Suddler Named OAH Distinguished Lecturer

Dr. Carl Suddler, Assistant Professor of History, has been named a Distinguished Lecturer by the Organization of American Historians. The OAH’s Distinguished Lectureship Program is a speakers bureau comprised of nearly 600 historians dedicated to sharing American history. Read the OAH’s biography of Suddler below, and find out more about the other 22 scholars selected for this year’s cohort.

Carl Suddler is an assistant professor of history at Emory University. His publications, teaching, and public scholarship have placed him among a small number of African American scholars who study the intersections of Black life, crime, and sports since the late nineteenth century. Suddler’s first book, Presumed Criminal: Black Youth and the Justice System in Postwar New York (2019) is widely used in college and graduate classrooms across the country. He joined historians of the American carceral state who have produced a burgeoning wave of literature on criminalization, law enforcement, and imprisonment in America from the eras of slavery and settler colonialism to the modern age of mass incarceration and global counterinsurgency. In addition to his monograph, Suddler has published works that have appeared in the Journal of American History, Journal of African American History, American Studies Journal, Journal of Sports History; in 2020, he edited a special issue of The American Historian magazine that historically contextualized the global protests that occurred in the wake of the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and others; and in 2021, Suddler worked with Harvard University’s Global Sports Initiative to help professional athletes become more informed on how to maximize their platforms to contribute to social justice efforts across the globe. With his recent op-eds and articles in outlets such as the Washington Post, Bleacher Report, HuffPost, and Brookings Institute, Suddler has built a name for himself outside of the academy. His expertise is in high demand from scholarly communities and media outlets such as CNN, ABC News, Al Jazeera, Black News Channel, and NPR. 

Film Produced by PhD Student Ayssa Yamagutchi Norek Takes Gold at Locarno

History Ph.D. student Ayssa Yamagutchi Norek produced, assistant directed, and wrote the lyrics to the short film “Neon Phantom,” which recently won the Pardino d’Oro SRG SSR for the Best International Short Film at the Locarno Film Festival. The festival is one of the five biggest in the world. “Neon Phantom” has been selected for other international festivals, including the Festival Internacional de Cine en Guadalajara, Mexico. Norek’s graduate work centers on modern Brazil, women’s studies, and female incarceration. Her graduate advisors are Jeffrey Lesser and Thomas D. Rogers.

Fulbright Awards Support Research by Brunner and Steinman

Two History Department students have received research awards through the Fulbright U.S. Student Program. PhD candidate Georgia Brunner will study and research gender, labor, and identity between 1918-1985 in the building of Rwanda. Undergraduate alum Jesse Steinman (21C), a history and German studies double major, was selected for the Fulbright Community-Based Combined Award in History for a project developing an interreligious educational program about Graz, Austria’s Jewish history. Read the full list of Emory students selected for Fulbright awards this season here.

Andrade Publishes ‘The Last Embassy’ with Princeton UP

Dr. Tonio Andrade, Professor of History, has published a new book with Princeton University Press titled The Last Embassy: The Dutch Mission of 1795 and the Forgotten History of Western Encounters with China (2021). Through an immersive narrative that draws on sources in Qing, Korean, Dutch, French, and Spanish, Andrade revises prevailing narratives about diplomatic and cultural relations between the West and China in the pre-modern period. One reviewer described The Last Embassy as “a superbly written, illuminating, and thought-provoking book on an important topic long overlooked by historians.” Read the full book summary below, along with an interview Andrade gave to Princeton UP in July 2021.

George Macartney’s disastrous 1793 mission to China plays a central role in the prevailing narrative of modern Sino-European relations. Summarily dismissed by the Qing court, Macartney failed in nearly all of his objectives, perhaps setting the stage for the Opium Wars of the nineteenth century and the mistrust that still marks the relationship today. But not all European encounters with China were disastrous. The Last Embassy tells the story of the Dutch mission of 1795, bringing to light a dramatic but little-known episode that transforms our understanding of the history of China and the West.

Drawing on a wealth of archival material, Tonio Andrade paints a panoramic and multifaceted portrait of an age marked by intrigues and war. China was on the brink of rebellion. In Europe, French armies were invading Holland. Enduring a harrowing voyage, the Dutch mission was to be the last European diplomatic delegation ever received in the traditional Chinese court. Andrade shows how, in contrast to the British emissaries, the Dutch were men with deep knowledge of Asia who respected regional diplomatic norms and were committed to understanding China on its own terms.

Beautifully illustrated with sketches and paintings by Chinese and European artists, The Last Embassy suggests that the Qing court, often mischaracterized as arrogant and narrow-minded, was in fact open, flexible, curious, and cosmopolitan.

Anderson Discusses the Voting Rights Act on its 56th Anniversary in ‘The Washington Post’

Dr. Carol Anderson, Charles Howard Candler Professor, Chair of African American Studies, and Associated Faculty in the History Department, was recently quoted in a story in The Washington Post. The piece examines the state of the Votings Rights Act on its 56th anniversary through interviews with activists, lawmakers, and scholars. Read an excerpt below along with the full article: “Frustration and persistence for activists on the 56th anniversary of the Voting Rights Act.”

