Edward Ayers is the president of the University of Richmond. He received a doctorate from Yale University in 1980. Ayers was the Dean of Arts and Sciences at the University of Virginia, where he was also named the National Professor of the Year by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching in 2003. Ayers is the author of numerous works on southern history, including The Promise of the New South: Life After Reconstruction (1992), which was a finalist for the National Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize. His more recent book, In the Presence of Mine Enemies: Civil War in the Heart of America (2003), won the Bancroft Prize. Ayers is also the creator of The Valley of the Shadow: Two Communities in the American Civil War, a ground-breaking website in digital history.
Glenda Gilmore is the Peter V. and C. Vann Woodward Professor of History at Yale University. She received a doctorate from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, in 1992. Gilmore is the author of Gender and Jim Crow: Women and the Politics of White Supremacy in North Carolina, 1896-1920 (1996), which won the Frederick Jackson Turner Award, the James A. Rawley Prize, and the Julia Cherry Spruill Prize. She also co-edited Jumpin’ Jim Crow: Southern Politics from Civil War to Civil Rights (2001). Her most recent book, Defying Dixie: The Radical Roots of Civil Rights, 1919-1950, came out in January 2008. She is currently working on a history of the twentieth-century United States with Thomas Sugrue at the University of Pennsylvania.
Michele Gillespie is Associate Provost for Academic Initiatives and the Kahle Associate Professor of History at Wake Forest University. She received a doctorate from Princeton University, and her work focuses on constructions of gender, race, class, and region in southern history from 1790 to 1920. Gillespie is the author of Free Labor in an Unfree World: White Artisans in Slaveholding Georgia, 1789-1860(2004), which won the Malcolm Bell, Jr., and Muriel Barrow Bell Award. She is also the co-editor of two volumes with Susanna Delfino, Global Perspectives on Industrial Transformation in the American South (2005) and Neither Lady nor Slave: Working Women of the Old South (2002). She is the former president of the Southern Association for Women Historians.
Michael Honey holds the Fred T. and Dorothy G. Haley Endowed Professorship in Humanities at the University of Washington, Tacoma. He received a doctorate from Northern Illinois University. Honey is the author of Black Workers Remember: An Oral History of Segregation, Unionism, and the Freedom Struggle (1999), which won the Southern Historical Association’s H. L. Mitchell Award for southern working-class history and the Lillian Smith award for a study of human rights issues. His most recent book is Going Down Jericho Road: The Memphis Strike, Martin Luther King’s Last Campaign (2007), which won the Robert F. Kennedy Book Award. He is the president-elect of the Labor and Working-Class History Association. His visit is co-sponsored by the Samuel Proctor Oral History Program.