‘Buried Truths’ Wins the American Bar Association’s Silver Gavel Award

The latest season of the Emory course-related podcast “Buried Truths” has won the distinguished Silver Gavel Award for Media and the Arts from the American Bar Association. The podcast draws from an undergraduate course on Civil Rights Era Cold Cases taught by Hank Klibanoff, James M. Cox Jr. Professor of Journalism and Associated Faculty in the History Department. The most recent season of “Buried Truths” centers on the shooting death of Ahmaud Arbery, an unarmed Black man killed near Brunswick, Georgia, in February of 2020. The Emory News Center recently published a feature story on the podcast and the prize. Read an excerpt below along with the full article.

“What matters most to me is that we got it right and were able to say it clearly,” Klibanoff says. “It’s thrilling to be honored for having accomplished that in telling a story that is surrounded by complicated legal matters.”

Working with five Emory undergraduates, writer Richard Halicks and the production team at public radio station WABE, Klibanoff unearthed the centuries-long roots of Arbery’s killing in a story told across seven episodes.

Anderson Discusses Historical Implications of Not Forming Jan. 6 Commission in ‘AP News’

Dr. Carol Anderson, Charles Howard Candler Professor of African American Studies, Department Chair, and Associated Faculty in the History Department, was recently quoted in the AP News article “Shock of Jan. 6 insurrection devolves into political fight.” The piece discusses Republican resistance in the U.S. Senate to forming an independent commission to investigate the January 6 insurrection. Read the full piece here, along with an excerpt quoting Anderson on the historical and archival implications of not establishing such a commission below.

“The partisan fight over the new panel is alarming to historians who say an independent record of that dark day is needed to understand what happened and hold those involved accountable.

“‘If you don’t have follow-up, it reaffirms that folks are right in their wrongness,’ said Carol Anderson, a professor of African American studies at Emory University.”

Alumni Update: Kate McGrath (PhD, ’07)

Dr. Kate McGrath, a 2007 graduate of the doctoral program, was recently promoted to Associate Dean of the Carol A. Ammon College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences at Central Connecticut State University. McGrath completed her degree in Medieval history with a dissertation titled “Medieval Anger: Rage and Outrage in Eleventh- and Twelfth-Century Anglo-Norman and Northern French Historical Narratives.” Her dissertation research has informed multiple publications since, including the book chapter “The ‘Zeal of God’:  The Representation of Anger in the Latin Crusade Accounts of the 1096 Rhineland Massacres,” published in the edited collection Slay Them Not: Jews in Medieval Christendom (Leiden: Brill, 2013). Read more about McGrath’s work here.

Suddler Pens Piece in WaPo: “George Floyd changed the world of athlete activism”

Dr. Carl Suddler, Assistant Professor of History, recently published an article in The Washington Post’s Made by History” series. The piece examines how athletes have become more outspoken in their criticism of police brutality and, at the same time, more directly involved in supporting social justice and anti-racism. Suddler locates this trend to the previous decade, beginning with the founding of the Black Lives Matter movement in 2012 and reaching a new peak in the last year in the wake of the police killing of George Floyd. Suddler also discusses how Black athletes – including Floyd, himself a former college basketball player – navigate the threat and reality of police violence and brutality. Read an excerpt below, along with the full piece: “George Floyd changed the world of athlete activism.”

However, one of Floyd’s most lasting legacies may well be his impact on the sports world. As a former athlete, his life story, which had a special meaning for a generation of athletes, underscored the fine line separating athletic heroes and victims of police violence. His death cemented a new generation of athletes as activists against police violence and professional sports leagues, at minimum, as performative allies. The history of athlete activism reminds us that this movement is one of radical possibility.

Crespino Quoted in ‘AJC’ Article on the Future of Stone Mountain

Dr. Joseph Crespino, Jimmy Carter Professor and Department Chair, was recently quoted in an Atlanta Journal-Constitution article about the fate of Georgia’s Stone Mountain, the three-acre carving that memorializes Jefferson Davis, Stonewall Jackson, and Robert E. Lee. The article discusses recent proposals to provide greater historical context for the memorial, whose construction was motivated by white supremacist ideologies. Read a snippet that quotes Crespino below, along with the full piece: “What ‘telling the truth’ about Stone Mountain might look like.”

“Nostalgia for a white supremacist past,” said Emory University professor Joe Crespino, “was driving the revival of the Klan at the same time it was driving the memorialization efforts of the United Daughters of the Confederacy.”

