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SouthTalks: What Has Been Will Be Again

Lectures: Jared Ragland presents What Has Been Will Be Again: Place, Time, & the Politics of Remembrance


In a moment of pandemic, protest, and polarization, photographer Jared Ragland has journeyed across more than twenty-five thousand miles and into each of Alabama’s sixty-seven counties to survey his home state’s cultural and physical landscape. By tracing the Trail of Tears, the Old Federal Road, and Hernando de Soto’s 1540 expedition route, What Has Been Will Be Again contends with Alabama’s fraught past and present and reveals problematic patterns at the nexus of broader American identity. In this presentation, Ragland will discuss the project’s strategic focus on the importance of place, the passage of time, and the political dimension of remembrance as means of confronting White supremacist myths of American exceptionalism.

Jared Ragland is a fine art and documentary photographer and former White House photo editor. His visual practice critically confronts issues of identity, marginalization, and history of place through social science, literary, and historical research methodologies.

The UM Department of Art and Art History and the Do Good Fund helped make this exhibit and presentation possible. Ragland’s exhibit, What Has Been Will Be Again, will show in the Gammill Gallery February 27–March 31, 2023. Ragland has also exhibited his work in a photo essay of the same name in Study the South, the Center’s online scholarly journal.

SouthTalks is a series of events (including lectures, performances, film screenings, and panel discussions) that explores the interdisciplinary nature of Southern Studies. This series is free and open to the public, and typically takes place in the Tupelo Room of Barnard Observatory unless otherwise noted.

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