Summersell Center Director

Dr. John Giggie,
Director of the Summersell Center for the Study of the South

Dr. John Giggie is Associate Professor of History and African American Studies and Director of the Summersell Center for the Study of the South at The University of Alabama. He is the Co-Creator of “History of Us,” the first Black history class taught daily in a public school in Alabama, and the West Side Scholars Academy, a middle school enrichment program teaching about social justice and civil rights. Dr. Giggie is also Director of “Alabama Memory,” an effort that seeks to recapture and memorialize the over 400 lives lost to lynching in Alabama; Director of “Queer History South,” on oral history program documenting the lives of LGBTQ+ citizens in West Alabama, and a founding member of the Tuscaloosa Civil Rights History and Reconciliation Foundation. He has been a commentator on matters of southern and Black history for National Public Radio, Alabama Public Radio, CNN, C-SPAN, USA Today, The Christian Science Monitor, Smithsonian Magazine,, ReckonSouth, The Birmingham Watch, and local presses and television outlets.

As a teacher at the University of Alabama, Prof. Giggie specializes in Southern and Civil Rights history. He has been recognized as a Distinguished Fellow in Teaching by the College of Arts and Sciences and awarded the Outstanding Faculty-Initiated Engagement Effort by the Center for Community-Based Partnerships. At the University of Texas at San Antonio, Prof. Giggie was awarded the Presidential Distinguished Achievement Award for Teaching and the Honors Alliance Award for Outstanding Teaching.

As a scholar, Dr. Giggie has authored or edited five books and is currently completing a civil rights manuscript titled Bloody Tuesday: The Fight for Civil Rights in Tuscaloosa. He coedits the Religion and American Culture series for The University of Alabama Press, sits on the Commission on Local Government Records and the Commission of State Government Records with the Alabama Department of Archives and History, and previously served of the Executive Council of the American Society of Church Historians. His research has been funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Louisville Center for the Study of American Religion, the Lilly Foundation, the Pew Foundation, the Center for the Study of American Religion at Princeton University, and the American Historical Association.