Elijah Jordan Gaddis

Department of History

Auburn University

320G Thach Hall





Ph.D., American Studies, 2017 University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

M.A., Folklore, 2013 University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.


B.A., English, Summa cum laude, 2009,  North Carolina State University.


Current appointments

Assistant professor

Department of History, Auburn University.

August 2017-present

Co-founder and assistant director

Community Histories Workshop



Professional experience


Department of American Studies; Department of English

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill




Researcher and editor

North Carolina Collection, University of North Carolina Libraries.

Research for a book series on university history.


Coordinator for Digital Curricular Projects,

Department of American Studies, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill



Project manager        

        Digital Rocky Mount Mills; Digital Loray; The Red Record;  Blue Ridge Parkway Digital History Project







 Folklife Specialist,

North Carolina Arts Council

Raleigh, NC.


 Historic Interpreter,

Historic Stagville State Historic Site,

 Durham, NC.




-Coordinating editor, 50 Moments That Made North Carolina. Special edition of Our State, September 2017.

- “Camp Firestone and Summer Vacation for the Working Class,” Our State, feature story, July 2017.

- “A Pale Specter of the Violent Truth: A Digital Geography of American Lynching,” with Seth Kotch. Under Review, Southern Spaces.

-“Building Digital Loray: the Politics of Collaboration In the Redeveloped Mill,” with Charlotte Fryar. Under Review, Southern Spaces.

-“Tobacco Factories and Baseball Fields,” Bit and Grain. July, 2015. http://www.bitandgrain.com/tobacco-factories-and-baseball-fields/ 

-“The Future of Public Folklore in North Carolina,” North Carolina Folklore Journal. Spring, 2015.


-“Jonkonnu: Black Performance and Commemorative Space.
Commemorative Landscapes of North Carolina

http://docsouth.unc.edu/commland/. Fall, 2014.

 -“Hampton Plantation Rice Dike.”

Southern Things 1.1. Spring, 2013.

Encyclopedia entries, reviews,  and solicited blog posts

-“Digital Humanities and Undergraduate Research.” Office of Undergraduate Research Blog, UNC Chapel Hill. November, 2015.  https://grc.web.unc.edu/2015/11/03/locating-lynching-digital-humanities-and-undergraduate-research/

 -“The June German.”

NCPedia (North Carolina Online Encyclopedia)

Division of Archives and Records. Raleigh, NC 2013.


NCPedia (North Carolina Online Encyclopedia)

Division of Archives and Records. Raleigh, NC 2013



-“Documenting Traditions of Protest.” (co-curation, exhibit text.) National Folk Festival, Greensboro, NC, September 2016.

-The Red Record Project co-director (data structure, research, project management.)lynching.web.unc.edu. October, 2015.

-“Loray Digital Archive” exhibit http://dhpress.unc.edu/loraydigital/dhp-projects/loray-digital-archive/

-“North Carolina Textiles” (Curation, text, and design.)Carrboro Arts Center (2013.)

Online exhibit of selected material: http://archive.ncfolk.org/exhibits/show/nctextile 

- “Interpreting dirt: the vanished architecture of Stagville” (Exhibit text and design.)

Historic Stagville. Durham, NC (2007-2008)


Presentations, Papers, and Invited Talks

Co-organizer (with Seth Kotch,) Lynching in the American South: Digital Crowdsourcing Workshop. June 12-13, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

“Wilmington after 1898: Maps, Plans, and the Infrastructures of White Supremacy,” Vernacular Architecture Forum, June 2017. Paper.

“The June German: Proximate Intimacies and Black Celebratory Space, 1917-1950,” Black/White Intimacies Symposium, Tuscaloosa, AL, April 2017. Invited paper.

Comment and chair, “Narratives of Displacement and Slavery,” Southern American Studies Association biennial conference, Williamsburg, Virginia, March, 2017.    

“The Spectacle of Black Movement: Performing Race and Home in the 20th Century Southern City,” American Studies Association, Denver CO, November 2016. Paper.

