The Emory Center for Digital Scholarship recently named History PhD candidate Stephanie Bryan a Digital Humanities Fellow. As an ECDS fellow Bryan will serve as associate editor for the open-access, peer-reviewed journal Atlanta Studies. Bryan’s research is advised by Cahoon Professor of American History Patrick Allitt and Professor Allen E. Tullos, who is also co-director of the ECDS. Read an excerpt about Bryan’s research below along with the biographies of the other 2021-22 ECDS Fellows.
Bryan’s dissertation traces the habitat losses and decreased biodiversity caused by cotton and other monocultures in the southeastern United States. At the same time, it reveals how a diverse array of human practices actually supported a few marginalized indigenous species, such as opossums, persimmons, muscadines, and pokeweed. Her dissertation examines the ways in which these plants and animals, often labeled as “weeds” and “pests,” persisted and entered into the diets, cultures, economies, and politics of Euro-Americans and people of African descent, from slavery through Jim Crow.