The Spencer B. King Jr. Center for Southern Studies fosters critical discussions about the many meanings of the South. As the only center for southern studies in the United States dedicated to the education and enrichment of undergraduate students, the Center’s primary purpose is to examine the region’s complex history and culture through courses, conversations and events that are open, honest and accessible.