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Crossing borders/Connecting stories – Mississippi and Massachusetts

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Crossing borders/Connecting stories – Mississippi and Massachusetts

December 3 @ 7:00 PM - 8:30 PM EST

MS+MA: Crossing Borders/Connecting Stories

An online series of conversations between Mississippi and Massachusetts

The Mississippi Humanities Council and Mass Humanities announce a series of six interactive, online programs to facilitate conversation between our two states. We will be examining intersecting points in our histories, exploring our rich literary traditions, and engaging in cross-state dialogue. By reflecting on our states’ identities in relationship to each other, this series aims to build understanding and offer new perspectives. At a time when the pandemic has created a greater sense of isolation, we hope to forge connections.

Opening event: Crossing borders/Connecting stories

Dec. 3, 2020: 7:00-8:30 pm Eastern Standard Time

This first conversation in the MS + MA series explores images and impressions of our two states, bringing curiosity to questions about how we view each other. Our two speakers will draw on the literary heritage of Mississippi and Massachusetts to offer reflections on how our greatest writers have informed and complicated our views of each other. Participants will also engage in conversations with residents from both states in small breakout groups, sharing and examining their own impressions of our two states and discussing what they learned from our two speakers.

We hope you will join us. Please come prepared to listen and participate!


  1. Ralph Eubanks, Visiting Professor at the Center for the Study of Southern Culture at the University of Mississippi. Prof. Eubanks is the author of The House at the End of the Road: The Story of Three Generations of an Interracial Family in the American South and Ever Is a Long Time: A Journey into Mississippi’s Dark Past, which Washington Post book critic Jonathan Yardley named as one of the best nonfiction books of the year. For this event, Prof. Eubanks will draw on his forthcoming book, A Place Like Mississippi: A Journey Through a Real and Imagined Literary Landscape.

Michael Gorra, Mary Augusta Jordan Professor of English Language & Literature at Smith College. Prof. Gorra is the author of The Saddest Words: William Faulkner’s Civil War and Portrait of a Novel: Henry James and the Making of An American Masterpiece, a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in Biography. Gorra’s talk will reflect, in part, on how James and Faulkner saw Massachusetts and Mississippi as emblems for their respective regions as a whole: the one the heart of Yankeedom, and the other the South of the South.

To register: Click here. Space is limited and registration ends when the registration limit is reached or by Dec. 1. Once you have registered, you will be sent a short survey in mid-November asking for your impressions of how you view Mississippi and how you think residents in Mississippi view Massachusetts. In late November, you will also be sent two very short excerpts from works by a writer in each state that you can read ahead of time. The link to access the event online will be sent a few days before the event.

Questions? Please email Jennifer Hall-Witt, Program Officer at Mass Humanities:


December 3
7:00 PM - 8:30 PM


Jennifer Hall-Witt


Northampton, MA 01060
View on Google Maps
(413) 584-8440

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