Cahoon Family Professor of American History Patrick N. Allitt recently published a piece in Spectator USA. Writing in the wake of the 2018 midterm elections in the U.S., Allitt describes the numerous recounts throughout the nation as the sign of a healthy democracy. Read an excerpt below along with the full article, “Election recounts are a sign of a healthy democracy: Americans are more eager than ever to get results right.”
“Thousands of men and women are working to make sure the count is accurate. They know that, all over the world, democracies fail when the losers refused to accept the verdict of the electorate, or when the winner abolishes the system that brought him to power. From their earliest schooldays they’ve had drummed into them the idea that fair elections are sacrosanct, their nation’s bedrock.”
Acting Professor of History Jason Morgan Ward recently published an article in The Washington Post’s “Made by History” section. Ward discusses Mississippi’s long and tragic history of lynchings in the context of recent comments from Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith. Read an excerpt of Ward’s piece below along with the full article here: “A Mississippi senator joked about ‘public hanging.’ Here’s why that’s unacceptable.”
Any mention of a “public hanging” taps a deep well of racial memory in Mississippi, and for good reason. The state led the nation in lynchings, with more than 650 killings between the Civil War and the civil rights era documented in the Equal Justice Initiative’s recent report, “Lynching in America.” While public execution by hanging persisted in Southern communities into the 20th century, spectacle lynchings outpaced and eventually replaced these “official” killings as the South’s preferred form of “public hanging.” While many lynchings occurred under cover of darkness or at the hands of small gangs of vigilantes, white Mississippians gathered by the hundreds, and occasionally thousands, to witness racial killings.
In the wake of the shooting at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburg, Dorot Professor of Modern Jewish History and Holocaust Studies Deborah E. Lipstadt has written an essay and contributed to a television discussion on contemporary anti-Semitism. Lipstadt, who is associated faculty in the Department of History, wrote an essay for Time magazine titled “3 Lessons About Anti-Semitism We Should Learn From the Pittsburgh Synagogue Attack.” She was also a guest on PBS News Hour in the segment, “How the Tree of Life shooting reflects American anti-Semitism.”
Lipstadt is the author of Antisemitism: Here and Now, to be published by Penguin Random House in February of 2019.
Drexel University Assistant Professor of History and 2014 Emory Ph.D. Debjani Bhattacharyya recently authored a piece for the American Historical Association’s newsmagazine, Perspectives. Bhattacharyya, a specialist on Modern South Asian History, discusses exploitative publishing practices and the culture of academic publishing broadly. Read the excerpt below along with the full piece, “When a Journal is a Scam: How Some Publications Prey on Scholarship as Public Good.”
Apart from warning our students and colleagues about predatory journals, there is a larger question we as a profession need to answer. How do we create conditions where we can prioritize the twin imperatives behind publishing our work: to be heard and to listen? These things take time. It takes time to write out early ideas, have them read by a fresh pair of eyes, be exposed to new literature, rethink the argument, and then revise and rewrite. In an ideal world, each article would be an invitation to a dialogue about a question and ultimately an attempt to create a public good. And yet, all of this must happen within a very truncated time frame given the “publish or perish” atmosphere. How do we as a profession acknowledge the realities of this mandate, while still guaranteeing the quality of peer-reviewed scholarship?
Acting Professor of History Jason Morgan Ward recently contributed to a Yahoo News article about Georgia’s upcoming gubernatorial election. The contest between Brian Kemp and Stacey Abrams has drawn national attention. Abrams would be the first black woman elected to the governor’s office in the United States. Morgan offers historical context for this historic election, writing: “Georgia history matters, and Georgia has a unique political history that has historically inflated the politics of localism and the definition of what is Georgia and what is Georgian.”
Read the full article by Jon Ward here: “Georgia’s fraught history with ‘outsiders’ shapes a tight governor’s race.”
Dr. Jeffrey Lesser, Samuel Candler Dobbs Professor of History and Director of the Halle Institute for Global Research and Learning, discussed the increasing influence of evangelicals in Brazilian society and politics for Bloomberg. The article was released three days before the first round of Brazil’s 2018 elections. The October 7 elections included the near-victory of Jair Bolsonaro, a far-right candidate with substantial evangelical support. Read the full piece, written by R.T. Watson, David Biller, and Samy Adghirni, here: “From Jails to Congress, Brazil’s Evangelicals Could Swing Election.”
Recent doctoral program graduate Danielle Wiggins (PhD, 2018) authored an article in The Washington Post. Wiggins’ piece examines how Rev. Jesse Jackson’s 1980s presidential campaigns laid the groundwork for contemporary black progressives in the Democratic party. Wiggins is currently a Visiting Scholar at the Jefferson Scholars Foundation at the University of Virginia. Read the article here: “The black progressives remaking the Democratic Party.”