Mississippi University for Women’s Gordy Honors College will open its annual Spring Forum Series Thursday, Feb. 29 by welcoming Dr. Jodi Skipper, associate professor of Anthropology and Southern Studies at the University of Mississippi.

Skipper is the author of “Behind the Big House: Reconciling Slavery, Race, and Heritage in the U.S. South.” The book discusses the Behind the Big House tour, which is one of the few historic site tours developed with the specific goal of interpreting slavery. The program began with several private homeowners in Holly Springs, who opened slave houses on their properties to the public.

Skipper will discuss the development of the program, what it tells us about slavery in North Mississippi and the necessity of telling these stories today.

This presentation is in conjunction with the 2023-24 Community Read of Clint Smith’s “How the Word is Passed.”

“Through our Community Read this year, we have explored the relationship of specific places to the history of slavery in America. Dr. Skipper’s work with the Behind the Big House program in Mississippi is a key example of how this history can be recovered and how visitors can reckon with it as they visit these sites,” said Dr. Kim Whitehead, director for the Gordy Honors College.

The presentation will begin at 6 p.m. in Nissan Auditorium on The W’s campus.

About The W

Located in historic Columbus, Mississippi, The W was founded in 1884 as the first state-supported college for women in the United States. Today, the university is home to 2,227 students in more than 70 majors and concentrations and has educated men for 40 years. The university is nationally recognized for low student debt, diversity and social mobility which empowers students to BE BOLD.

Be Bold. Tower with Blue.