Connor Towne O’Neill

Nov 6, 2020

Research, Whiteness, and Campus Monuments

A Conversation with Connor Towne O’Neill

New Books Network 2020

Welcome to The Academic Life. You are smart and capable, but you aren’t an island, and neither are we. So we reached across our mentor network to bring you podcasts on everything from how to finish that project, to how to take care of your beautiful mind. Wish we’d bring in an expert about something? Email us at or Find us on Twitter: The Academic Life @AcademicLifeNBN.

In this episode you’ll hear: about getting an MFA in nonfiction, conducting research for your book, confronting your privilege, the fight to remove a campus monument, and a discussion of the book Down Along With That Devil’s Bones.

Our guest is: Connor Towne O’Neill, the author of Down Along With That Devil’s Bones. He is a graduate of Vassar College, and earned an MFA from the University of Alabama. He teaches at Auburn University, and is a producer on the NPR podcast White Lies.

Your host is: Dr. Christina Gessler, a historian of women, gender, and sexuality. She specializes in decoding diaries written by rural women in the 19th century, and is the co-creator of The Academic Life podcast series on New Books Network.

Listeners to this episode might be interested in:

  • The Half Has Never Been Told by Edward Baptist
  • Race and Reunion by David Blight
  • “Applying Critical Race and Memory Studies to University Place Naming Controversies: Toward a Responsible Landscape Policy” by Jordan Brasher, Derek Alderman, and Joshua Inwood
  • “Landscape Fairness: Removing Discrimination from the Built Environment” by Stephen Clowney
  • White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard For White People To Talk About Racism by Robin DiAngelo
  • Memorial Mania by Erika Doss
  • Stony the Road by Henry Louis Gates
  • Nathan Bedford Forrest by Jack Hurst

Listen to more episodes on:

Your Host

Christina Gessler

Dr. Christina Gessler holds a PhD in U.S. history.
Learn More