Emory is New and “Appropriate” Home for Correspondence of Novelist Harper Lee

Emory University’s Stuart A. Rose Manuscript, Archives and Rare Book Library has acquired a collection of correspondence and memorabilia of author Harper Lee. The previous owner of the collection, Paul R. Kennerson, sought to facilitate the acquisition after meeting with Joseph Crespino, Jimmy Carter Professor of History. Crespino worked with Kennerson in the course of research for his newest book, Atticus Finch: The Biography, to be released in early April. Kennerson explained the logic of the decision: “These letters complement the research being done by Joe Crespino so perfectly that I was taken with the fit of it and was highly impressed with other work being done at Emory.” Read more about the acquisition in the article by Emory News Center’s Elaine Justice, “Emory acquires letters by author Harper Lee.”

Crespino Featured as One of Emory’s “Fab Five” in ‘Emory Magazine’

Emory Magazine featured Dr. Joseph Crespino, Jimmy Carter Professor of History, in their winter edition as one of Emory’s “Fab Five” professors. The specializations of the profiled scholars span from history and English to biology and psychology. The article highlights Crespino’s scholarly trajectory with a particular focus on his interest in To Kill a Mockingbird protagonist Atticus Finch. Check out the excerpt below and also read the full profile, “Fab 5: Meet a few of the Emory scholars who are blurring lines, bridging disciplines, and pushing boundaries.”

Long before Joe Crespino became a professor in Emory College of Arts and Sciences’ Department of History, he read To Kill a Mockingbird as a middle schooler in Macon, Mississippi. Growing up in the 1970s in a town much like Harper Lee’s fictional Maycomb, Alabama—where racial tensions were “very real and very palpable”—Crespino formed a singular attachment to the figure of Atticus Finch.

“You read this and you want to grow up and help your community and help your state—to grow up and be like Atticus Finch,” Crespino says. “Most people who read the book realize at some point that Atticus Finch is not a real person and they move on with their lives, but I just kind of got hung up on that, I guess.”

LaChance and Palomino are Featured Participants at Emory-wide Interdisciplinary Humanities Conference

On March 26th Emory University will host a campus-wide event on the roles of the interdisciplinary humanities and liberal arts at Emory and the future of the interdisciplinary humanities in higher education and society more broadly. Featured participants include President Claire E. Sterk, Provost Dwight A. McBride, Earl Lewis, the outgoing President of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and Mariët Westermann, the Executive Vice President of the Mellon Foundation. History faculty Daniel LaChance and Pablo Palomino (a historian at Emory Oxford), both Mellon Faculty Fellows, are featured participants at the conference. Read more about the conference and other participants here.

$300,000 Mellon Grant Supports Updates and Expansions to ‘Voyages: The Transatlantic Slave Trade Database’

The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation has awarded Emory’s Center for Digital Scholarship a $300,000 grant to support the updating and expansion of Voyages: The Transatlantic Slave Trade Database. Robert W. Woodruff Emeritus Professor of History David Elits and Professor of History Allen E. Tullos are co-directors of the project. The funding will specifically fund the development of “People of the Atlantic Slave Trade” (PAST), a new feature of the database and website focused on the biographies of historical figures linked to the slave trade. Read more about the grant at the Emory News Center.

History Graduate Program to Host Panel on Career Diversity

The Graduate Program of the Emory History Department will host a panel discussion titled “Beyond the Professoriate: Diverse Careers in History” on March 19. Panelists will include three former graduate students: Sarita Alami, a Brand Marketing Manager at MailChimp; Ed Hatfield, Editor of the New Georgia Encyclopedia; and Chris Sawula, Visual Resources Librarian in the Department of Art History at Emory.