Michael Camp (PhD, ’17), assistant professor and political papers archivist at the University of West Georgia, recently published a blog post for Atlanta Studies. Camp’s piece, “John Lewis’s Forgotten Fight: The Mariel Cubans in Atlanta,” discusses Lewis’s support for Cuban migrants in legal limbo while imprisoned in the Atlanta Federal Penitentiary in the late 1980s. Read an excerpt below along with the full piece.
However, one of the less remembered episodes of his career, the 1987 Mariel Cuban uprising in Atlanta’s federal penitentiary, deserves further consideration in our current moment, especially given Atlanta’s burgeoning status as a destination for immigrants desiring opportunity and a new home. It also deserves to be told as an important story in Lewis’s own career. After the height of the civil rights movement in the 1960s, many its leaders continued to advocate not only for the rights of African Americans but also those of other traditionally marginalized groups, such as immigrants. For his part, Lewis urged compassion for the Cubans imprisoned in Atlanta, extending the broad legacies of the civil rights movement into a new era.
Thomas D. Rogers and collaborator Jeffrey Manuel (Southern Illinois University Edwardsville) published an opinion piece in The Hill as a part of its “Changing America” series. The piece shares lessons from the Renewable Fuels Standard that are relevant to the new Biden administration’s plans to reduce carbon with agriculture. Rogers and Manuel are writing a transnational history of ethanol in Brazil and the United States. Rogers is Associate Professor of Modern Latin American History and Arthur Blank/NEH Chair in the Humanities and Humanistic Social Sciences (2018-2021). Read an excerpt from The Hill article below along with the full piece: “Biden’s carbon farming policy must heed recent lessons.”
Third, and perhaps most importantly, the history of the RFS offers a stark reminder that there are no silver bullet solutions in agriculture. When high oil prices and political instability threatened the U.S. economy in the early 2000s, many policymakers saw ethanol as a panacea. As comedian Stephen Colbert joked at the time, “we solved the energy crisis. The answer was ethanol. Corn plus magic equals gasoline.” Fifteen years later, we understand that ethanol was hardly a cure-all for energy shortages or the environment. It has solved some problems — namely what to do with all the corn grown in the United States — but it has created new ones, including more and more nitrate-laced water in the Corn Belt and depleted topsoil. So it will be for carbon farming. Changing agricultural practices to sequester more carbon is undoubtedly a good idea. But it is just one of many changes needed to make agriculture more sustainable in the 21st century. Once carbon sequestration dollars begin flowing to farmers, it will be crucial to remember that it is just one solution among many needed to tackle our climate crisis.
History major Scott Benigno recently published a paper, “A Martyrdom that Overshadowed Heresy: Saint Lucian of Antioch,” in The Haley Classical Journal. Scott’s paper originated in the course “Byzantium: Gold, Glory, and Gore in the Eastern Roman Empire,” taught by graduate student Mary Grace Gibbs-DuPree. Scott’s assignment was to pick a saint and explain how this saint came to be included in the Byzantine religious calendar. Saint Lucian of Antioch was so appealing, Scott thought, because he gained sainthood for having died for his faith but, during his lifetime, had strayed from Church doctrine. The journey from a class assignment based on a keen observation to a published paper was still long, though: “The peer-editing and review process was tough,” Scott said, “and I have never dug deeper to find sources than I did for this paper. It was a very rewarding experience.” Find the article here: “A Martyrdom that Overshadowed Heresy: Saint Lucian of Antioch.”
Dr. Cheng-Heng Lu, has been named a guest professor in the Department of History at KU Leuven. Lu completed his PhD in the fall of 2020 under the advisement of Dr. Tonio Andrade and with a dissertation titled, “The Art of being an Imperial Broker: The Qing Conquest of Taiwan and Maritime Society (1624-1788).” Lu was also a visiting scholar at Harvard’s Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies from 2020-2021.
Dr. Polly J. Price, Asa Griggs Candler Professor of Law, Professor of Global Health, and Associated Faculty in the History Department, was recently quoted in an article on Stateline, a daily publication of the Pew Charitable Trust that analyzes trends in state policy. The article, “Lawmakers Move to Strip Governors’ Emergency Powers,” addresses efforts in Kentucky and other states to limit emergency powers granted to the state executive branch that governors argue are necessary to combat crises like the COVID-19 pandemic. Price is a public health law scholar as well as a legal historian and citizenship and immigration law expert. Read an excerpt from the article below along with the full piece.
“Polly Price, a law professor and global health professor at Emory University, said statutes could spell out when the governor should seek approval from the legislature or when public health officials can take over the pandemic response effort.
“But partisan tensions and backlash over COVID-19 public health orders may stop such ideas from gaining traction, at least right now, Price said. ‘Legislating in the midst of an emergency can be a very bad idea … you’re not looking long-term,’ she said.“
Assistant Professor of History Dr. Carl Suddler will host the first event in the inaugural 2021 Pellom McDaniels Sports History Lecture Series, “Bigger than Sports.” The event will include a conversation with Howard Bryant, an award-winning ESPN senior writer and author of nine books, including Full Dissidence: Notes from an Uneven Playing Field, and William C. Rhoden, an award-winning New York Times columnist, author of Forty-Million Dollar Slaves, and writer-at-large for The Undefeated. The event will take place via Zoom on February 4, 2021 at 4:30pm EST. Register here.
Dr. Joseph Crespino, Jimmy Carter Professor of History and Department Chair, was a featured guest on Georgia Public Broadcasting’s show“Political Rewind” on the eve of the presidential inauguration of Joseph R. Biden. Hosted by Bill Nigut, the episode examined past presidential transitions amidst grave uncertainties and national crisis. Crespino was a guest alongside Dr. Michelle Brattain (Professor of History, Georgia State University), Tamar Hallerman (Senior Reporter, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution), and Dr. Fredrick Knight (Professor of History, Morehouse College). Listen to the conversation here: “On Eve Of Tense Inauguration, A Look Back At Other Tumultuous Transitions.”.
In a recent article for NBC News, Dr. Carol Anderson analyzed the role of white supremacy in ex-president Donald Trump’s political career and the insurrection he incited at the United States capitol on January 6. Anderson is an expert on public policy, particularly the ways that domestic and international policies intersect through the issues of race, justice, and equality in the United States. Read an excerpt from the NBC News piece below along with the full article: “The Trump-fueled riot shocked America. To some, it was a long time coming.”
“‘This situation, in this moment, for me feels something like the mythical Cassandra,’ said Carol Anderson, author of the book ‘White Rage.’ Anderson was referring to the character in Greek myth cursed with the gift of accurate prophecy that is not believed.
‘”I and many others, we have been hollering Trump is a racist,’ she said. ‘Trump is a dangerous racist who stokes and speaks to those impulses in his most ardent followers. This isn’t economic anxiety that he appeals to, that he speaks to in his voters. It’s white supremacy. And, until this nation really deals with white supremacy and how dangerous we ought to know that it is, there will be another demagogue who eventually rises in his place.'”