Ben Nobbs-Thiessen (PhD 2016) Wins Dissertation Award

Congratulations to Dr. Ben Nobbs-Thiessen for winning the 2016 Gilbert C. Fite Award for the best dissertation on agricultural history from the Agricultural History Society. He completed his dissertation, “The Cultivated State, Migrants and the Transformation of the Bolivian Lowlands, 1952-2000,” in 2016 under the advisement of Drs. Jeffrey Lesser, Peter Little, Thomas D. Rogers, and Yanna Yannakakis. Read the below for a more detailed explanation of Nobbs-Thiessen’s research:

My research explores the role of migrants in the “March to the East” a large-scale settlement and rural development initiative undertaken by the Bolivian state after 1952.  Over half a century hundreds of thousands of settlers arrived in the tropical Department of Santa Cruz in Bolivia’s Eastern Lowlands to begin new lives as frontier farmers.  Among the migrants were indigenous Bolivians from the nation’s highlands, low-German speaking Mennonites from Canada, Paraguay and Mexico as well as groups of Japanese and Okinawan colonists that had been re-settled with support from the Japanese government and the U.S. military.  Together these diverse streams made the March to the East a uniquely transnational affair and a compelling case study for understanding migration and mid-century rural modernization.

History Department Chair, Dr. Jeffrey Lesser, Named Director of Claus M. Halle Institute for Global Learning

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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.”

Alumni Update: Dr. Glen Goodman (PhD, 2015) Wins Fulbright and German Academic Exchange Service Grants

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The History Department sends its congratulations to Emory alumnus Glen Goodman, Assistant Professor in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Dr. Goodman won a Fulbright grant to teach in the graduate program in History at the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul, located in Porto Alegre, during the spring semester 2018. In addition, the German Academic Exchange Service (Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst) awarded Goodman a research grant to conduct archival work in Berlin during the summer of 2017. Goodman was an advisee of Dr. Jeffrey Lesser, Department Chair and Samuel Candler Dobbs Professor of History.

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.”

Senior Hugh McGlade Wins Fulbright Research Grant

Congratulations to senior History major Hugh McGlade, who received a grant from the U.S. State Department’s Fulbright program for research in Brazil. The grant provides funding for one year of academic study and research. McGlade will live in Rio de Janeiro for nine months and enroll as a graduate student at the Fundação Getúlio Vargas. In parallel, he will expand his research on U.S.-Brazilian hunger alleviation programs in the 1940s, a subject he previously studied in his honors thesis. Read an excerpt of McGlade’s project description below:

“My research project would examine a hunger alleviation program that the U.S. government operated in Brazil from 1942-1945. Through an in-depth study of agricultural education and hunger alleviation, I hope to participate in discussions about foreign aid and the geopolitical relationship between South and North America. While conducting research, I would enroll as a graduate student in history at the Fundação Getúlio Vargas (FGV) in Rio de Janeiro. Paulo Fontes, a historian and professor at FGV, has offered to serve as my academic and research mentor. Over the course of nine months, I would complete two graduate courses and produce a manuscript of a journal article on my research. As a Fulbright scholar, I could develop an intellectual community and contribute valuable research to the field of history.”

Alumnus Adam Goldstein (’16) Publishes Article in ‘Atlanta Studies’

Former undergraduate and history major Adam Goldstein (’16) recently published a piece in Atlanta Studies. Based on his undergraduate honors thesis (completed under the direction of Joe Crespino), the piece focuses on the East Lake neighborhood in Atlanta and is titled “A Purposely Built Community: Public Housing Redevelopment and Resident Replacement at East Lake Meadows.” Goldstein is now a Bobby Jones Scholar at the University of St. Andrews, where he is studying affordable housing policy. Atlanta Studies is an open access, digital publication based at Emory’s Center for Digital Scholarship. Each piece undergoes review by a multi-institutional and -disciplinary editorial board. Read Goldstein’s full article.

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.