Lipstadt Discusses Anti-Semitism on ABC National Radio

Dr. Deborah E. Lipstadt, Dorot Professor of Modern Jewish History and Holocaust Studies and associated faculty in the History Department, was a recent guest on Australian Broadcasting Corporation Radio National program. Lipstadt discusses anti-Semitism and the far right in the interview with host Phillip Adams. Read a brief summary of the interview below and listen to the full segment here.

The January insurrection in Washington, aimed at the heart of American democracy, was not only a demonstration of right wing anger and power. Prominent Jewish historian, Deborah Lipstadt, argues that antisemitism is the foundation stone of ‘white power’ and the ‘white nationalist agenda’, that allows them to then take part in attacking, deriding and demeaning people of colour.

Emory News Center Highlights Work of Graduate Fellows Lemos and Strakhova

The Emory News Center recently published a profile of two 2020-’21 graduate fellows from the History Department. Sponsored by the Emory Libraries and Laney Graduate School, graduate fellowships provide graduate students with immersive and meaningful experiences in the following areas: digital humanities, instruction and engagement, research and engagement, data services and the Rose Library. Xanda Lemos, a doctoral candidate in Latin American History, was the fellow in digital humanities at the Emory Center for Digital Scholarship. Anastasiia Strakhova, a doctoral candidate in Modern European History, was the Anne and Bill Newton Graduate Fellow at the Rose Library. Read more about the work that they and the other three fellows contributed across campus over the last year here: “Graduate fellows provide thesis, data and publishing support for students and staff.”

Alumni Update: Ellen G. Rafshoon (’01 PhD)

The History Department recently received an alumni update from Dr. Ellen G. Rafshoon, a 2001 graduate of the doctoral program. This year Dr. Rafshoon was promoted to Professor at Georgia Gwinnett College. In addition, she won the school’s outstanding faculty for student engagement award, a recognition that includes the honor of leading the student processional at GGC’s graduation ceremony. Rafshoon’s most recent publication is “Pave it Blue: Georgia Women and Politics in the Trump Era,” in Stacie Taranto and Leandra Zarnow, Suffrage at 100: Women in American Politics Since 1920 (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2020). The essay is based on interviews that she conducted with neophyte activists and candidates who contributed to the Blue Wave in Georgia.

Michael Camp (PhD, ’17) Publishes Chapter in ‘Energy in the Americas: Critical Reflections on Energy and History’

Dr. Michael Camp, a 2017 graduate of the doctoral program, has written a chapter in a forthcoming volume Energy in the Americas: Critical Reflections on Energy and History (University of Calgary Press). Camp’s chapter is titled “Tellico Dam, Dickey Dam, and Endangered Species Law in the United States during the 1970s.” The volume grew out of an energy history conference convened in Calgary in October 2014. The University of Pittsburg Press published Camp’s first book and a related project, Unnatural Resources: Energy and Environmental Politics in Appalachia after the 1973 Oil Embargo, in 2019. Dr. Joseph Crespino, Jimmy Carter Professor of History and Department Chair, served as Camp’s advisor.

Guardado Wins Scobie Award from Conference on Latin American History

The Conference on Latin American History recently awarded graduate student Alejandro Guardado with a James R. Scobie Award. Guardado’s project is titled, “Voices, Testimonies, and Interpretations of Mexico’s Dirty War: Indigenous and Peasant Perspectives.” The Scobie award offers up to $1,500 for an exploratory research trip abroad to determine the feasibility of a Ph.D. dissertation topic dealing with some facet of Latin American history. Guardado is advised by Drs. Yanna Yannakakis and Javier Villa-Flores. Read more about the project and planned fieldwork in the summary he provided below.

My current research focuses on the period of Mexico’s Dirty War (1964-1982) and the years that followed to highlight how peasant and Indigenous communities in the states of Oaxaca and Chiapas connected their histories of struggle with transnational phenomena including liberation theology and human rights movements. This June, I will train in oral history methods and theory at the University of Texas, Austin. As the summer advances, I will conduct interviews with Catholic activists, Indigenous intellectuals, NGO staff workers, and archivists from Chiapas and Oaxaca to examine how they interpreted state violence, social movements, ethnic identities, and internationalism. I use oral history and memory studies methods to attempt to understand how Indigenous and peasant peoples give meaning to the history they have experienced.