MSU’s Institute for the Humanities celebrates Faculty Fellows, showcases creativity

Contact: Sarah Nicholas

STARKVILLE, Miss.—Mississippi State’s Institute for the Humanities is hosting an end-of-year showcase this month highlighting the 2024 IH Faculty Fellows’ scholarship and creativity.

IH flyerThe IH Faculty Fellows Presentation on April 30, 11 a.m., in the College of Arts and Sciences Vault, Allen Hall Room 526, will be livestreamed at

Fellows will present their year-long book projects in brief 10-minute, audience-friendly talks and will answer questions after. Presenters include:

—Jim Giesen, associate professor of history, “The Land of Cotton: Culture and Environment in the American South”

—Peter Messer, associate professor of history, “Dictated by Nature: Science, Theology, and Politics in Early American Natural History”

—Bonnie O’Neill, associate professor of English, “The Good News from Plymouth Church: The Faith, Politics, and Celebrity of Henry Ward Beecher”

 “While other disciplines which report on collections of data, humanities scholars not only have to report and interpret, but also weave analysis together, which takes a tremendous amount of time,” said Julia Osman, institute director and professor of history. “The end result of all that research and writing makes a substantial contribution to our knowledge of a subject.”

After leading the institute since 2017, Osman will pass the baton at the showcase to incoming IH Director Morgan Flow-Robinson, an MSU assistant professor of history. Osman will return to full-time teaching, research and service at MSU this fall after working to shine a light on how the humanities shape and inform society. Her tenure as director included widely lauded IH livestreams during the COVID-19 shutdown on a variety of helpful topics.

To apply for a 2025 Faculty Fellowship, email Osman at or visit

Part of MSU’s College of Arts and Sciences, the Institute for the Humanities promotes research, scholarship and creative performances in the humanistic disciplines and raises their visibility, both within MSU and the wider community. For more details about the college or institute, visit or

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