Alabama Rigged: A Cultural History of Fishing in North Alabama is a three-part project that kicks off in the spring of 2016 as a lecture series. In 2017, a travelling exhibit follows that will showcase artifacts and place a short documentary in conversation with wall text, antique lures, and handmade rods of all variety.

Lecture Series

In this groundbreaking public history project, lecturers will descend on Northern Alabama museums and tourism boards to discuss aspects of the cultural history of fishing with the public. Hunting and outdoor sporting in general have long been tied to men’s definitions of freedom in the South, and the environment is inextricably linked to anglers’ connection to place. This public discussion series engages memory and the connection to special “spots,” but more importantly it encourages fisherman to think about the deep history and environmental changes made across their landscape during the “dam crazy” years of the early to mid twentieth century. All fishermen know about current and the effects this has on pulling fish in to certain spots, but few take the time to consider the environment as an artifact of choice made by electricity powerbrokers. From tourist trade to big Bassmaster tournament series we can think more critically about when we have reached our limit, and come to better understand Alabama’s aquatic resources.




John Agricola

I received my BA in history and American Studies at the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa. I spent the next several years fishing and working in Laramie, Wyoming where I studied TVA mural art. I received my MA in American Studies from the University of Wyoming in 2011. I continued to fly-fish for the next year while working on a bison ranch. Realizing that you never truly know a place until you leave it, I came back South to study documentary filmmaking and Southern culture at the Center for the Study of Southern Culture at the University of Mississippi. I received an MA in Southern Studies in 2014, and have been organizing Alabama Rigged ever since.


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