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.'”

Emory News Center Features Prof. Daniel LaChance’s Book ‘Executing Freedom’

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Assistant Professor of History Daniel LaChance published Executing Freedom: The Cultural Life of Capital Punishment in the United States with the University of Chicago Press last year. LaChance’s book examines the role of the death penalty in American culture over a span of fifty years. The Emory News Center’s April Hunt recently published a feature about LaChance’s work, “‘Executing Freedom’ examines the evolving role of the death penalty.” Read an excerpt from the article below and check out the full piece here.

“I’ve long been interested in the place of punishment in our society,” says LaChance, who got his first glimpse of the criminal justice system by watching his father defend accused murderers in courtrooms in a state without the death penalty.

“Criminal trials, sentencing hearings and execution ceremonies are spectacles,” LaChance adds. “They are more than an outraged community’s response to crime. They are occasions where we reveal our deeply held beliefs about the relationship between the individual and the state.”

Eckert, Payne, and Undergraduates Explore Roots of Contemporary Conflict in “History of Now”

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The Emory News Center recently published a profile on the spring 2017 course “History of Now,” taught by Drs. Astrid M. Eckert and Matthew Payne. The co-taught class is structured around the examination of contemporary events — ranging from Russian presidential politics to Brexit — in historical context. Pitched an introductory level, the course has drawn an array of students across disciplines and year from Emory’s College of Arts and Sciences. Read the full Emory News Center article (“‘History of Now’ helps students understand roots of current conflicts”) and check out the course description below.

The course covers European history from the devastation of World War II to Europe’s current predicaments, such as the Ukrainian crisis, the Brexit decision, and refugee movements. Team-taught by specialists on German and Russian history, the course takes an expansive view of what constitutes Europe and considers select topics in European postwar history such as postwar affluence, détente, war memories, environmental challenges, and others, from western, central and eastern European perspectives. It traces how experiences of the war years rippled through postwar Europe, merged with Cold War exigencies, and reverberated in new ways after the fall of Communism. The course offers students not only an overview of postwar European history but also introduces them to ways of analysing current events in regard to their deep roots in the continent’s past.

Dr. Carol Anderson Wins National Book Critics Circle Award

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Congratulations to Dr. Carol Anderson, Charles Howard Candler Professor of African American Studies and a member of the History Department graduate faculty, for winning the Criticism Award from the National Book Critics Circle (NBCC). The NBCC awarded Anderson’s White Rage: The Unspoken Truth of Our Racial Divide (Bloomsbury, 2016). Read more about the prize, including the other winning books from this year, here.

PhD Alumnus Adam T. Rosenbaum on Mentoring the Senior Thesis in ‘Perspectives on History’

PhD alumnus (’11) Adam T. Rosenbaum published an article in the March edition of Perspectives on History, the newsmagazine of the American Historical Association. The publication, “Leading by Example: The Senior Thesis and the Teacher-Scholar,” charts Rosenbaum’s novel approach to teaching a seminar in which undergraduates write a capstone thesis. Rosenbaum was recently tenured at Colorado Mesa University and his book, Bavarian Tourism and the Modern World, 1800–1950was published by Cambridge UP in 2016. Check out an excerpt below and read the full piece in Perspectives here.

“As I prepared to teach the course a second time, I decided to make some changes. I rewrote the syllabus with a narrower focus on the history of the Third Reich, abandoning the topical flexibility of the first incarnation. I created a five-page bibliography of English-language sources related to that subject, providing students with a significant head start. Then I had another idea: I would write a thesis paper alongside my students, completing all the assignments along the way.”

History Department Welcomes New Faculty in Academic Year 2016-17

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The History Department is excited to welcome two new faculty members in the academic year 2016-17: Adriana Chira and Tehila Sasson. Dr. Chira, a recent graduate of the University of Michigan, is the Assistant Professor of Atlantic World History with specializations in the following geographic and thematic areas: Atlantic history; Cuba in world history; race; slavery and the law; the African diaspora; and public history.Dr. Sasson comes to Emory from the University of California, Berkeley. She is a historian of modern Europe and international history, with particular interests in the history of ethics, sovereignty and the economy. Read more about the research interests, publications, and ongoing projects of Profs. Chira and Sasson on the Faculty section of the Department website.

Jeffrey Lesser on Radio France International Brazil

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Dr. Jeffrey Lesser, Samuel Candler Dobbs Professor of History, recently contributed to a radio segment on Radio France International Brazil titled “Historiador Jeffrey Lesser: ‘Decreto de Trump pode afugentar cérebros'” (Historian Jeffrey Lesser: ‘Trump’s Decree Could Scare Away Intellectual Talent'”). Lesser offered his perspective on the consequences of Donald Trump’s recent executive order banning immigration. That perspective draws on his specialization in the history of immigration, role as chair of Emory’s History Department, and leader of various research and study abroad programs to Brazil that serve Emory’s international student population. Check out a translated section of the article below and read the full piece (in Portuguese) here.

At this moment the concern grows as many foreign students prepare to apply to American universities for classes that will begin in September. “It seems that many of the students from these seven countries (targeted in the executive order) will be admitted to Emory because they are brilliant. And now we all fear that these students will not come, that they will be prohibited (to enter the United States). This is bad for all of us, in the sense that we will lose this cohort of brilliant students.”