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Michael T. Bertrand, PhD


Michael T. Bertrand is a historian of the American South and the modern United States. He has taught at the University of Memphis, Middle Tennessee State University, and the University of Mississippi, where he worked in the Center for the Study of Southern Culture. He co-founded and moderated H-Southern-Music, and also served as music editor for the African American National Biography. He has appeared on PBS, Sky Arts, and History Channel documentaries produced by Henry Louis Gates, David Upshal, Bruce Sinofsky, and Michael Rose. The author of Race, Rock, and Elvis, Bertrand currently is writing a manuscript entitled Remixing the Master/Reframing the Story: The Significance of Rock ‘n’ Roll in Southern History.

Click here to visit Professor Bertrand's faculty website


220 Crouch Hall, (615) 963-1376,  mbertrand@tnstate.edu


PhD, U.S. History, minor in Ethnomusicology, the University of Memphis, 1995

MA, U.S. History, University of Louisiana Lafayette, 1987

BA, English-Journalism, minor in U.S. History, University of Louisiana Lafayette, 1985

Courses Taught

U.S. History Survey, I, II, Honors, U.S. Cultural History, Gilded Age and Progressivism, U.S. History, 1919-1945, Post World War II U.S., The New South, Radical Social Movements

Research Interests

Southern history; modern U.S. history; race relations; popular music; popular culture

Selected Publications

Race, Rock, and Elvis (Music in American Life, University of Illinois Press, 2005).

“To Redeem the Soul of Dixie: On the Second Reconstruction and the New South“ in James S. Humphreys, Interpreting American History: The New South, Kent State University Press, 2018.

“Forever in the Shadow of Race, Region, and Rumor: Elvis Presley and the Politics of

Popular Memory,” for Southern Cultures, volume 13 Fall 2007.

 “The Power and Promise of Black Music (General Essay on Music), for the Encyclopedia of African American History, 1896 to the Present: From the Age of Segregation to the Twenty-first Century, Oxford University Press, 2009.

“They Took Their Stand...With Race in Mind: Tennesseans and the Issue of Change,” in Carroll Van West, ed., Trials and Triumphs: Tennesseans’ Search for Citizenship, Community, and Opportunity. MTSU Center for Historic Preservation, 2014, web.