University of Mississippi

Literary Death Match Tuesday, Oct. 13th at 7p.m. at The Powerhouse.

Death Match

The Edith Baine Lecture Series presents: “Toward a Sustainable Humanities” by Stephanie LeMenager. Sept. 17th at 7p.m. The Depot

imgresStephanie LeMenager is the Barbara and Carlisle Moore Professor of English and Professor of Environmental Studies at the University of Oregon. Her publications include the books Living Oil: Petroleum Culture in the American Century, Manifest and Other Destinies, and (as co-editor) Environmental Criticism for the Twenty-First Century. Her forthcoming books are Weathering: Toward a Sustainable Humanities and the collection Teaching Climate Change in the Humanities with co-editors Stephen Siperstein and Shane Hall. She is a founding editor of Resilience: A Journal of the Environmental Humanities.

The Lecture will take place on September 17th at 7p.m at The Depot.  This event is free and open to the public.

Mission Statement
The Edith T. Baine Lecture Series for Scholars and Writers invites the best and brightest scholars and writers to our campus. The Baine lecturers and writers are chosen on the basis of energetic and engaged scholarship and creative work, innovative approaches, and dynamic presentation styles. The lectures showcase paradigm-shifting research and groundbreaking writing. The visiting scholars and writers are intended to expose undergraduates to the fullness of a life deeply engaged in literature while inspiring graduate students to pursue ambitious work.

Edith T. Baine
Mrs. Edith Turley Baine of El Dorado was born November 29, 1945 in Greenville, Mississippi, the daughter of Edith Waits Turley and George Turley. She graduated from Leland High School and the University of Mississippi, where she received B.A.E. and M.A.E. degrees. Mrs. Baine was a member of the First Presbyterian Church of El Dorado, El Dorado Service League, Phi Mu Sorority and Delta Theta Phi Law Fraternity International. She was a former member of the Board of Directors of the Union County Humane Society. She was an El Dorado Jaycettes and later became an El Dorado Jaycee. She was a tree farmer and retired English teacher who taught in Mississippi and at El Dorado High School. On April 13, 2012, Mrs. Baine passed away at Baptist Health Medical Center in Little Rock. Her generous gift to the English Department at the University of Mississippi supports this lecture series and promotes academic and creative exchange.

Kiese Laymon

static1.squarespaceKiese Laymon, 2015-2016 John and Renee Grisham Visiting Writer in Residence and author of *Long Division.* 

Matt Bondurant


Kiese Laymon

K.-LaymonKiese Laymon is a black southern writer, born and raised in Jackson, Mississippi. Laymon attended Millsaps College and Jackson State University before graduating from Oberlin College. He earned an MFA from Indiana University and is currently an Associate Professor of English at Vassar College. Laymon is the author of the novel, Long Division and a collection of essays, How to Slowly Kill Yourself and Others in America. Laymon has written essays and stories for numerous publications including Esquire, ESPN, Colorlines, NPR, Gawker, The Los Angeles Times, PEN Journal, Truthout, Longman’s Hip Hop Reader, The Best American Series, Guernica, Mythium and Politics and Culture. He was selected a member of the Root 100 in 2013 and 2014.

W205A Bondurant Hall
kmlaymon at

Fisher-Wirth Chosen as Fellow of Black Earth Institute

AnnfisherworthAnn Fisher-Wirth, professor of English and director of the environmental studies program at the University of Mississippi, has been chosen as a fellow of the Black Earth Institute, a think tank of artists and scholars devoted to serving environmental and social causes with their art.

“I am very pleased to be chosen as a fellow for the Black Earth Institute,” Fisher-Wirth said. “It is a big honor and a wonderful validation of my work as a poet and environmental activist. It reflects on the support I have been given at the University of Mississippi, both as a member of the English department and as director of the minor in environmental studies.”

Fisher-Wirth was among seven, chosen from nearly 100 applicants, selected for the fellowship.

“Ann Fisher-Wirth has a reputation for being a strong environmentalist both in her professional and personal life,” said Ivo Kamps, chair of the UM Department of English. “Her commitment to leaving our planet a place our children and grandchildren can hope to enjoy is evident in her poetry and her teaching.”

Many of the courses within the English department that focus on literature and the environment are available to students because of Fisher-Wirth, he said.

“As director of the environmental studies minor, she continues to bring in many speakers and organizes events that expose our students to one of the most pressing issues of our time,” Kamps said. “Her selection as a fellow of the Black Earth Institute is a recognition of the important work she has done, is doing and will do in the future.”

Fellows are chosen every three years. Fisher-Wirth’s fellowship is a three-year term from July 1, 2015 to July 1, 2018. The aim of the fellowship is to collaborate with other fellows and promote awareness of the Black Earth Institute’s mission.

Each year, the selected fellows gather in Black Earth, Wisconsin, with founder Michael McDermott and several former fellows and scholars to discuss social justice and environmental topics and share their individual experiences. Fellows also take turns editing special issues of the institute’s online journal, About Place.

