Motley, Clay (PhD)
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EducationPh.D. University of South Carolina
M.A. Eastern Kentucky University
B.A. University of Kentucky
American popular music, such as blues, country music, and rock n’ roll; Southern literature and culture; early American literature
Research and Teaching InterestsThe music history of Clarksdale, Mississippi; American popular music, such as blues, country music, and rock n’ roll; Southern literature and culture; William Faulkner; site-based pedagogy; history and culture of Peru
Courses OfferedIDH 1930: Faulkner's The Sound and the Fury
IDH 2931: The History of Rock n' Roll
IDH 3910: Life in Peru. Taught in Peru
IDH 2931: Cultures of American Music
IDH 3910: Honors Mentoring
IDH 1930: The Five Pillars of Honors
LEAD 2110: Lessons in Leadership
- “Sin City: Gram Parsons and the ‘Christ-haunted South.’” Walking the Line: Country Lyricists and American Culture. Eds. Roxanne Harde and Thomas Alan Holmes. Lanham, MD: Lexington Books. 2014. 175-192.
- “Fighting for Manhood: Rocky and Turn-of-the-Century Antimodernism.” All Stars and Movie Stars: Sports in Film, Television, and History. Eds. Ron Briley, et. al.
- Lexington: The University Press of Kentucky, 2008. 199-218.
- "Making Over Body and Soul: In His Steps and the Roots of Evangelical Popular Culture.” The Great American Makeover: Television, History, and Nation. Ed. Dana Heller. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2006. 85-105.
- “Clarkdale, Mississippi Gets the Blues: Race, Memory, and Tourism.” Southern Cultures. Vol. 24. No. 2. Summer 2018. 78-97.
- “Hellhounds, Hillbillies, and Hedonists: the Evangelical Roots of Rock n’ Roll.” Religions. 7.3 (2016).
- “Dot’ sh a’ Kin’ a man I am!”: Abraham Cahan, Masculinity, and Jewish Assimilation in Nineteenth-Century America. Studies in American Jewish Literature 30 (2011). 3-15.
- “Fighting for Manhood: Rocky and Turn-of-the-Century Antimodernism.” Film and History. 35.2 (2005). 60-66.
- “Turn-of-the Century Perceptions of Manliness and Religion: Frederic’s Jeremiad in Theron Ware.” Nineteenth-Century Prose. 31 (2004) 191-220.
Select Conference Presentations
- “Strategies for Growing Your Honors Program or College.” Academic Impressions Conference. Denver, CO, February 11-12, 2019. Facilitated three sessions.
- “Visitors to the Black Belt: Race, Memory, and Tourism in Clarkdale, Mississippi.” International Conference on the Blues, Delta State University, Cleveland, MS—October 2, 2017.
- “The Forest and the Trees: Scholarship on Clarksdale Mississippi.” International Conference on the Blues, Delta State University, Cleveland, MS—October 3, 2016.
- “Conway Twitty at the Crossroads: Race, Music, and Memory in Clarksdale, Mississippi.” International Country Music Conference, Nashville, TN—May 28, 2016.
- “Building an Honors Core Curriculum.” National Collegiate Honors Council Conference, Denver, CO—November 7, 2014.
- “A Piece of the True Cross(roads) in Clarksdale: The Risks and Rewards of Being a Holy Site for the Blues.” The Music of the South Conference, Center for the Study of Southern Culture, the University of Mississippi, Oxford, MS—April 3, 2013.
- “Nashville 1922: Modernity, Music, and the Southern Renaissance.” Society for the Study of Southern Literature Conference, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN—March 20, 2012.
- “A Backward Glance: History and Modernity in Southern Music and Literature.” International Country Music Conference, Nashville, TN—May 28, 2011.
- “Minnie Pearl and William Faulkner: Southern Music as Part of the Literary Renaissance.” International Country Music Conference, Nashville, TN—May 29, 2010.
- “Rockin’ the Renaissance: Southern Music as Part of the Southern Renaissance.” Society for the Study of Southern Literature Conference, New Orleans, LA—April 9, 2010.
- “Sin City: Gram Parsons and the ‘Christ-haunted South.’” International Country Music Conference, Nashville, TN—May 21-23, 2009.
- “Le beaute’ d’ entropie’: Decay, History, and Southern Culture.” Southern American Studies Association, George Mason University, Fairfax, Virginia—February 13, 2009.
- “The Art of Slavery: Knowing Edward P. Jones’s The Known World.” The Louisville Conference on Literature and Culture Since 1900, Louisville, Kentucky—February 22, 2008.
- “The Comforts of Homeland Security, “Flannery O’Connor in the Age of Terrorism.” Grand Valley State University, Grand Rapids, MI—October 7, 2006.
- “Walls of Fear: Antebellum Charleston and the Fear of Slave Revolt.” Annual Meeting of the American Studies Association, Georgetown University, Washington, D.C.—November 5, 2005.
- “You Had Better Not Come Near Such a Reeking Lepress”: Masculinity, Sexuality, and Christian Fundamentalism in Faulkner’s Light in August.” Twentieth-Century Literature Conference, University of Louisville, Louisville, KY—February 27, 2004.
- “Stepping Towards Common Ground: Class Anxiety and Gender Identity in Charles Sheldon’s In His Steps.” Art and Soul Conference, Baylor University, Waco, TX—March 21, 2003.
Grants & Awards
- Principle Investigator, “Beyond the Blues: Discovering and Preserving Clarksdale, Mississippi’s History.” National Endowment for the Humanities. Common Heritage Grant. $8,760. Grant period: January 2018—June 2019.
- Instructor and Educational Advisor, “Educating Students in the Tradition of Blues and Gospel Music Through Oral History, Photojournalism, and Film.” National Endowment for the Arts. Art Works Grant. Grant written by Griot Youth Arts Program, Clarksdale, Mississippi. $86,152. Grant Activity period: August 2018—June 2019.
- Excellence in Service to Students Award, FGCU Chapter of the National Society of Leadership and Success (Spring 2018)