A native of Georgia with humble roots and a love for music (including Johnny Cash), historian Keri Leigh Merrit has been busy. She is the author of Masterless Men: Poor Whites and Slavery in the Antebellum South (2017) and is the co-editor of Reconsidering Southern Labor History: Race, Class, and Power (2018). As she tells Colin, since she graduated with a Ph.D. from the University of Georgia in 2014, her scholarly path has not been a traditional one.
Throughout her life, Keri has been fascinated by questions of class and race in America, whether in discussion of the antebellum period, labor movements, or the southern prison system. Listen as she discusses how historians outside academia have to carve their own path and how very often, it involves doing things no one ever talked about in graduate school.
Thomas Bevilacqua is a California native who has spent a lot of time in the South. Earlier this year, he graduated with a Ph.D. in English at Florida State University, where he now teaches. He talks with Colin about his dissertation research, which is based on many years of studying Catholic writers such as Hemingway, Kerouac, Walker Percy, and Flannery O'Connor. Tom's writings on the church have also given him an appreciation for the literate, rich, and existentialist world of Mad Men.
Tom is also a huge basketball fan. Earlier this year, he published Golden Age: The Brilliance of the 2018 Champion Golden State Warriors. He is also a writer for the Warriors for the SB Nation website. Tom had a good year. Hear him talk about it with American Rambler!
Craig Belcher is the Arts and Entertainment Editor at Richmond Magazine. But as he tells Colin, he's been writing and working as a journalist for a long time. A native of the Richmond area, he has seen many changes happen in the print industry over the past few decades.
Craig also knows a lot about music. He worked for more than a decade as a writer, producer, and host of his own television show, where he interviewed such classic hip hop artists as Chuck D, M.C. Serch, and De La Soul. He also talks about his recent articles on Sister Rosetta Tharpe and the need for a Virginia Music Hall of Fame. It's a conversation that covers everything from Q-Tip to Link Wray and GWAR, with some good advice on the writing life thrown in.
Robert Kenzer is known for his community studies of North Carolina during the Civil War era. But as he discusses with Colin, his courses at the University of Richmond (where is a professor) have included a class on Abraham Lincoln and baseball. Bob talks about his career path as a historian, which began in California, shifted to Harvard (where he studied under David Donald), and years in Utah before landing in Richmond.