SaportaReport recently featured two new books about black youth experiences in the justice system published by History Department Assistant Professor Carl Suddler and Pulitzer Prize-winning author Colson Whitehead, respectively. Managing Editor David Pendered wrote the piece, titled “Justice for black youths, reparations in Atlanta’s conversations this summer.” Pendered discusses Suddler’s Presumed Criminal: Black Youth and the Justice System in Postwar New York, which was published by NYU press last month. Suddler offers a reading of Whitehead’s The Nickel Boys, which was also published last month. Whitehead recently presented at the Atlanta History Center. Read the full piece in SaportaReport here.
Incoming Assistant Professor of History Carl Suddler recently contributed to an article in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, “Yusef Salaam of Central Park Five: ‘Born with a target on our backs.'” Shelia Poole wrote the piece, which centers on Yusuf Salaam, one of the so-called Central Park Five. Read the excerpt that quotes Dr. Suddler below as well as the full article.
“I think when we see these cases, especially wrongful convictions, it does kind of beg the question just how many of these cases have happened over time,” said Carl Suddler, author of “Presumed Criminal: Black Youth and the Justice System in Postwar New York” and professor of history, who will join the faculty at Emory University this fall. “In the United States, we do not have a justice system, we have a legal system. We have a system that followed the letter of the law, not necessarily fairness.”
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.
Assistant Professor Carl Suddler recently wrote a piece in The Washington Post commenting on the Netflix miniseries “When They See Us,” which chronicles the story of five teenagers — the so-called Central Park Five — forced to confess to a rape they did not commit in 1989. Suddler is the author of Presumed Criminal: Black Youth and the Justice System in Postwar New York, to be published by NYU press in July of 2019. Read the full piece, “How the Central Park Five expose the fundamental injustice in our legal system,” along with the excerpt below.
“When They See Us” sheds new light on this old tale and aims to create change. DuVernay’s miniseries joins the decades-long efforts by activists to humanize the Central Park Five beyond the numeric moniker. It also, perhaps most notably, has inspired the next generation of social justice activists committed to working to overturn wrongful convictions and to reigniting mainstream discussions about criminal injustices in America’s legal system, in the hope of achieving an overhaul of the system.
Dr. Debjani Bhattacharyya, Assistant Professor of History at Drexel University and a 2014 graduate of Emory’s PhD program, published Empire and Ecology in the Bengal Delta: The Making of Calcutta with Cambridge University Press in 2018. Maya Jasanoff, the Coolidge Professor of History at Harvard University, recently featured Empire and Ecology in the Bengal Delta in an article in The New York Review of Books. Bhattacharyya was advised by Samuel Candler Dobbs Professor of History Jeffrey Lesser. Read an excerpt of Jasanoff’s review below along with the full article, “Lost Calcutta.”
“In her innovative new book, Empire and Ecology in the Bengal Delta, Debjani Bhattacharyya, a professor of history at Drexel University, describes how Bengalis had their own story about Calcutta’s origins. “Legend has it that the city was born when the ocean started churning, and a tortoise,” pressed between the mountains and the force of Ananta, the infinite, “gasped out a deep breath.” Its breath made the Bengal Delta, a vast 40,000-square-mile area where the Ganges and Brahmaputra rivers seep into the Bay of Bengal. This legend, like the legend of Job Charnock, also carries an element of truth: Calcutta rests on shifting ground. It should be no surprise that its fortunes have shifted too.”
The Brazil section of the Latin American Studies Association recently awarded prizes to Dr. Lena Oak Suk and Dr. Andrew G. Britt, both historians of Brazil and alumni of the Emory History Department. Suk, who was advised by Samuel Candler Dobbs Professor of History Jeffrey Lesser, is Assistant Professor of History at the University of Louisiana, Lafayette. She received Honorable Mention in the Best Article in the Humanities category her piece: “‘Only the Fragile Sex Admitted’: The Women’s Restaurant in 1920s São Paulo, Brazil,” Journal of Social History 51:3 (Spring 2018). Britt, who is currently Postdoctoral Fellow in Digital Humanities at Northwestern University, received Honorable Mention in the Best Dissertation in the Humanities category for his work, “‘I’ll Samba Someplace Else’: Constructing Neighborhood and Identity in São Paulo, 1930s-1980s.” Britt was co-advised by Lesser and Thomas D. Rogers, Associate Professor of Modern Latin American History and NEH/Arthur Blank Distinguished Teaching Professor (2018-2021).
Natália Salgado Bueno, Assistant Professor in Emory’s Department of Political Science, also received an Honorable Mention in the Best Article in the Social Sciences category for: “Bypassing the Enemy: Distributive Politics, Credit Claiming, and Nonstate Organizations in Brazil,” Comparative Political Studies 51:3 (Mar. 2018), pp. 304–340.
Dr. Lisa Greenwald, a Emory History PhD alumna and teacher at Stuyvesant High School in New York City, recently published Daughters of 1968: Redefining French Feminism and the Women’s Liberation Movement with the University of Nebraska Press. Karen Offen, Senior Scholar at the Michelle R. Clayman Institute for Gender Research at Stanford University, writes that Daughters of 1968 “introduces anglophone audiences to the breadth and depth of second-wave feminism in France. Her bold analysis encompasses much more than theory by restoring to us the complexity of the activist components of the Mouvement de Libération des Femmes.” The book emerged from more than a decade working in and researching the women’s movement in France, including with support from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and grants from the French government. Read the full description from the publisher below.
Daughters of 1968 is the story of French feminism between 1944 and 1981, when feminism played a central political role in the history of France. The key women during this epoch were often leftists committed to a materialist critique of society and were part of a postwar tradition that produced widespread social change, revamping the workplace and laws governing everything from abortion to marriage.
The May 1968 events—with their embrace of radical individualism and antiauthoritarianism—triggered a break from the past, and the women’s movement split into two strands. One became universalist and intensely activist, the other particularist and less activist, distancing itself from contemporary feminism. This theoretical debate manifested itself in battles between women and organizations on the streets and in the courts.
The history of French feminism is the history of women’s claims to individualism and citizenship that had been granted their male counterparts, at least in principle, in 1789. Yet French women have more often donned the mantle of particularism, adducing their contributions as mothers to prove their worth as citizens, than they have thrown it off, claiming absolute equality. The few exceptions, such as Simone de Beauvoir or the 1970s activists, illustrate the diversity and tensions within French feminism, as France moved from a corporatist and tradition-minded country to one marked by individualism and modernity.