Ball State University’s Department of History will host Dr. Max Fraser, assistant professor of American history at the University of Miami, as the keynote speaker for the 27th annual Student History Conference on Feb. 23.

The conference events, all of which are open to the public, will begin at 8:45 a.m. at the L.A. Pittenger Student Center. Dr. Fraser’s keynote address will start at 11 a.m. in the Student Center Ballroom.

Dr. Fraser’s research, which has focused on labor movements and class politics, has been published in publications such as The Atlantic, The Nation, and Dissent. He is the author of the recent book, “Hillbilly Highway: The Transappalachian Migration and the Making of a White Working Class.

Dr. Fraser’s address for the upcoming conference, “Finding Traces of the Hillbilly Highway on the Road to Middletown,” centers on this same subject—with a more local, Muncie-driven focus.

“During the middle decades of the 20th century, millions of southerners left Tennessee and Kentucky in search of work in the factories of the Midwest, including Muncie,” said Dr. James Connolly, George and Frances Ball Distinguished Professor of History and the director of Ball State’s Center for Middletown Studies. “In his new book, Max Fraser unearths this largely forgotten history and explains its importance for understanding modern America. His talk will share some of the stories of these migrants, including those who settled in Muncie.”

More information—including a program of event details—can be found on the Student History Conference website.