Crespino Reviews Mitchell’s ‘Race Against Time: A Reporter Reopens the Unsolved Murder Cases of the Civil Rights Era’ for the ‘Wall Street Journal’

Dr. Joseph Crespino, History Department Chair and Jimmy Carter Professor of History, recently published a review article in the Wall Street Journal. Crespino’s article centers on the new book by journalist Jerry Mitchell, who, beginning in the late 1980s, launched a series of investigations that would re-open four of the most infamous acts of Southern racist violence from the 1960s. Mitchell published the book, Race Against Time: A Reporter Reopens the Unsolved Murder Cases of the Civil Rights Era, with Simon & Schuster in early February 2020. Read an excerpt from Crespino’s review below, along with the full piece (paywall restricted): “‘Race Against Time’ Review: A Reporter for Justice.”

Race Against Time” provides a sobering view of white-supremacist politics. The power that social media now provides white-nationalist groups to spread their hatred makes the tactics of earlier generations look quaint. Weeks before Beckwith’s final retrial was scheduled to begin, fliers appeared in the driveways of hundreds of Mississippi homes describing him as a political prisoner. Mr. Mitchell traced the fliers back to Beckwith himself, who had paid some $1,000 to have them printed and distributed. Imagine by comparison the scale of disinformation and intimidation that far-right groups spread today via social media.

History Major Emily Sharp To Present Honors Thesis at Hopkins’ Inaugural Undergraduate Research Symposium

Undergraduate student Emily Sharp, who is a double major in history and English, will present her history honors thesis at the inaugural Richard Macksey National Undergraduate Humanities Research Symposium at Johns Hopkins University in April. Her thesis is titled, “Roy Cohn’s America: Conservatism, Sexual Politics, and Memory in 21st Century America.”

Strocchia Appointed Francesco de Dombrowski Visiting Professor at Villa I Tatti, the Harvard Center for Italian Renaissance Studies in Florence

Congratulations to Dr. Sharon T. Strocchia, Professor of History, on her appointment as the Francesco de Dombrowski Visiting Professor at Villa I Tatti, the Harvard Center for Italian Renaissance Studies in Florence. Strocchia will be in residence at I Tatti from April to June. While in Florence, she will continue to develop her current project, “Tobacco and the Making of Atlantic Italy, 1600-1700.” Strocchia is the author, most recently, of Forgotten Healers: Women and the Pursuit of Health in Late Renaissance Italy (Harvard UP, 2019).

Department of History Workshop to Feature Crais’s New Book Project

Dr. Clifton Crais, Professor of History and Director of the Institute for African Studies, will present at the Department of History workshop on Friday, February 21, in the Major Seminar room in Bowden Hall. Crais will be sharing the introduction to his new book project, tentatively titled “A Global History of the Present, 1750-1914.” Lunch will be provided. RSVP to Becky Herring at


In Le Monde, Lesser Offers Commentary about Bolsonaro’s Recent Attacks on Japanese Diaspora in Brazil

Dr. Jeffrey Lesser, Samuel Candler Dobbs Professor of History and Director of the Halle Institute for Global Research and Learning, was interviewed by Le Monde about race and politics in Brazil. The article chronicles how Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro has recently levied racist attacks against Thais Oyama, a Brazilian of Japanese descent who published a critical account of the Bolsonaro administration. Lesser, who has published two monographs and an edited collection about the Japanese diaspora in Brazil, provides historical context for Bolsonaro’s rhetoric. Read the article (paywall prohibitive) at Le Monde: “Les Nippo-Brésiliens, nouvelle cible des injures du président Jair Bolsonaro.”

History Department Event on February 5 Celebrates Publication of Suddler’s ‘Presumed Criminal’

Assistant Professor Carl Suddler published Presumed Criminal: Black Youth and the Justice System in Postwar New York with NYU Press last year. The Emory History Department will celebrate the publication of Suddler’s work this upcoming Wednesday, February 5, with an event at the Jimmy Carter Presidential Library. The book event from 7-8:00pm will be followed by a reception at Manuel’s Tavern. Read more about Presumed Criminal and Suddler, who joined Emory’s faculty last year, via the New Faculty Q&A with Dr. Carl Suddler.