Pellegrin’s research project involves the career of Kent H. Courtney, a New Orleans-based radio host, publisher, and political organizer in the 1950s and 1960s. Courtney ran unsuccessfully for Louisiana governor and Congress.
“I am grateful to the The Department of Criminal Justice, History, and Social Sciences, the university and the generosity of Mr. Bostick for creating this opportunity,” said Pellegrin. “My research should be able to reintroduce people to Mr. Courtney, who was an important figure in the conservative movement and had contact with a number of prominent national figures.”
Pellegrin is transcribing 850 tapes of Courtney’s broadcasts to a digital format. The tapes are in the Courtney Collection in the Cammie Henry Research Center in Watson Library at Northwestern State.
“The tapes include his 15-minute show, which was a radio edition of his newspaper, The Independent American, and other radio shows he appeared on around the country as well as speeches he made,” said Pellegrin.
Pellegrin’s research is an outgrowth of an earlier paper of Medford Evans, a faculty member at Northwestern State in the 1950s, who was also an author and editor.
A native of Larose, Pellegrin has been a member of Northwestern State’s faculty since 2004, teaching courses on U.S. foreign relations, U.S. military history, the history of modern China and modern Japan. He will also teach a course on the history of the New South beginning in the fall 2013 semester. Pellegrin holds a B.A. in social studies Education from Nicholls State University, a M.A. in history from University of Louisiana – Lafayette and a Ph.D. in history from Mississippi State University.
He is the author of Race, Cold War, and Academia: Medford Evans of Northwestern State College, 1955-59 in Louisiana Beyond Black and White: New Interpretations of Twentieth-Century Race and Race Relations, ed. Michael Martin (Lafayette: Center for Louisiana Studies, 2010), and A Period of Terror: Mark J. Essex, Jr., and the New Orleans Downtown Howard Johnson Tragedy, published in the NSU National Journal of Criminal Justice. Dr. Pellegrin is also the incoming managing editor of Southern Studies: An Interdisciplinary Journal of the South, and has recently been elected to a three-year term to the board of directors of the Louisiana Historical Association.
Bostick was a decorated veteran of World War II who suffered wounds just before the Battle of the Bulge. He earned a bachelor’s and master’s degree at Northwestern State and did additional graduate work at UCLA and Louisiana State University. After working as a teacher and counselor, Bostick went to work at NSU’s Watson Library where he worked for 10 years until he retired in 1981. Bostick died in 1994.
The professorship was established with a donation of $60,000 from the Bostick estate and was matched with $40,000 in funding from the Board of Regents Support Fund.