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Jodi Skipper

Jodi Skipper is associate professor of anthropology and Southern Studies at the University of Mississippi. She is coeditor of Navi­gating Souths: Transdisciplinary Explorations of a US Region and, most recently, author of Behind the Big House: Reconciling Slavery, Race, and Heritage in the US South.

In Behind the Big House, Skipper asks the question, “When residents and tourists visit sites of slavery, whose stories are told?” All too often the lives of slaveowners are centered, obscuring the lives of enslaved people. Behind the Big House gives readers a candid, behind-the-scenes look at what it really takes to interpret the difficult history of slavery in the US South. The book explores Skipper’s eight-year collaboration with the Behind the Big House program, a community-based model used at local historic sites to address slavery in the collective narrative of US history and culture.

In laying out her experiences through an autoethnographic approach, Skipper seeks to help other activist scholars of color negotiate the nuances of place, the academic public sphere, and its ambiguous systems of reward, recognition, and evaluation.