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Memphis Center

The Memphis Center at Rhodes College includes a range of institutes, programs and initiatives focused on the human experience of the Memphis and Mid-South region, from the Civil War to the civil rights movement and beyond. The center builds upon the college’s existing assets and academic strengths by providing support and resources for interdisciplinary scholarly activity and student research. Among these assets are physical and digital archival collections that highlight our region’s rich literary, musical, archaeological and civil rights traditions. These collections are supported by a rigorous undergraduate program that combines independent research with training in the collection and preservation of primary materials and oral histories. In addition to archival material, The Memphis Center supports students in their interactions with community arts organizations, as well as student experiential learning opportunities in Rhodes’ surrounding neighborhoods.

The Memphis Center′s Mission

  • Initiate and encourage research and inquiry into historical and contemporary questions concerning the history and culture of the Memphis region
  • Support undergraduate student fellowship projects in regional studies
  • Foster collaborative projects with scholars interested in Memphis, the Mississippi Delta and the rich cultural history of the Mid-South
  • Gather, preserve and make accessible archival materials about the Memphis region
  • Contribute to the comprehensive opportunities offered at Rhodes College—teaching, learning, service—with a focus on regional studies

Memphis Center Conferences

The Memphis Center held its inaugural conference in 2014, "From Civil War to Civil Rights: Race, Region, and the Making of Public Memory." This three-day event in February, 2014, marked the first of many successful, invigorating public conferences to come. In 2015, the Memphis Center and the Mike Curb Institute hosted the Beale Street Symposium, a three-day exploration of the history of Beale Street and its Relationship to Memphis. Currently, we are planning the 2016 conference, Memphis: Art and Place. Please see our main conference page for more information and to register for the conference. If you are interested in staying up-to-date on Memphis Center events, including our public lectures and conferences, please join our email list by contacting our Administrative Assistant.