About Matt Simmons

I completed my Ph.D. in history from the University of Florida, where I served as a graduate coordinator in the Samuel Proctor Oral History Program and taught courses in the History Department and the Writing Program. My manuscript, “Growing a Movement," explores the process of building a cohesive, interracial movement for economic justice among marginalized black and white tenant farmers and sharecroppers during the Great Depression in the Arkansas Delta and surrounding region. I completed my B.A. in Political Science from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte and an M.A. in History at the University of Tulsa. My research interests include social movements, rural poverty, civil rights, Florida history, and Southern history. I have conducted & processed numerous oral histories with individuals from diverse backgrounds including farmworkers and civil rights activists. I am particularly interested in breaking down barriers between academe and local communities. My most recent public-facing publication is here: https://www.c21uwm.com/2023/03...

NBN Episodes hosted by Matt:

Dan Chapman, "A Road Running Southward: Following John Muir's Journey Through an Endangered Land" (Island Press, 2022)

May 11, 2024

A Road Running Southward

Dan Chapman
Hosted by Matt Simmons

In 1867, John Muir set out on foot to explore the botanical wonders of the South, keeping a detailed journal of his adventures as he traipsed from Ken…

Janine Giordano Drake, "The Gospel of Church: How Mainline Protestants Vilified Christian Socialism and Fractured the Labor Movement" (Oxford UP, 2023)

March 13, 2024

The Gospel of Church

Janine Giordano Drake
Hosted by Matt Simmons

In 1908, Unitarian pastor Bertrand Thompson observed the momentous growth of the labor movement with alarm. "Socialism," he wrote, "has become a disti…

Claudia Smith Brinson, "Stories of Struggle: The Clash over Civil Rights in South Carolina" (U South Carolina Press, 2020)

December 29, 2023

Stories of Struggle

Claudia Smith Brinson
Hosted by Matt Simmons

In Stories of Struggle: The Clash over Civil Rights in South Carolina (U South Carolina Press, 2020), longtime journalist Claudia Smith Brinson detail…

Jennifer Ritterhouse, "Discovering the South: One Man's Travels through a Changing America in the 1930s" (UNC Press, 2017)

August 16, 2023

Discovering the South

Jennifer Ritterhouse
Hosted by Matt Simmons

During the Great Depression, the American South was not merely "the nation's number one economic problem," as President Franklin Roosevelt declared. I…