Congratulations to Cherise Thomas, one of the History Department’s work study students, for winning a Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship. The Gilman scholarship, which is a grant program of the U.S. State Department, will fund Thomas’ summer study abroad in Salamanca, Spain. Thomas is one of only 10 students from Emory to win the Gilman scholarship in 2019.
This semester History major Hallie Lonial is interning in the manuscript archives at the Atlanta History Center. An Atlanta native, Hallie visited the AHC on a field trip with her high school. The internship allows her to pursue her general interest in history while learning more about her hometown. Why would someone belonging to “generation online” want to work with old manuscripts? Hallie has the perfect answer: “I wanted to work with manuscripts because I’m really fascinated by what people say when they think nobody will ever read it.” During her work, she handles papers from or about famous people like Ivan Allen Jr. and well-known places like the Atlanta-Fulton County stadium. She also processes personal diaries, business ledgers, letters, and scrapbooks that tell of ordinary people’s lives. “I’ve learned that history is important to everyone, belongs to everyone, and is created by everyone, not just those we most commonly think of.” Learn more about resources for internships for Emory undergraduates here: http://history.emory.edu/home/undergraduate/resources/internships.html.
History Majors Ellie Coe and Hannah Fuller have each won Elizabeth Long Atwood Undergraduate Research Awards from Emory’s Woodruff Library. The Atwood Award recognizes the best paper that makes use of the library’s resources and applies research skills and critical analysis to evidence. Coe’s piece is titled “The Soldier’s Queue in the Eighteenth Century,” and she wrote the paper in Prof. Judith A. Miller’s course “The Origins of Capitalism” (Fall 2018). Fuller conducted the research for her paper, “Jemima Wilkinson: The Genderless Feminist of the Enlightenment,” in Prof. Judith A. Miller’s course “HIST 385W: Scandalous Texts in the Enlightenment” (Spring 2018). Learn more about the awards here: http://web.library.emory.edu/research-learning/award-research-programs/undergraduate-research-award.html.
Senior History Honors student Yi Xie is currently working on her thesis as an undergraduate fellow at the Fox Center for Humanistic Inquiry. Xie’s thesis is titled “Becoming American in a Multiracial Context: Chinese ‘Sojourners’ and African Americans’ Battle for Inclusion in a White Republic, 1868-1904.” She recently wrote a reflection, “Becoming American: A Historical Parallel between Chinese Immigrants and African Americans, 1868-1904,” about her research and experiences at the Fox Center. Read the full post here along with an excerpt from the abstract of her project below.
“This research aims to develop a clear understanding of the racial dynamics of the second half of the nineteenth century by studying the ‘Chinese Question,’ the ‘Negro Problem,’ and the relations between the two from the perspectives of abolitionists, Caucasian immigrants, African Americans, and the Chinese. She investigates why and how the ‘Chinese Question’ and the ‘Negro Problem’ were conflated and differentiated, and how dynamic and complex were the relations between the two. She also conducts a comparative study of anti-black and anti-Chinese violence on the West Coast. She has visited archives in Northampton, MA and will conduct more archival research in Seattle, WA.”
This spring Jimmy Carter Professor of History and Department Chair Joseph Crespino is teaching a 385 course titled “Right-Wing America.” HowStuffWorks contributing writer John Donovan recently featured Crespino’s course in the article “Bridging the Chasm: Emory Class Delves Into America’s Right-wing History.” HowStuffWorks editorial board describes the website as a “source for unbiased, reliable, easy-to-understand answers and explanations of how the world actually works.” Read the full article here and check out Donovan’s observations from the first day of the spring course below.
“‘Donald Trump really defied what we thought we knew about American politics,’ Crespino tells his class that first day. ‘Trump’s election not only kind of upended what we thought were these iron laws of American politics’ — mainly, that candidates have to run toward the center to get elected — ‘but it also makes the American past look a lot different, you know? Things that we used to take for granted as kind of hiccups along the way all of a sudden look more important. And they look more ominous. And we begin to see that they weren’t just hiccups, but they’re kind of a recurring pattern.’
That pattern is what interests scholars. It’s what Crespino hopes his students will grasp, too; that the ideas and beliefs that drive right-wing America today didn’t begin with Trump. And they won’t disappear when he does, either.”
Congratulations to John Priddy, a senior History and Political Science double major, for being selected as one of four students to receive Emory’s prestigious Robert T. Jones Jr. Scholarship. Active since 1976, the program supports a year of study at the University of St Andrews in Scotland for students who exhibit academic excellence, character, and integrity. Priddy’s academic and policy interests center on the criminal justice system, particularly the factors that shape public opinion about solitary confinement. Read more about Priddy’s extensive leadership on Emory’s campus as well as this years other Bobby Jones Scholars: “Outstanding students chosen as Bobby Jones Scholars for study in Scotland.”
Junyi Han, an undergraduate and Honors student in the History Department, will present a paper at the 10th Annual Texas A&M History Conference: “Resistance in Retrospect.” Han’s paper asks why the “Great Purge,” or Joseph Stalin’s violent repression of dissenters in the 1930s, did not generate greater resistance in Soviet society. Han has conducted the research under the direction of Dr. Matthew Payne, Associate Professor of History and a specialist in modern Russian and Soviet history. Read more about the conference and check out Han’s abstract below:
The Spread of Terror
This research project examines a lack of resistance against the Great Purge in the Soviet Union. This topic has great historical significance and rich research potential. A thorough examination of the reasons that caused a lack of resistance among Soviet society can provide insights into the dynamics of the Great Purge and facilitates an understanding of mass terror under dictatorial regimes in general.
While the Great Purge was originally targeted at the political elites, it expanded at an unexpected speed and millions of ordinary civilians became its victims. My research uses a bottom-up approach to examine the internal driving forces that dragged people into this political turmoil. The findings are mainly based on primary sources, such as personal letters, diaries, and memoirs. I have also consulted secondary literature to support my argument.
This project suggests that the expansion of terror is in fact largely a matter of individual choice. During the Great Purge, a sense of duty, fear, personal grudges, and opportunism significantly propelled Soviet people to spread terror at a breakneck speed, and therefore caused numberless victims to be devoured in the 1930s. This research provides insights into the dynamics of mass terror and serves as a stepping stone for further research on political repressions in dictatorial regimes.