University of Mississippi Anthropologist Among the Eight Whiting Public Engagement Fellows

Flora Ettlinger Whiting was the daughter of Louis E. Ettlinger who owned the Crowell, Collier Publishing Company and the Persian Rug Manufactory. In 1899, she married Giles Whiting, an architect and designer. She made an early investment in IBM when they still made cash registers and by the time of her death in 1971, she was a very wealthy woman.

Since 1985, the Whiting Foundation has supported creative writing through the Whiting Writers’ Awards which are given annually to 10 emerging writers in fiction, nonfiction, poetry and plays. Each winner receives $50,000.

Recently the foundation created the Whiting Public Engagement Fellowship that celebrates and supports faculty in the humanities who embrace public engagement as part of the scholarly vocation. Each Fellow receives a semester of leave to pursue a public-facing project, as well as a $10,000 stipend toward project costs. Eight fellows were recently selected as the 2017-18 cohort of Whiting Fellows. Two of the eight are women.

Jodi Skipper is an assistant professor of anthropology and southern studies at the University of Mississippi. She joined the faculty at the university in 2011. As a Whiting Public Engagement Fellow, Dr. Skipper will develop a series of workshops and training programs for curators, historians, and educators who are involved in the Behind the Big House project. The project, which began in Holly Springs, Mississippi, seeks to educate the public about the lives of slaves on historical plantations. Dr. Skipper is a graduate of Grambling State University in Louisiana, where she majored in history. She earned a master’s degree at Florida State University and a Ph.D. in anthropology at the University of Texas at Austin.

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