Date of Award

Spring 5-8-2015

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Educational Studies and Research

Committee Chair

Thomas V. O'Brien

Committee Chair Department

Educational Studies and Research

Committee Member 2

Lilian H. Hill

Committee Member 2 Department

Educational Studies and Research

Committee Member 3

Lin Harper

Committee Member 3 Department

Educational Studies and Research

Committee Member 4

Aubrey K. Lucas

Committee Member 4 Department

Educational Studies and Research

Abstract

The University of Mississippi School of Law (Ole Miss Law) was the fourth public law school founded in the United States. The school was established to prevent men from leaving the state for legal education due to fears that they were being indoctrinated by eastern schools where ideologies were not consistent with those of Mississippi. One hundred years after her founding, Ole Miss Law entered into a period of turbulence as race and politics clashed on campus. From the time of the Brown decision through the Civil Rights Era, the deans and law professors at the law school were subjected to multiple waves of attack by members of the legislature, the Board of Trustees, the White Citizens’ Council, and private citizens. All had earned advanced law degrees at Yale University School of Law while studying under the Sterling Fellowship. However, the prestige associated with the Ivy League law school would eventually become viewed by Mississippians to be synonymous with liberalism, and progressive ideals regarding race and states’ rights were not compatible with traditional ideals held by the majority opinion of Mississippians. Using the concepts of space and place, this study explores the events that unfolded at Ole Miss Law School during this era of progressivism. This work locates the spaces and their associated ideologies as situated in and among the political and educational places of Mississippi and demonstrates that as race and politics in the state were inseparable, that space, place, and race co-evolved on the campus of Ole Miss Law.

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