Daniel LaChance on GPB: ‘How Americans Change Their Tune On The Death Penalty’

Photo of

Assistant Professor of History Daniel LaChance recently appeared on Georgia Public Broadcasting’s show On Second Thought to discuss changing perceptions among the U.S. populace about capital punishment. LaChance published his first book,  Executing Freedom: The Cultural Life of Capital Punishment in the United States, last year with the University of Chicago Press. Listen to the full interview here.

Alumni Update: Christina Hansen (’02C)

The New York Times goes live from the hack stand…

How do you combine a love of history with your love of horses? Emory History Honors alumna Christina Hansen (’02C) grew up in Lexington, KY. She is a co-founder of Blue Star Equiculture @equiculture, a sanctuary for retired working horses in Palmer, Massachusetts.  Blue Star visits local fairs, schools, and farm markets and gives presentations explaining how “History is Written in Hooves.” Through its partnership with the Stockbridge School of Agriculture at the University of Massachusetts, Blue Star shows future vets and farmers how to care for draft horses.  It runs workshops on equine first aid and pasture management, for instance, and leads eco-tours.  The Sanctuary works with military veterans, seniors, Girl and Boy Scout clubs, and 4-H groups.  If you are in the area, you might like to know that every Saturday Blue Star offers wagon rides at the Sanctuary.  (And if you are looking for a horse, Blue Star runs an adoption program.)

Christina began her career as a horse advocate and carriage driver in historic Philadelphia. She answered an ad that asked, “Do you love horses? Do you love history? Do we have a job for you!” Since her move to NYC 5 years ago, she has become a prominent and active spokesperson for the city’s carriage horses, as well as driving a vintage carriage.  She has appeared often on television and in print media.  In these two New York Times live interviews from the spring of 2017, Christina discusses the history of horses in the city, the regulations that protect them (some of the most comprehensive equine ordinances in the country), and even the nineteenth-century carriage she drives.  The interviews with NYT reporter Masha Goncharova also feature her horses, King and Hoffa. The first live interview was so popular that the NYT made a return visit.  You can follow her on Twitter @carriagecavalry and/or @NYCHorses and on the website she created “Carriage On.” If you look around the website, you also will find tours of their stables. If you are interested, check out the video “Save NYC Horse Carriages,” narrated by Liam Neeson. #CarriageOn  http://carriageon.com/nytlive/

Ben Nobbs-Thiessen (PhD 2016) Wins Dissertation Award

Congratulations to Dr. Ben Nobbs-Thiessen for winning the 2016 Gilbert C. Fite Award for the best dissertation on agricultural history from the Agricultural History Society. He completed his dissertation, “The Cultivated State, Migrants and the Transformation of the Bolivian Lowlands, 1952-2000,” in 2016 under the advisement of Drs. Jeffrey Lesser, Peter Little, Thomas D. Rogers, and Yanna Yannakakis. Read the below for a more detailed explanation of Nobbs-Thiessen’s research:

My research explores the role of migrants in the “March to the East” a large-scale settlement and rural development initiative undertaken by the Bolivian state after 1952.  Over half a century hundreds of thousands of settlers arrived in the tropical Department of Santa Cruz in Bolivia’s Eastern Lowlands to begin new lives as frontier farmers.  Among the migrants were indigenous Bolivians from the nation’s highlands, low-German speaking Mennonites from Canada, Paraguay and Mexico as well as groups of Japanese and Okinawan colonists that had been re-settled with support from the Japanese government and the U.S. military.  Together these diverse streams made the March to the East a uniquely transnational affair and a compelling case study for understanding migration and mid-century rural modernization.

History Department Chair, Dr. Jeffrey Lesser, Named Director of Claus M. Halle Institute for Global Learning

Jeffrey Lesser

Dr. Jeffrey Lesser, Department Chair and Samuel Candler Dobbs Professor of History, was named director of the Claus M. Halle Institute for Global Learning last week by Philip Wainwright, Emory’s Vice Provost for Global Strategy and Initiatives. The three-year appointment commences September 1, 2017. Lesser will continue as History Department Chair through 2018 while working to expand existing and build new strategies for the Halle Institute on Emory’s Campus and beyond. A historian of modern Brazil, Lesser brings a deep background of academic and administrative experience in global studies to the position. A press release from the Office of Global Strategy and Initiatives further outlines Lesser’s role and the direction of the organization:

“As director, Lesser will promote Emory’s global identity by maximizing the Halle Institute’s impact as a global center for research, scholarship, and education. A great deal of Emory University’s research and teaching takes place outside of the United States. The Halle Institute supports Emory’s strategic global priorities by facilitating the exchange of people and ideas between Emory and institutions around the world. It partners with schools and centers at Emory to cultivate global perspectives and international understanding on campus and beyond.”

Dr. Carol Anderson on President Trump and Black History in ‘The Boston Globe’

Professor Carol Anderson, Charles Howard Candler Professor of African American Studies, was recently quoted in an article in The Boston Globe titled “Trump’s blind spot on black history worries scholars.” The May 3 article (by Astead W. Herndon) examined the reactions of numerous leading historians, including Dr. Anderson, to the U.S. president’s comments about American and especially black history. “From the first moments of the Trump administration, historians said in interviews, they were baffled along with other Americans by factual inaccuracies flowing from the White House. But in the months that followed, and especially this week, scholars said their initial surprise has turned to deep dismay over Trump’s seemingly ill-informed views of US history, especially as it relates to racial minorities.” Read Dr. Anderson’s contribution to the article below and check out the full piece here.

“‘There seems to be this kind of disdain for the reality of African-American history,’ said Carol Anderson, a professor at Emory University who specializes in black studies.

“‘When you don’t care enough about something to learn about it, yet you open up your mouth to speak about it — that’s contempt,’ Anderson said.”

Emeritus Professor James L. Roark in ‘The New York Times’

Dr. James L. Roark, Samuel Candler Dobbs Emeritus Professor of History, contributed to the May 1, 2017 New York Times article, “AP Explains: Could the Civil War Have Been ‘Worked Out?'” Roark is a specialist on southern and nineteenth-century american history and provided commentary in response to President Donald Trump’s conjecture that Andrew Jackson “never would have let [the Civil War] happen.” Read Professor Roark’s analysis below and check out the full Associated Press piece here.

“COULD IT HAVE BEEN AVOIDED?

“Probably not, according to James Roark, an author and retired history professor at Emory University in Atlanta.

“‘As it got tangled with American politics and regional interests, nobody could figure out a way to save both the Union and preserve slavery in the South,’ he said. ‘It wasn’t for a lack of talking. There was plenty of talking.'”