Date on Master's Thesis/Doctoral Dissertation


Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation

Degree Name

Ph. D.



Degree Program

English Rhetoric and Composition, PhD

Committee Chair

Mattingly, Carol

Committee Member

Olinger, Andrea

Committee Member

Anderson, David

Committee Member

Kynard, Carmen

Author's Keywords

Tougaloo; HBCU; Mississippi the view from Tougaloo; literacy; black campus movement; Harambee Tougaloo


“Where History Meets the Future”: A Historiographic Exploration of Mississippi: The View from Tougaloo explores the historical narratives of Historically Black Colleges and Universities, with a special emphasis on Tougaloo College in Tougaloo, Mississippi. In particular, this dissertation examines the ways in which Tougaloo’s official history omits the voices of its student populations. It offers, then, a revisionist reading of the school’s history, constructing a narrative from the perspective of students. Based on hours of archival research and examination of the school’s student newspaper, this dissertation constructs a method that incorporates student voices into the historical narrative. The collection of contemporary student narratives, I argue, offers a model for future presentations of Tougaloo’s historical narrative and those of HBCUs more generally. That considered, this dissertation uses Tougaloo’s motto, “Where History Meets the Future” as a conceptual frame geared toward: 1. Exploring the place of institutional histories in the ongoing understanding of meaning when related specifically to HBCUs; 2. Accounting for the material history surrounding existing institutional narratives, specifically those at Tougaloo College via Mississippi: The View from Tougaloo; 3. Supplementing these sponsored narratives with student voices via student newspapers; and 4. Forwarding this understanding of a more inclusive institutional narrative by considering active institutional and pedagogical applications for the project. Together, these foci revisit the past in order to imagine futures that might introduce more critical conversations around HBCUs broadly and Tougaloo specifically.