‘The New York Times’ Reviews Crespino’s Biography of Atticus Finch

Journalist Howell Raines published a review of Jospeh Crespino’s newest book, Atticus Finch: The Biography—Harper Lee, Her Father, and the Making of an American Icon (Basic Books, 2018). Crespino, who is the Jimmy Carter Professor of History, specializes in twentieth-century U.S. history and the history of the South since Reconstruction. Read Raines’ review, “Harper Lee and Her Father, the Real Atticus Finch,” here.

Michael Dublin, ’01 College Alumnus and History Major, was 2018 Commencement speaker

Emory alumnus and former History major Michael Dublin was the 2018 Commencement speaker at Emory in May. Dubin described the value of his time in Bowden Hall: “As a history major, or really as a major in any of the liberal arts, you are trained to be a great writer and to think clearly, and those are both skills that are incredibly important in business.” Read more about his Dubin and his commencement address here.

Graduate Students Alexander Cors and Shari Wejsa Publish Blog Entries for HASTAC

Second-year graduate students Alexander Cors and Shari Wejsa are the two 2017-18 HASTAC Scholars at Emory’s Fox Center for Humanistic Inquiry. Cors and Wejsa recently published entries on the blog of HASTAC, which stands for the Humanities, Arts, Science, and Technology Alliance and Collaboratory. Check out links to their recent posts and read their HASTAC biographies below.

Alexander Cors

My research interests broadly encompass transatlantic history in the early modern period, from 1450 to 1850. Geographically, my focus is on Latin America and Europe. I am particularly interested in colonial Louisiana, the circum-Caribbean, and Bourbon Spain.

My current project investigates migration and settlement patterns, immigration policies, and discourses on foreigners in eighteenth-century Louisiana. I am particularly concerned with questions of ethnicity, integration, and identity in the early modern transatlantic empires of France and Spain. I am also interested in Digital Humanities, especially the use of GIS technology to create ethnolinguistic maps of the eighteenth-century Mississippi Valley.

Shari Wejsa 

As a PhD student in Latin American history, I study the experiences of Angolan and Mozambican immigrants and refugees in Brazil in the postcolonial period. I examine how their migratory experiences have shaped their identities as they adapted to Brazil while remaining connected to their countries of origin. I also explore how international human rights law and evolving immigration policies have affected the lives of these migrants. My research interests are an extension of my Fulbright Commission-sponsored work on Brazil’s National Truth Commission, which investigated the human rights violations committed during Brazil’s military dictatorship (1964-1985), and the inequities of educational access for Afro-Brazilian girls and women in Bahia. As an educator, I seek to cultivate critical thinking on issues of human rights and social justice while advocating for active engagement as transformative power.

Lesser on Ancestry and DNA Testing in ‘The Atlanta Journal Constitution”

History Department Chair Jeffrey Lesser recently commented on the expanding use of DNA tests to chart an individuals’ ancestry in The Atlanta Journal Constitution. The article, titled “Do popular DNA tests like 23andMe, Ancestry actually work?” explores the motivations for taking these tests and the results they provide. Lesser, a specialist in immigration and ethnicity, asserted that “There are lots of different ways of understanding heritage. I think as historians, we’re interested in why people believe what they do, which is quite different than saying that people are something.” Read the full article here.

Johns Hopkins UP Publishes Eric L. Goldstein’s ‘On Middle Ground: A History of the Jews of Baltimore’

Associate Professor of History Eric L. Goldstein and Deborah R. Weiner co-authored On Middle Ground: A History of the Jews of Baltimore. The work has been published by Johns Hopkins University Press. Goldstein is a specialist in American Jewish history and culture, modern Jewish history, and American social and cultural history. Read more about the publication here.

Undergraduate Honors Students Present Thesis Projects

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Over the last two weeks eight undergraduate honors students presented proposals for their honors theses to faculty, staff, and fellow students in the History Department. Each student has a faculty advisor for the project, and all are enrolled in the Honors Seminar HIST 495A, led by Dr. Matthew J. Payne and Dr. Judith Miller. Above are pictures of the students in action, and below is the full list of student projects.

  • Tyler Breeden (Payne, Director): “Intervention by Force or Food: Origins of American Soft Power”
  • Beatrix Conti (Schainker, Director): “The Sassoon Family: Jewish Engagement with British Imperialism and the Opium Trade”
  • Christina Morgan (Payne, Director): “U.S. Government’s Fear of and Attack on Communist Civil Rights Leaders in the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee”
  • Jarett Rovner (Crespino, Director): “Creating Bucks County: Surburbanization and Political Development in the Greater Philadelphia Area, 1950-1985”
  • Ryan Schacklette (Allitt, Director): “Finding Place: Asian-Americans’ Struggle for Whiteness in the Twentieth Century American South”
  • Will Schoderbek (Crespino, Director): “Turning the Tide in ’65: William F. Buckley, New York and the Resurgence of American Conservatism”
  • Luke White (Evans-Grubbs, Director): “Romanization, Hybrid Societies, and Performances of Identity in Roman Gaul and Britain”
  • Irene Zhang (Payne, Director): “A Tale of Land and Plutonium: Sino-Soviet Relations, 1953-1969”