Dr. Elizabeth Stice, a 2012 PhD alumna and Associate Professor at Palm Beach Atlantic University, recently authored an article in Inside Higher Ed on taking a different approach to assigned readings in her courses. In a humanities course that typically covers from 1700 through the present, Stice opted to use only one text for the entire semester: Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina. Read about the mostly positive results of the experiment in Stice’s Inside Higher Ed article: “When Less Is More in the Classroom.” Stice completed her dissertation, “Empire Between the Lines: Constructions of Empire in British and French Trench Newspapers of the Great War,” under the advisement of Associate Professor of History Kathryn E. Amdur.
Dr. Joseph Crespino, Department Chair and Jimmy Carter Professor of History, authored an opinion piece in The New York Times last month on the day of the democratic presidential primary debate held here in Atlanta. In the article, “The Democrats Are in Georgia. The Stakes Couldn’t Be Higher,” Crespino provides historical context for democratic optimism that Georgia could turn blue in the 2020 election. Crespino’s most recent book is Atticus Finch: The Biography (Basic Books, 2018). Read an excerpt of The New York Times article below along with the full piece: “The Democrats Are in Georgia. The Stakes Couldn’t Be Higher.”
“In many ways, American politics today resemble an earlier era in Southern history, when candidates who only a few years before their election had been dismissed as jokes or nobodies stoked reactionary impulses to win the highest office in the state. That’s what happened in Georgia in 1966 when Lester Maddox, a folksy restaurateur and longtime failed candidate, was elected governor. After Congress passed the Civil Rights Act in 1964, forcing the desegregation of public accommodations in the South, Maddox leapt to public prominence by wielding an ax handle to chase away African-Americans who attempted to eat at his restaurant. He attracted the same voters that George Wallace won in neighboring Alabama — white Southerners embittered by social and political changes that they felt were being forced upon them by sanctimonious, out-of-touch elites.”
Dr. Carol Anderson recently contributed to an ABC News piece about Donald Trump’s description of the House impeachment inquiry as a lynching. Anderson, who the article quotes as “shocked and appalled” by Trump’s tweet, responded on Twitter:
You weren’t castrated & forced to eat your genitalia like Claude Neal. You weren’t dragged behind a car, doused w/gasoline & set on fire like Cleo Wright. You weren’t blow torched until your eyes popped out of your head like John Jones. That’s lynching. You get due process.
— Carol Anderson (@ProfCAnderson) October 22, 2019
Anderson provided additional historical context for ABC News article, “Trump’s reference to lynching resurrects painful chapter in US history: Experts.” Anderson is Charles Howard Candler Professor of African American Studies, Chair of African American Studies, and Associated Faculty in the History Department. Read an excerpt from the article below along with the full piece.
“Anderson noted that the majority of lynchings happened during Reconstruction — just after slaves were freed — through the rise of the Jim Crow era laws which codified racial segregation. The acts, which even continued through the civil rights era into the modern age have been used as a way to terrorize black people “back into their place” now that they were no longer enslaved, Anderson said.
“‘How do you put them back into a neo-slavery place? The Jim Crow laws were one mechanism, outright massive domestic terror was the other mechanism,’ Anderson said.”
Jason Morgan Ward, Professor of History, recently wrote an opinion piece for CNN.com, titled “The horrendous message behind Trump’s ‘lynching’ tweet.” The article offers critical perspective on a recent Trump tweet that compared the House’s impeachment inquiry to lynching. Ward discusses actual historical lynchings along with politicians before Trump who have appropriated the rhetoric of lynching for their own (most often demagogic) ends. Ward is, most recently, the author of Hanging Bridge: Racial Violence and America’s Civil Rights Century (Oxford University Press, 2016). Read an excerpt from the CNN.com piece along with the full article: “The horrendous message behind Trump’s ‘lynching’ tweet.”
“By co-opting the word “lynching” to mean anything unpleasant or objectionable, and deploying the term for political expediency or more dangerous ends, the speaker, writer, or, in this case, the tweeter, diminishes lynching’s power in American history.
Worse still, claiming the identity of a lynching victim is an outrageous distraction from and diminishment of the suffering of the many thousands who died at the hands of bloodthirsty mobs—spurred, in many cases, by the racial demagogues of that day. We honor their memory by saying their names; we debase their brutal, shameful treatment by claiming to be them to glibly score rhetorical points.”
Dr. Alison Collis Greene recently discussed her book No Depression in Heaven: The Great Depression, the New Deal, and the Transformation of Religion in the Delta (Oxford University Press, 2015) on the Monthly Review podcast Money on the Left. Greene is Associate Professor in the Candler School of Theology and Associated Faculty in the History Department. Read the summary of the episode below and find both the audio and transcript at “No Depression in Heaven with Alison Collis Greene.”
In this episode of Money on the Left, we speak with historian Alison Collis Greene about her book No Depression in Heaven with an eye toward contemporary debates around the Green New Deal. Subtitled The Great Depression, the New Deal, and the Transformation of Religion in the Delta, Greene’s book critiques what she calls the “myth of the redemptive depression” which, particularly in the American south, eroded the legacy of the original New Deal by affirming regressive fantasies of self-help and individualism.
Many on the left today see the “New Deal” framing of contemporary social and ecological politics as a concession to liberal nostalgia. However, No Depression in Heaven reminds us that right-wing and religious dismissals of the New Deal played a key part in rolling back government provisioning under neoliberalism. From our perspective, then, the original New Deal remains a crucial rhetorical battleground for the future of American political economy.
Dr. Joseph Crespino, History Department Chair and Jimmy Carter Professor of History, was recently a featured guest on Georgia Public Broadcasting’s show Political Rewind. The special edition show, which is hosted by Bill Nigut, was titled “Our Polarized Politics, How Did We Get Here?” Read a summary of the show below and listen to the full conversation at GPB’s Political Rewind.
“Today on Political Rewind, Republicans have called the impeachment investigation of President Trump a Democratic witch hunt. Two decades ago, Democrats attacked the impeachment of President Clinton with similar fury.
Efforts to impeach a president may reveal the deep partisan divide that cleaves our country in two, but the growth of political polarization began long before Clinton and Trump came on the scene.
Today, we’ll look at key moments in American history that revealed the sharpness of our partisan divide, and propelled it forward.”
Assistant Professor of History Dr. Carl Suddler recently appeared on the Princeton University Podcast Politics and Polls. Julian Zelizer interviewed Suddler in a conversation that centered on the racialized nature of the criminal justice system. Suddler’s first book, Presumed Criminal: Black Youth and the Justice System in Postwar New York, was published by NYU Press earlier this year. Listen to the full episode here: “Politics & Polls #156: Black Youth and the Criminal Justice System Ft. Carl Suddler.”