Michael Camp (PhD, 2017) Publishes ‘Unnatural Resources: Energy and Environmental Politics in Appalachia After the 1973 Oil Embargo’

Unnatural Resources

Dr. Michael Camp, a 2017 alumnus of the history graduate program, recently published his first book, Unnatural Resources: Energy and Environmental Politics in Appalachia After the 1973 Oil Embargo, with University of Pittsburgh Press. Camp is Assistant Professor and Political Papers Archivist at the University of West Georgia. He completed his doctoral thesis, “Greater Abundance: Energy Production, Environmental Protection, and the Politics of Deregulation in the United States after the OAPEC Embargo,” under the supervision of Jimmy Carter Professor of History and Department Chair Joseph Crespino. Read the publisher’s summary of Unnatural Resources below and find more information on the University of Pittsburgh Press website.

“Unnatural Resources explores the intersection of energy production and environmental regulation in Appalachia after the oil embargo of 1973. The years from 1969 to 1973 saw the passage of a number of laws meant to protect the environment from human destruction, and they initially enjoyed broad public popularity. However, the oil embargo, which caused lines and fistfights at gasoline stations, refocused Americans’ attention on economic issues and alerted Americans to the dangers of relying on imported oil. As a drive to increase domestic production of energy gained momentum, it soon appeared that new environmental regulations were inhibiting this initiative. A backlash against environmental regulations helped inaugurate a bipartisan era of market-based thinking in American politics and discredited the idea that the federal government had a constructive role to play in addressing energy issues. This study connects political, labor, and environmental history to contribute to a growing body of literature on the decline of the New Deal and the rise of pro-market thinking in American politics.”

Julie Livingston (PhD, 2001) Publishes ‘Self-Devouring Growth: A Planetary Parable as Told from Southern Africa’

Dr. Julie Livingston, Julius Silver Professor at New York University, recently published Self-Devouring Growth: A Planetary Parable as Told from Southern Africa with Duke University Press. Livingston was the first student to receive the PhD in African History from Emory in 2001. In 2013, she received a MacArthur Fellowship from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. Her work sits at the intersection of history, anthropology, and public health. Read Duke UP’s summary of Self-Devouring Growth below and see her other work on Livingston’s NYU faculty profile page.

“Under capitalism, economic growth is seen as the key to collective well-being. In Self-Devouring Growth Julie Livingston upends this notion, showing that while consumption-driven growth may seem to benefit a particular locale, it produces a number of unacknowledged, negative consequences that ripple throughout the wider world. Structuring the book as a parable in which the example of Botswana has lessons for the rest of the globe, Livingston shows how fundamental needs for water, food, and transportation become harnessed to what she calls self-devouring growth: an unchecked and unsustainable global pursuit of economic growth that threatens catastrophic environmental destruction. As Livingston notes, improved technology alone cannot stave off such destruction; what is required is a greater accounting of the web of relationships between humans, nonhuman beings, plants, and minerals that growth entails.  Livingston contends that by failing to understand these relationships and the consequences of self-devouring growth, we may be unknowingly consuming our future.”


‘Masquerading Politics,’ by John Thabiti Willis (PhD, 2008), Named African Studies Association Book Prize Finalist

John Thabiti Willis (PhD, 2008) published Masquerading Politics: Kinship, Gender, and Ethnicity in a Yoruba Town with Indiana University Press in 2017. Willis’ book is a finalist for the African Studies Association Book Prize, the premier award given by the association.  The book stems from Willis’ 2008 dissertation, “Masquerading Politics: Power and Transformation in a West African Kingdom.” Professor Emeritus of History Kristin Mann was Willis’s advisor.

Willis is Associate Professor of History and Director of Africana Studies at Carleton College.  Read the summary of Masquerading Politics from Indiana UP below.

“In West Africa, especially among Yoruba people, masquerades have the power to kill enemies, appoint kings, and grant fertility. John Thabiti Willis takes a close look at masquerade traditions in the Yoruba town of Otta, exploring transformations in performers, performances, and the institutional structures in which masquerade was used to reveal ongoing changes in notions of gender, kinship, and ethnic identity. As Willis focuses on performers and spectators, he reveals a history of masquerade that is rich and complex. His research offers a more nuanced understanding of performance practices in Africa and their role in forging alliances, consolidating state power, incorporating immigrants, executing criminals, and projecting individual and group power on both sides of the Afro-Atlantic world.”

