The Overby Center for Southern Journalism and Politics at Ole Miss begins its spring schedule next week with a line-up that accentuates politics and decision-making for an election year in Mississippi.
“Our programs feature a nationally known federal judge who grew up in Mississippi, journalists from The New York Times and The Washington Post, authors and political experts,” said Charles Overby, chairman of the center. “The programs offer a rich opportunity for conversations between the panelists the audiences on a broad array of subjects.”
Each event will take place at the Overby Center Auditorium. The programs are free and open to the public and parking will be available in the lot adjacent to the auditorium. The schedule includes:
Monday, Feb. 4, 5:30 p.m. – IMPORTANCE OF INDEPENDENT JUDGES
Jim Duff, who oversees the nation’s federal courts, will discuss important issues relating to federal judges, including the importance of independent judges. The former CEO of the Newseum will be interviewed by Overby, the first CEO of the Newseum, in a conversation that will cover a wide range of issues involving courts, the media and constitutional freedoms.
Monday, Feb. 18, 5:30 p.m. – INSIGHT INTO MISSISSIPPI’S ELECTION YEAR
Two seasoned journalists who cover state politics – Emily Wagster Pettus of the Associated Press and Adam Ganucheau of Mississippi Today –will provide early intelligence on the developing contests for statewide offices this year. They will talk with Overby and Overby Fellow Curtis Wilkie.
Monday, March 4, 5:30 p.m. – A PIONEER OF THE BLACK PRESS
Burnis Morris, an Ole Miss graduate who is now a journalism professor at Marshall University, returns to campus to discuss his new book based on the work of Carter G. Woodson, who was called the “Father of Black History.” He will be joined in the conversation by Alysia Steele, the author of “Delta Jewels” and a member of the journalism faculty at Ole Miss.
Wednesday, March 20, 5:30 pm. – THE TRUTH ABOUT FAKE NEWS
The chief media columnists for The New York Times and The Washington Post will weigh in on the fake news phenomenon and how it is not only undercutting a civil discourse in the country but is also striking at the heart of our democracy. Margaret Sullivan of The Post (the former public editor of The New York Times) and Jim Rutenberg of The Times, a long-time political reporter, head up a panel on this issue that has gone from a funny catchphrase to a crucial challenge for covering the news. They will talk with Overby and Overby Fellow Greg Brock.
Wednesday, April 3, 5:30 p.m. – “THE CENTER CANNOT HOLD”
Yeats coined the term 100 years ago in his famous poem, “The Second Coming,” but the expression applies today in the nation’s bitterly divided politics. Stuart Stevens, a Mississippi native and architect of Mitt Romney’s 2012 presidential campaign, and David Baria, a Democratic candidate for one of Mississippi’s U.S. Senate seats last fall, will talk about the dilemma with Overby and Wilkie.
Wednesday, April 17, 5:30 p.m. – OVERCOMING A SEGREGATIONIST PAST
U.S. District Judge William Alsup of San Francisco and attorney Danny Cupit of Jackson were white high school and college friends in the segregated environment of Mississippi in the 1960s. Alsup has written a book, “Won Over,” about how he broke through the segregationist status quo to become a civil rights advocate. He and Cupit will talk with Overby and Wilkie about their experiences.