Congratulations to Dr. Kristin Mann, Professor of History, for winning the Distinguished Scholar Award from the Lagos Studies Association. Mann’s book publications about Lagos include Marrying Well: Marriage, Status and Social Change among the Educated Elite in Colonial Lagos (Cambridge UP, 1985) and Slavery and the Birth of an African History: Lagos, 1760-1900 (Indiana UP, 2007). Read a more complete description of Mann’s scholarship and service to the discipline, written by Dr. Jessica Reuther (Ph.D., 2016), here.
Two History Department courses made the list of 19 notable offerings for Emory’s undergraduates this fall. Professor Joseph Crespino, Jimmy Carter Professor of American History, will teach a seminar course titled “Atticus Finch and American History.” Professor Tehlia Sasson, Assistant Professor of History, is offering “Origins of Human Rights.” Read the course descriptions below, and check out other compelling fall 2017 offerings around campus here.
Atticus Finch and American History
“Since its publication in 1960, Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird has been one of the most widely read books in the world. The recent publication of Lee’s apprentice novel, Go Set A Watchman has renewed interest in the figure of Atticus Finch and the historical and cultural sources that influenced Lee. This seminar examines the history of the American South in the Jim Crow era that prefigured both the idealized Atticus of Mockingbird and the reactionary Atticus of Watchman. The class will analyze the political uses to which this character has been put since Mockingbird’s publication.”
Origins of Human Rights
“This course recovers the multiple histories of human rights from their deep origins in the 1750s to their more recent formations in the 1990s. It focuses on the history of Europe and its engagement with the wider world: looking at how Europe has shaped and was shaped by Africa, South Asia and the United States over the course of the 19th and 20th centuries. The goal will be to analyze how the evolution of human rights became part of our contemporary framework of politics, law and culture.”
Dr. Daniel LaChance, Assistant Professor of History, will speak at the AJC Decatur Book Festival on Sunday, September 3. A specialist in the history of capital punishment, LaChance’s talk is entitled “Executing Freedom: The Cultural Life of Capital Punishment in the United States.” Read more about the talk here.
Congratulations to Dr. Tehila Sasson, Assisant Professor of History, for winning the Bernath Scholarly Article Prize from the Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations. Sasson won the prize for her article, “Milking the Third World: Humanitarianism, Capitalism, and the Moral Economy of the Nestlé Boycott,” published in the October 2016 edition of the American Historical Review.
Assistant Professor of History Daniel LaChance recently appeared on Georgia Public Broadcasting’s show On Second Thought to discuss changing perceptions among the U.S. populace about capital punishment. LaChance published his first book, Executing Freedom: The Cultural Life of Capital Punishment in the United States, last year with the University of Chicago Press. Listen to the full interview here.
Dr. Jeffrey Lesser, Department Chair and Samuel Candler Dobbs Professor of History, was named director of the Claus M. Halle Institute for Global Learning last week by Philip Wainwright, Emory’s Vice Provost for Global Strategy and Initiatives. The three-year appointment commences September 1, 2017. Lesser will continue as History Department Chair through 2018 while working to expand existing and build new strategies for the Halle Institute on Emory’s Campus and beyond. A historian of modern Brazil, Lesser brings a deep background of academic and administrative experience in global studies to the position. A press release from the Office of Global Strategy and Initiatives further outlines Lesser’s role and the direction of the organization:
“As director, Lesser will promote Emory’s global identity by maximizing the Halle Institute’s impact as a global center for research, scholarship, and education. A great deal of Emory University’s research and teaching takes place outside of the United States. The Halle Institute supports Emory’s strategic global priorities by facilitating the exchange of people and ideas between Emory and institutions around the world. It partners with schools and centers at Emory to cultivate global perspectives and international understanding on campus and beyond.”
Professor Carol Anderson, Charles Howard Candler Professor of African American Studies, was recently quoted in an article in The Boston Globe titled “Trump’s blind spot on black history worries scholars.” The May 3 article (by Astead W. Herndon) examined the reactions of numerous leading historians, including Dr. Anderson, to the U.S. president’s comments about American and especially black history. “From the first moments of the Trump administration, historians said in interviews, they were baffled along with other Americans by factual inaccuracies flowing from the White House. But in the months that followed, and especially this week, scholars said their initial surprise has turned to deep dismay over Trump’s seemingly ill-informed views of US history, especially as it relates to racial minorities.” Read Dr. Anderson’s contribution to the article below and check out the full piece here.
“‘There seems to be this kind of disdain for the reality of African-American history,’ said Carol Anderson, a professor at Emory University who specializes in black studies.
“‘When you don’t care enough about something to learn about it, yet you open up your mouth to speak about it — that’s contempt,’ Anderson said.”