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College of Liberal Arts
University of Mississippi

Affiliated Faculty

REU Co-Directors:

James M. Thomas (JT) headshot

James M. Thomas (JT)

Associate Professor
Department of Sociology & Anthropology
The University of Mississippi

James M. Thomas (JT) is associate professor of sociology at the University of Mississippi, and co-editor of Sociology of Race and Ethnicity. JT is the author or co-author of five books, and over thirty peer-reviewed journal articles, book chapters, and invited essays on the causes and consequences of race and racism both in America, and abroad. JT’s research has been funded by the American Sociological Association, the National Science Foundation, and the Russell Sage Foundation, and has been featured in popular media outlets like The New Yorker, The Washington Post, and Pacific Standard. JT is deeply dedicated to public scholarship, regularly writing for mainstream outlets like The Mississippi Free Press, serving on the boards of non-profit organizations, and giving public lectures on race, racism, and inequality to academic and lay audiences alike.

Simone Delerme headshot

Simone Delerme

McMullan Associate Professor of Southern Studies & Anthropology
Department of Sociology & Anthropology
The University of Mississippi

Dr. Simone Delerme joined the University of Mississippi’s Department of Sociology and Anthropology and Center for the Study of Southern Culture in the fall of 2013. She specializes in migration to the US. South, with interests in race relations, integration and incorporation, community development, and social class inequalities. Delerme holds a bachelor’s degree in political science and a master’s degree in liberal arts from the University of Delaware, as well as master’s and doctorate degrees in anthropology from Rutgers University. The research for her first book, Latino Orlando: Suburban Transformation and Racial Conflict, focuses on Puerto Rican migration to Orlando, Florida and the social class distinctions and racialization processes that create divergent experiences in Southern communities. Delerme’s work has been featured in several academic publications, including Southern Spaces, Southern Cultures, and Florida Historical Quarterly.

REU Senior Personnel:

Conor M. Dowling headshot

Conor Dowling

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Conor M. Dowling is a Professor of Political Science whose research and teaching interests are in American Politics. He studies both mass and elite political behavior with a substantive focus on issues of electoral competition, representation, and public policy, campaign finance law and health and criminal justice policy in particular. He is also an expert in survey and experimental methods. To date, he has co-authored three books and more than 35 articles published in peer-reviewed journals. His most recent project, “The Consequences of Defendant Race,” explores racial inequalities in the criminal justice system with respect to sentencing prescriptions for white and non-white defendants. Specifically, through innovative survey experiments, this research asks 1) how defendant race affects the length of sentence that people view as appropriate, 2) whether the effects of a defendant’s race vary by respondents’ self-identified race and racial attitudes, and 3) whether results from an elite sample drawn from the legal profession diverge from those we find among the mass public.

Na Youn Lee headshot

Na Youn Lee

Assistant Professor
School of Social Work
San Jose State University
email address here

Na Youn Lee is an Assistant Professor in the School of Social Work at San Jose State University. Prior to joining SJSU, she was an Assistant Professor of Social Work at the University of Mississippi. Dr. Lee’s research focuses on how the marginalization of groups and communities along the axes of stratification, including race, ethnicity, class, and region, impacts people’s sense of identity, political and self-efficacy, and attitudes towards outgroups. She received her PhD in Social Work and Political Science from the University of Michigan and a Master of Social Work and a Master of International Affairs from Columbia University.

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Amy McDowell

Associate Professor
Department of Sociology & Anthropology
The University of Mississippi

Amy McDowell is an Associate Professor of Sociology, Director of the Queer Mississippi Histories Project, and qualitative researcher who specializes in interviewing and ethnographic methods. She has published on the intersections of race, religion, gender, and culture in Sociology of Race & Ethnicity, Gender & Society, and Sociology of Religion, among others. Her present book project, which is tentatively titled Small Talk: The Evangelical Search for Sameness in a Divided America, uncovers how members of white-majority evangelical communities use the routine of informal, polite conversation to powerfully avoid and reinforce the church’s complicity in oppressive power structures.

Catarina Passidomo headshot

Catarina Passidomo

Associate Professor of Southern Studies and Anthropology
Department of Sociology & Anthropology
The University of Mississippi

Catarina Passidomo is the Southern Foodways Alliance Associate Professor of Southern Studies and Associate Professor of Anthropology at the University of Mississippi. Since 2020, she is also the graduate director of the MA in Southern Studies and MFA in Documentary Expression graduate programs at the Center for the Study of Southern Culture.

Catarina earned a B.A. in Sociology and Anthropology from W&L University in 2004, where her undergraduate thesis examined the connections between early American jazz music and African American identity. Catarina earned a M.A. in Environmental Anthropology from the University of Georgia in 2009. Her thesis investigated social capital within a network of local food producers in Athens, Georgia. Her doctorate in Human Geography, also from UGA, was an ethnographic study of food justice organizations in post-Katrina New Orleans.

Catarina joined the faculty of the University of Mississippi in 2014. She is interested primarily in studying food systems to better understand and contest broader social systems and phenomena. Through work with her students and the Southern Foodways Alliance, she is investigating the connections between the food system and migration between the Global South and the U.S. South; structural racism; economic inequality; and demographic and culinary changes in the American South. Catarina has published articles in Food, Culture, and Society; Urban Studies; Geoforum; Agriculture and Human Values; The Journal of Agriculture, Food Systems and Community Development; and ACME, and has contributed chapters to edited volumes on Food Sovereignty, the food-immigration nexus, and social and cultural geographies of food. She is currently working on a book entitled Gastroimaginaries: Dreams of Food and Place in Perú and the American South. Catarina teaches Geography 101, Southern Food Studies (SST 555), and other courses in Anthropology and Southern Studies.

In 2019, Catarina traveled to Lima, Peru on a Fulbright Teaching and Research fellowship. In 2020, she was recognized by the UM College of Liberal Arts with the Cora Lee Graham Award for the Outstanding Teaching of First-Year Students.