UM to Honor First Doctoral Recipient in English

A1ihTwZRSBL-200x300Kenneth Holditch slated to present lecture at annual Faulkner conference.  Click HERE for the full story.

Matt Bondurant

IMG_0216-2Matt Bondurant received his B.A. and M.A. in English from James Madison University, then went on to earn a Ph.D. in English – Creative Writing from Florida State University.

Matt’s latest novel The Night Swimmer (Scribner) was published in January, 2012, and was featured in the New York Times Book ReviewOutside Magazine, and The Daily Beast, among others.  His second novel The Wettest County in the World (Scribner 2008) is an international bestseller, a New York Times Editor’s Pick, a San Francisco Chronicle Best 50 Books of the Year, and was made into a feature film (Lawless) by Director John Hillcoat, starring Shia Labeouf, Tom Hardy, Jessica Chastain, Mia Wasikowska, Gary Oldman, and Guy Pearce.  His first novel The Third Translation (Hyperion 2005) is an international bestseller, translated into 14 languages worldwide.  He has published short stories in such journals as Glimmer TrainThe New England Review, and Prairie Schooner, and his latest short story appears in the Dallas Noir anthology published last year.

Matt has written feature articles, essays, and reviews for Outside MagazineNewsweek, and the Huffington Post, among other magazines and newspapers.  His most recent non-fiction feature articles appeared in Texas Monthly magazine, including a piece about competing in the Texas Water Safari – “The World’s Toughest Canoe Race.”  He has sold two original screenplays and in 2013 he secured a development deal with HBO/Cinemax to write and executive produce an original one-hour dramatic series.  He has published poems in The Notre Dame Review and Ninth Letter, among others, and his poetry is featured inImaginative Writing, the most widely adopted creative writing text in the world.

A former John Gardner Fellow in Fiction at Bread Loaf, Kingsbury Fellow at Florida State, and Walter E. Dakin Fellow at Sewanee, Matt has recently held residencies at Yaddo and the MacDowell Colony.  He has appeared on various media outlets including NPR, Radio France, The Discovery Channel, and MSNBC.  In the past Matt worked for the Associated Press National Broadcast Office in Washington DC, as an on-air announcer and producer at a local NPR station in Virginia, and as a Steward at the British Museum in London, England.  (


  • Ph.D., Creative Writing, Florida State University
  • M.A., English, James Madison University
  • B.A., English, James Madison University


W208 Bondurant Hall

Ari Friedlander

Friedlander photoAri Friedlander is currently completing a book manuscript entitled Rogue Sexuality: The Erotics of Social Status in Early Modern England and co-editing a special issue of JEMCS: Journal for Early Modern Cultural Studies entitled “Desiring History and Historicizing Desire,” based on a recent conference on the same theme he co-organized at the Henry E. Huntington Library. He has taught graduate and undergraduate courses on Shakespeare and Renaissance literature and culture, as well as theories and histories of gender, sexuality, class, and disability. During the 2015-2016 academic year, Ari will hold a Mellon-Volkswagen Fellowship at the Freie Universität Berlin.


  • Ph.D., University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, English Language and Literature, 2011
  • M.A., University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, English Language and Literature, 2005
  • B.A., Columbia University, English Literature, Magna Cum Laude, 2003

Teaching and Research Interests:

  • Early Modern English Literature and Culture
  • Histories of Gender, Sexuality, and Social Status
  • Queer Theory
  • Queer Historiography
  • Disability Studies

Selected Publications:

  • “Roguery and Reproduction in The Winter’s Tale,A Handbook of Shakespeare and Embodiment: Gender, Sexuality, Race, ed. Valerie Traub (Oxford UP, 2016).
  • “Mastery, Masculinity, and Sexual Cozening in Ben Jonson’s Epicoene,” SEL: Studies in English Literature, 1500-1900, Vol. 53.2 (Spring 2013): 379-399.
  • “Introduction: Desiring History and Historicizing Desire,” JEMCS: Journal for Early Modern Cultural Studies, eds. Ari Friedlander, Melissa Sanchez, and Will Stockton (special issue, forthcoming 2016).


C132 Bondurant Hall


Ann Fisher-Wirth has been chosen to become a Fellow of the Black Earth Institute.

AnnfisherworthThe Black Earth Institute, now eleven years old, is an organization of artists and scholars dedicated to having art serve the causes of the human spirit, protecting and healing the earth and promoting social justice. Fellows of the Black Earth Institute serve a three-year term; the recently awarded Fellows’ term is from July 1, 2015 to July 1, 2018. Each year, Fellows and Scholars gather near Black Earth, Wisconsin, to discuss topics bearing on this mission, share experience of their work, and explore possible directions for the Institute. Stipends support a project or projects in line with the mission; additional stipends support guest editing an issue of About Place Journal. Current and past Fellows interact with each other through internal communication, sharing panels and venues and promoting each others’ work, with the aim of having the Black Earth Institute exert an ever wider influence upon the public at large.
Congratulations, Ann!!!

To learn more about the Black Earth Institute, click HERE.