Write On, Mississippi: Season 4, Chapter 23: UPM 50th Anniversary

Key stakeholders delve into the decades-long history of the only non-profit publisher in the state, with a focus on its storied commitment to publishing a wide range of scholarly books that are culturally important not only to the state, but to the world at large.


Ann J. Abadie is former associate director of the Center for the Study of Southern Culture at the University of Mississippi and coeditor of numerous scholarly collections from the Faulkner and Yoknapatawpha Conference. Among those many volumes, Fifty Years after Faulkner was released in paperback in July 2020.

Dr. Brian Pugh is the executive director of the Stennis Center for Public Service. He previously served as deputy executive director for the Mississippi Department of Finance and Administration, as director of finance for the Office of the Governor, and as a legislative budget analyst for the Legislative Budget Office.

Dr. Pugh is the author of “Chaos and Compromise: The Evolution of the Mississippi Budgeting Process,” published by the University Press of Mississippi in 2020. He is currently working on another book titled, “A Weak Governor Still? Legislation, Litigation, and Fiscal Policy in Mississippi.”

Monika Gehlawat is Associate Director of the School of Humanities and Professor of English at the University of Southern Mississippi. Her critical monograph In Defense of Dialogue: Reading Habermas and Postwar American Literature (2020) is a featured title in Routledge’s Press Research in American Literature and Culture Series. She writes and teaches about contemporary literature, visual art, and critical and aesthetic theory, and has published essays in Post45, Contemporary Literature, The James Baldwin Review, and Literary Imaginations, among others. She is the 2021 recipient of USM’s Faculty Research Award and the 2020 recipient of the Faculty Senate Teaching Award. Along with serving as the Series Editor of Literary Conversations, Gehlawat is also Critic for the Center for Writers and Post-Chair of the University Graduate Council. Her next project focuses on twenty-first century ekphrastic novels and reflects her career-long commitment to working in the interdisciplinary mode. 

Robby Luckett received his BA in political science from Yale University and his PhD in history from the University of Georgia. A native Mississippian, he returned home, where he is a tenured Professor of History and Director of the Margaret Walker Center and COFO Civil Rights Education Center at Jackson State University. His books include a collection of essays, Redefining Liberal Arts Education in the 21st Century (University Press of Mississippi, 2021), and a monograph, Joe T. Patterson and the White South’s Dilemma: Evolving Resistance to Black Advancement, (University Press of Mississippi, 2015). 

Robby is an Advisory Board member for the Mississippi Book Festival, and he serves as Vice President of the Board of Directors of Common Cause Mississippi and as Secretary of the Board for the Association of African American Museums.

Robby has three children: Silas, Hazel, and Flip.


Seetha Srinivasan is director emerita of the University Press of Mississippi. She joined the press in 1980 as its first acquiring editor and advanced to become director in 1998, from which position she retired in 2008. Srinivasan played a leading role in establishing the excellence of UPM’s editorial program with its national reputation for books for varied audiences. Millsaps College awarded Srinivasan an honorary doctorate in humane letters in 2013. That same year she was recognized by the Women’s Foundation of Mississippi as one of the state’s ten Women of Vision. 



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