Congratulations to Dr. Deborah Lipstadt on receiving Emory’s 2020 Exemplary Teacher Award (formerly known as the Scholar/Teacher Award) for transformational teaching and public scholarship. Lipstadt is Associated Faculty in the History Department and Dorot Professor of Modern Jewish and Holocaust Studies in the Department of Religion and The Tam Institute for Jewish Studies. The award is one of the top honors given to faculty at Emory.
Michael A. Elliott, dean of Emory College of Arts and Sciences and Charles Howard Candler Professor of English, nominated Lipstadt for the award, writing: “As an historian, public intellectual, teacher and mentor, her tireless commitment to scholarly rigor and to social justice are expressed in her astonishing level of service to the university, and to the broader community, all of which she models to her students.” Read a full profile of Listadt, authored by the Emory News Center’s Kimber Williams, here: “Lipstadt receives Exemplary Teacher Award for transformational teaching and public scholarship.”
The Emory News Center’s Leigh DeLozier recently featured Dr. Clifton Crais, graduate assistant Georgia Brunner, and several students from his “Making of Modern South Africa” class. Crais, Brunner, and the students share their perspectives on finding success in the online transition. Read an excerpt from the article below, along with the full piece: “Classes that click: The making of modern South Africa.”
What’s one lesson you’ve learned during this transition, and how will you use it later?
Crais: The importance of human contact and our common humanity, beginning with the simple act of looking into another person’s eyes. I will renew my effort to develop a unique relationship with each and every student, no matter how large the class. Paradoxically, online teaching has taught me the importance of a residential college experience. We are learning new things about the world and about each other. We are going to come out of this crisis better teachers and better students – and citizens.
Congratulations to Dr. Astrid M. Eckert, Associate Professor of History, on being awarded the Emory Williams Distinguished Undergraduate Teaching Award. The award is presented annually to faculty members in each of the four undergraduate schools in recognition of a record of excellence in undergraduate teaching. The award was established by Emory Williams, a 1932 Emory College alumnus and long-time trustee. Eckert is one of only six faculty on campus to receive the award this year. Read more about the Undergraduate Teaching Award, including past recipients.
Dr. Sharon T. Strocchia, Professor of History, is teaching a first-year seminar titled “Epidemics in History” this spring. The COVID-19 pandemic has made the course far more timely than she or the students anticipated. The Emory News Center featured “Epidemics in History” among Emory courses where professors and students are using the pandemic as a learning opportunity. Read about all of those courses in their article, “COVID-19 in Class.” Strocchia also offered comments on her original idea for the class and how she modified it in order to investigate this historical moment in real time. Read her comments below.
My freshman seminar this semester, “Epidemics in History,” was not designed to coincide with a global pandemic. I did plan to end the course with a study of the 1918 influenza epidemic after examining the Black Death and nineteenth-century cholera outbreaks. Our goal was to explore the historical and biological effects of urbanization, environmental change, and the human connectivity resulting from faster modes of transportation. But I also wanted to raise issues of preparedness with my students, many of who planned careers in medicine and science. It seemed oddly serendipitous that the Wuhan outbreak of coronavirus hit the headlines just as spring semester started. At our first class meeting in January, we decided that tracking its progression would make a good class project. Relying on trusted news outlets, we learned the value of social distancing, good hand hygiene, and flattening the curve. Week by week, the news grew more startling but still seemed far from home. By the time spring break arrived, though, COVID-19 already had an official name and the world was on the verge of pandemic. We’ve since modified our syllabus to make direct comparisons between the experiences of 1918 and our own day, looking at public health policies, frontline healers, issues of fear and resilience. It’s been a rewarding but sobering experience—one that shows there’s much to be learned about health and society from studying the past.
– Sharon Strocchia
The Gamma Chapter of Georgia of the Phi Beta Kappa Society has recognized two Emory History Department faculty members for teaching excellence: Dr. Astrid M. Eckert, Associate Professor, and Dr. Chris Suh, Assistant Professor. Eckert is a historian of modern Europe and modern Germany, with teaching interests that cover German and European history in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. A few of her recent courses include “Borderlands in History,” “Modern Germany,” and “Nazi Medicine and Biology.” Suh, who joined the faculty last fall, is a historian of race, ethnicity, and inequality, specializing in the United States’ engagement with the Pacific World and Asian migration to the United States. His courses at Emory thus far have included “Transpacific Lives,” “Sounds of the Century,” and “Asian American History.”
Emory University will extend spring break until March 22, after which the institution will transition to remote learning for graduate and undergraduate classes. Visit Emory’s COVID-19 page for details about these changes, and please contact History Department faculty and staff via email with individual questions or concerns. History Department staff and faculty will work remotely for the next several weeks.
All History Department seminars, workshops, and book events have been canceled for the remainder of the semester, including the History Department Workshop scheduled for this Friday, March 20, featuring Dr. Thomas D. Rogers and Dr. Jeffrey T. Manuel, and the celebration of Dr. Sharon Strocchia’s recently-published monograph, Forgotten Healers: Women and the Pursuit of Health in Late Renaissance Italy, slated for next week. In lieu of the in-person events featuring these works, check out two recent posts about them:
Dr. Judith A. Miller and first-year student Natalia Thomas were recently interviewed on the Georgia Public Broadcasting show On Second Thought about Miller’s first-year seminar “Fake News.” Speaking to host Virginia Prescott, Miller describes how, as a historian of 18th and 19th century France, she ended up teaching a course with a substantial focus on contemporary U.S. history. Thomas, a first-year student in the course, describes the impact “Fake News” has already had on students: “‘I used to just take what I read at face value,” she explained. “I’ve learned to be more cautious about what I’m consuming, and make sure to check multiple news sources and see what they’re saying about certain issues.”‘ Read the article summary of the conversation and listen to the full interview: “Emory University’s ‘Fake News’ Course Helps Students Tease Fact From Fiction.”