6 – 7 p.m.
Art, coffee, and conversation Thursday nights at the Jule. Every week will feature a new host or presentation to guide attendees through a casual conversation about arts and culture.
Jesus A. Tirado, Assistant Professor, Education, Auburn University and Elijah Gaddis, Associate Professor, History, Auburn University
Elijah Gaddis studies the spatial, material, and cultural histories of the 19th and 20th–century South. His first book, Gruesome Looking Objects: A New History of Lynching and Everyday Things, was published by Cambridge University Press in 2022. This work looks at the souvenirs, mementos, and relics collected and created to preserve the memory of lynchings over the course of a century. Rooted in interdisciplinary methods – material culture, ethnography, spatial and landscape studies – the book examines the lingering attachments to objects of racial violence and collective accountability for the afterlives of these fraught objects.
As a public and digital historian, Gaddis has curated a variety of exhibits, built online archives and projects, and run oral history initiatives. Much of his recent public history work has been through the Community Histories Workshop (CHW) which he co–founded. The CHW is a joint initiative of the University of North Caroline at Chapel Hill and Auburn University and works in collaboration with organizations and individuals to research, gather, interpret, and preserve untold histories. Gaddis is currently collaborating with a range of community partners including: Klein Arts & Culture, the Boykin Community Center, the Garden District Preservation Association, and Landmarks Foundation of Montgomery. His work with colleagues and collaborators has been funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities, National Park
Service, and a range of other organizations.
In his public history work, and in his teaching, Gaddis focuses on community engagement and collaboration. At Auburn, he teaches courses on landscape and spatial history, material culture, museum studies, and digital humanities.