“Geographies of pleasure and terror: locating lynching in the North Carolina Piedmont.” Vernacular Architecture Forum, Durham NC. June 2016. Paper.

“Digital Loray and the Collaborative Digital Humanities.” University of North Carolina, Speaker series, Department of American Studies. November 9, 2015. Invited talk.

Comment, “Forming Urban Black Communities in 19th Century North Carolina.” Lessons of Hayti film screening, Department of City and Regional Planning, University of North Carolina. November 4, 2015. Invited talk.

“Creating Digital Humanities Projects with DH Press.” Research Hub, University of North Carolina. March, 2015. Invited talk.


“Southern Vernacular Geographies.” Southern American Studies Association biennial conference, Atlanta, Georgia. February, 2015. Paper.


“North Carolina Folklore.” North Carolina Department of Health

and Human Services, Raleigh, NC. November, 2014. Invited talk.


“North Carolina Folklore.” Lion’s Club of Zebulon, Zebulon, NC.

June, 2014. Invited talk.


Cereus Blooms at Night, Ecological Resistance, and the New Southern

Studies.” Society for the Study of Southern Literature conference, Arlington,

Virginia. March, 2014. Paper.


“Place, scene formation, and North Carolina Hardcore.” American Folklore Society Annual Meeting, Providence, Rhode Island. October, 2013. Paper.


“Caledonia: theorizing the persistence of a plantation name.” Southern American Studies Association biennial conference, Charleston, South Carolina. January, 2013. Paper.


 “Place” [Panel: “The Next Four Words for the Study of Expressive Culture.”] American

Folklore Society Annual Meeting, New Orleans, Louisiana. October, 2012. Paper; Co-chair of panel.


“Symbolic Geography and Narratives of the African American Agricultural Past.” Center for

the Study of the American South, Southern Research Circle, Chapel Hill, NC.

October, 2012. Poster.


“The Art of Ethnography and the Science of Human Interaction.” The Center for Human

Science, Chapel Hill, NC. April, 2012. Invited talk.

Academic and Professional Service        

 -Curriculum committee, Re-envisioning the Humanities PhD, UNC Chapel Hill 2016-2017.

-Advisory committee, Rising Generations Traditional Artist Project, North Carolina Arts Council. 2016-2017.

-Conference committee chair, North Carolina Folklore Society. October, 2014. Pembroke, NC.

 -Representative, Graduate and Professional Student Senate, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. 2014-2016.

 - President, North Carolina Folklore Society. 2014-2017.


-Office of Undergraduate Research Liaison, Department of American Studies.

UNC Chapel Hill. 2013-2015.

-Section Convener, American Folklore Society, Space, Place and Landscapes Section. 2012-present


Media Appearances and research profiles

-“Making History Accessible to Everyone” (profile of my research,) http://www.unc.edu/spotlight/making-history-accessible-everyone/. Featured on UNC Chapel Hill homepage.

-Expert on mill village culture and foodways, Gravy podcast of the Southern Foodways Alliance. June, 2016. https://www.southernfoodways.org/fried-fish-and-family-in-gravy-ep-41/

 -Profile of collaborative research team: “UNC humanities team brings century-old mill into digital age.”Published in University Gazette (circulation 30,000) and as featured story on UNC homepage.

-Fall, 2013, Carolina Arts and Sciences profile of my research.

Fellowships, Awards, and Grants

-Impact Award, for scholarly service to North Carolina, 2017.

-Co-director, Community Histories Workshop Founding Grant, Triangle Community Foundation. $30,000

-UNC Graduate School Dissertation Completion grant, 2016-2017. $20,000.         

-D.K. Wilgus Fellowship in Folk Song, 2014. $2,500.

-Archie Green Fellowship in Occupational Folklore, 2012, 2015. $7,500 total.

-Center for the Study of the American South, Summer Research Grant, 2012.

-Phi Beta Kappa, 2009

-Historic Stagville Foundation Research Fellow, 2007. $5,000.