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.
Congratulations to Dr. Edward Hatfield, alumnus of the graduate program in American history, for being named managing editor of the New Georgia Encyclopedia. The publication, first launched in 2004, was the first state encyclopedia designed for the web. The project is run by the Georgia Humanities Council. Hatfield was an advisee of Dr. Joseph Crespino.
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.”
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.'”
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.”
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.”
Dr. Joseph Crespino, Jimmy Carter Professor of History, was among fourteen contributors to a January 25 article in The New York Times, “How Do You View This Complex American Moment?” Read the full article and check out a copy of Crespino’s comments below.
“I don’t think we’ve ever seen a president take office under these circumstances with this many unknowns, people on both sides with a sense that we’re in uncharted waters. We have to remember what kind of revolutionary period we’re living through. We’re really living through a digital revolution that I think has upended our economy, it’s upended our society and now we see it clearly revolutionizing our politics and creating all of these circumstances that are new to us, that as a democracy, we’re going to try to get a hold of. My inclination is that we’re in this kind of disarray — this kind of messiness is going to be the new normal — for the foreseeable future.”