Atlanta skyline

Atlanta Studies Symposium tackles region’s future at ECDS event

By Jesse P. Karlsberg

Scholars, practitioners, activists, and artists studying Atlanta’s history and present-day challenges will gather for the Atlanta Studies Symposium at Emory University’s Robert W. Woodruff Library on April 20, 2018.

The Emory Center for Digital Scholarship (ECDS) is hosting the sixth annual symposium, which brings together a cross-section of the city’s academic institutions, policy planners, archives, and advocacy and arts organizations to tackle social, cultural, and environmental issues facing the city.

With the symposium theme, “Atlanta: City + Region,” panel sessions, roundtable discussions, papers, and posters will address the changing landscape of the metro region, which, the Atlanta Regional Commission projects, is poised to grow by 2.5 million people to more than 8 million people by 2040.

The day-long symposium features four sessions, each with several concurrent panels, followed by a keynote address and a reception.

  • Ellen Dunham-Jones, professor at Georgia Institute of Technology and author of “Retrofitting Suburbia,” will give the Cliff Kuhn Memorial Keynote Lecture. She will discuss how Atlanta’s booming suburbs are changing to meet the needs of an economically diverse influx of new residents.
  • Panel speakers will address issues critical to preparing for the metro region’s growth, understanding its roots, and unpacking its impact on arts and culture. Topics include urban gentrification, suburban poverty, teaching FX’s “Atlanta” program in the classroom, and immigration’s impact on Atlanta’s status as a “black mecca.”
  • The closing reception will continue the Atlanta theme from atop Woodruff Library at Emory’s Stuart A. Rose Manuscript, Archives, and Rare Book Library, which offers a dramatic skyline view.
  • The event is free and open to the public. Please register in advance online to secure seating.

The Atlanta Studies Symposium is hosted by the Atlanta Studies Network, an interdisciplinary group of researchers, students, and instructors across Atlanta-area institutions that publishes ECDS’s Atlanta Studies journal and hosts quarterly meetups at Manuel’s Tavern.

Event cosponsors include the ECDS, Emory’s James Weldon Johnson Institute, Emory’s Fox Center for Humanistic Inquiry, the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, Georgia State University’s Department of History, Georgia State’s Urban Studies Institute, and Georgia Tech’s School of City and Regional Planning.