About Mississippi Stories

Mississippi Stories presents the documentary work of students, staff, faculty, and alumni of the University of Mississippi’s Center for the Study of Southern Culture. Our Mississippi-based storytellers work in multiple documentary forms including film, photography, oral history, and audio production. We seek to tell the stories of people and communities around the globe. Working in Mississippi grounds us in a study of culture that explores human experience and memory in all of its complexity. Our storytellers amplify the voices of people in this state and beyond as they speak of the beauty, violence, injustice, and transcendence in everyday life.

The website draws on documentary work done by students in the Southern Studies M.A. and Documentary Expression M.F.A. programs, as well as by faculty and staff of Center institutes and partners Living Blues magazine, the Southern Documentary Project, and the Southern Foodways Alliance.

The Center will post new stories periodically. Some of these will be finished and complete projects, and others will be snapshots of work in progress, or outtakes from larger projects. Some projects will explore topics outside the state of Mississippi, but all the documentarians learn and practice at the Center, based in Oxford.

The site will also make available archival documentary work created since the Center’s founding in 1977. This archival work will include publications constructed from documentary work, like magazines Rejoice! and Old Time Country. We hope that publishing materials from previous decades will encourage thoughtful discussions about how documentary work–how people do it and define it, how it uses scholarship, relates to scholarship, and is part of scholarship, and how best to share it with a public–may have changed over the years.

Together these documentary stories will provide an inclusive and expansive view into the lives of southerners, in Mississippi and beyond.

About the Center for the Study of Southern Culture

The mission of the Center for the Study of Southern Culture is to investigate, document, interpret, and teach about the American South. The Center emphasizes the interdisciplinary investigation and documentation of the South as a region of cultural, historical, geographic, and demographic complexity. Because of its location, the Center focuses much of its work on Mississippi and the Deep South, while at the same time exploring the region as a whole, both in its American and global contexts. Interests of Center faculty, staff, and students are always changing, and particular emphases include documentary studies, literature, history, religion, foodways, music, race and ethnicity, and globalization and identity.

Institutes and Partners of the Center for the Study of Southern Culture

Founded in 1999 at the Center for the Study of Southern Culture, the Southern Foodways Alliance documents, studies, and explores the diverse foodways of the changing American South.

The Southern Documentary Project (SouthDocs) tells the stories of the South through film, with students working alongside professional filmmakers in both classroom and independent study settings.

Living Blues Magazine, the nation’s premier blues magazine, has documented the ongoing story of the blues for more than 40 years.


Mississippi Stories is published by the Southern Documentary Project. Contact Rex Jones and Andrea Morales of SouthDocs for more information.