Marni Davis (PhD, ’06) Publishes Piece in ‘The History Teacher’

Marni Davis (PhD ’06) co-authored an article in The History Teacher on how to teach students about the importance of the footnote. In the piece, which is co-authored with Jill E. Anderson, they write: “Footnotes offer a crucial window into historians’ methods of building an argument and using evidence.” Davis is a historian of ethnicity and immigration in the United States and Associate Professor at Georgia State University. Read the full article, “Follow the Footnote.”

Alumni Update: Alexander Gouzoules (C’08) Publishes “The Diverging Right(s) to Bear Arms”

Alexander Gouzoules graduated from Emory College in 2008 and subsequently attended Harvard Law School. He recently published an article, “The Diverging Right(s) to Bear Arms: Private Armament and the Second and Fourteenth Amendments in Historical Context,” in the University of Alabama Civil Rights and Civil Liberties Law Review (Vol. 10, 2019). The blog Second Thoughts from Duke University recently featured Gouzoules’ piece in their Scholarship Spotlight series. Read part of their summary below, along with the full article here. Gouzoules is an attorney in New York City.

“The main thrust of the article is to emphasize and explore the nature and scale of change in how private armament was understood between 1791, when the Second Amendment was ratified, and 1868, when the Fourteenth Amendment (which makes the Second Amendment applicable to the states) was ratified. To over-simplify a bit: While private arms-bearing to deter the tyranny of the standing federal army might have made sense in the 1790s, the situation was entirely different by the late 1860s. In showing as much, Gouzoules deepens (and credits) an argument that Akhil Amar made more than a decade before Heller. Gouzoules’ target is not simply the Second Amendment, however, but originalism itself: ‘These radically different understandings can only be reconciled by defining the right to bear arms at such a high level of generality as to overlook the actual intentions of both amendments’ framers, thus undermining the project of originalism to which these contemporary decisions were ostensibly committed.’


Dr. Lisa Greenwald (PhD, ’96) Discusses ‘Daughters of 1968’ on New Books Network Podcast

Dr. Lisa Greenwald, an alumna of the History graduate program, was recently interviewed on the podcast of the New Books Network. Earlier this year Greenwald published Daughters of 1968: Redefining French Feminism and the Women’s Liberation Movement with the University of Nebraska Press. She was interviewed by Beth Mauldin, an Associate Professor of French at Georgia Gwinnett College in Lawrenceville, Georgia. Greenwald teaches history at Stuyvesant High School in New York City. Go to the New Books Network website to listen to the podcast.

Sean Andrew Wempe (PhD, 2015) Publishes ‘Revenants of the German Empire’ with Oxford UP

In June of 2019 Oxford University Press will publish the first book of Sean Andrew Wempe, a 2015 doctoral program alumnus. Wempe’s monograph is entitled Revenants of the German Empire: Colonial Germans, Imperialism, and the League of Nations. Benedikt Stuchtey, Professor at Philipps-University Marburg, Germany, describes Revenants as a “timely and meticulously researched book based on a wide array of archival material.” Wempe is currently Assistant Professor of Modern European History at California State University–Bakersfield. Read the publisher’s description of the book below.

In 1919 the Treaty of Versailles stripped Germany of its overseas colonies. This sudden transition to a post-colonial nation left the men and women invested in German imperialism to rebuild their status on the international stage. Remnants of an earlier era, these Kolonialdeutsche (Colonial Germans) exploited any opportunities they could to recover, renovate, and market their understandings of German and European colonial aims in order to reestablish themselves as “experts” and “fellow civilizers” in discourses on nationalism and imperialism.

Revenants of the German Empire: Colonial Germans, Imperialism, and the League of Nations tracks the difficulties this diverse group of Colonial Germans encountered while they adjusted to their new circumstances, as repatriates to Weimar Germany or as subjects of the War’s victors in the new African Mandates. Faced with novel systems of international law, Colonial Germans re-situated their notions of imperial power and group identity to fit in a world of colonial empires that were not their own. The book examines how former colonial officials, settlers, and colonial lobbies made use of the League of Nations framework to influence diplomatic flashpoints including the Naturalization Controversy in Southwest Africa, the Locarno Conference, and the Permanent Mandates Commission from 1927-1933.

Sean Wempe revises standard historical portrayals of the League of Nations’ form of international governance, German participation in the League, the role of interest groups in international organizations and diplomacy, and liberal imperialism. In analyzing Colonial German investment and participation in interwar liberal internationalism, the project challenges the idea of a direct continuity between Germany’s colonial period and the Nazi era.