Giesen honored with inaugural book award


James Giesen

A Mississippi State historian who also directs a university-based regional center is being honored for his book on agriculture in the modern American South.

James C. Giesen is receiving the first Deep South Book Prize for "Boll Weevil Blues: Cotton, Myth and Power in the American South" (University of Chicago Press, 2011).

Giesen is an assistant professor in the MSU history department and head of the Center for the History of Agriculture, Science, and the Environment of the South.

The Deep South Book Prize is a biennial honor recently established by the University of Alabama's Frances S. Summersell Center for the Study of the South.

In announcing the honor, officials of the UA center praised Giesen's work as "a stunning example of how sometimes much of what we think we know about a subject is flat wrong."

Giesen is a doctoral graduate of the University of Georgia.

In addition to his top honor, the Summersell Center gave honorable mention recognitions to four other historians. They include Wayne Flynt, Auburn University professor emeritus; assistant professors Danielle L. McGuire of Wayne State University and Justin A. Nystrom of Loyola University New Orleans; and lecturer Paul Quigley of the University of Edinburgh, Scotland.

Sammy McDavid | University Relations

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