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.'”