“Carol Anderson, a professor of African American studies at Emory University and author of ‘One Person, No Vote,’ a history of voter suppression in America, said violent reactions of Southern officials to Black people protesting discriminatory voting laws shook awake a country that had been ‘lulled to sleep or seduced into believing that this was just the way it was because it was legal.’

“Although officials are not using clubs, hoses and dogs, she said Biden has abandoned Black voters to an electoral system that continues to discriminate against them.

“‘Biden is asking us to continue to be beaten for democracy. He’s continuing to ask us to be willing to stand in the 11-hour lines to vote. He’s continuing to ask us to be running around, trying to get the documents we need in order to be able to get the ID,’ Anderson said. ‘And he’s continuing to ask us to deal with the fact that 1,600 polling places have been closed since Shelby County v. Holder, the vast majority of those in minority areas.'”

Anderson’s ‘The Second’ Continues to Garner Widespread Attention

Dr. Carol Anderson‘s new book, The Second: Race and Guns in a Fatally Unequal America (Bloomsbury, 2021), continues to garner widespread attention in the press. The work analyzes the Second Amendment in the context of the citizenship rights and human rights of African Americans. We previously cataloged some of the press coverage of The Second in this story: “Anderson Publishes ‘The Second: Race and Guns in a Fatally Unequal America.’” Read more of the extensive and continuing coverage in the following:

Rucker, Anderson, and Goldmon Help to Organize ‘In the Wake of Slavery and Dispossession’ Symposium

This fall Emory University will host a symposium titled, “In the Wake of Slavery and Dispossession: Emory, Racism and the Journey Toward Restorative Justice.” Dr. Walter C. Rucker, Professor of African American Studies and History, Dr. Carol Anderson, Charles Howard Candler Professor and Associated Faculty in History, and History doctoral student Camille Goldmon have served on the symposium’s steering committee. The Emory News Center recently published a feature story on the Sept. 21-Oct. 1 event, which will be free to the public. Read an excerpt from their story quoting Dr. Rucker below along with the full article: “Fall symposium connects activism to Emory’s history of slavery and land dispossession.”

“‘The past is a part of our living present,’ says Walter Rucker, an African American studies and history professor and steering committee member. ‘Slavery, dispossession and Jim Crow created a continuum for the racial logics we live with today. To talk about slavery and how it devalued Black lives helps us address why a police officer could kneel on a man’s neck for nine minutes. The same, or similar, logics that spawned racism energize patriarchy, homophobia and transphobia as well. Every person has a role in chipping away at these constructs in order to create a more just future.'”

‘AJC’ Cites Miller in Article on COVID-19 and Fake News

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution recently quoted Dr. Judith Miller, Associate Professor of history, in an article on misinformation relating to the COVID-19 pandemic. The piece, “COVID vaccine efforts in immigrant communities include debunking rumors,” focuses on the prevalence and consequence of the spread of COVID-related fake news among immigrant communities in Atlanta and beyond. In 2019 Miller taught a first-year seminar on fake news, which was profiled by the Emory News Center in the article, “‘Fake News’ class helps students learn to research and identify false information.” Read an excerpt of the recent AJC piece below along with the full article.

“Judith Miller, a professor of history at Emory University, says getting ahead of the misinformation, or ‘pre-bunking’ information, is the key because once lies begin to spread online, it’s often too late to change the minds of those who’ve been convinced.

“‘Even if someone is clinging to fake news and has a friend or family member who is trying to persuade them that something they believe is false,’ Miller said, ‘often that just makes that boundary harder and the person who lives the fake news retreats even farther.'”

Price Analyzes Tensions Between State and Federal Govts Over Anti-Mask Decrees

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 a PolitiFact article. The piece, “Could Joe Biden challenge Florida, Texas on mask policies? Probably not,” discusses whether the federal government has the authority to combat state laws passed in some Republican-led states to prohibit mask usage in schools. Price is, most recently, the author of Plagues in the Nation: How Epidemics Shaped America (Beacon Press, forthcoming). Read an excerpt from the PolitiFact piece quoting Price below along with the full article.

“‘Traditionally, these restrictions on federal power have led states and localities to take the lead on ‘public health measures like quarantine and isolation, school closings, banning smoking in restaurants, and more,’ said Polly J. Price, a professor of law and global health at Emory University.”

Dudziak Compares Afghanistan and Vietnam in ‘The New York Times’

Dr. Mary L. Dudziak, Asa Griggs Candler Professor of Law and Associated Faculty in the History Department, was recently quoted in an article in The New York Times. The piece, “Afghanistan, Vietnam and the Limits of American Power,” collects analysis from historians about the parallels and differences between the U.S. wars in, and departures from, Vietnam and Afghanistan. Dudziak is the author of War Time: An Idea, Its History, Its Consequences (Oxford University Press, 2012). Her latest work, “Going to War: An American History,” is under contract with Oxford UP. Read an excerpt from The New York Times piece quoting Dudziak below, along with the full article.

“Mary L. Dudziak, a law professor at Emory University and the author of “War Time: An Idea, Its History, Its Consequences,” agreed that any attempt at reckoning would be short-lived, and that in the long term America could become even less constrained in its assertion of power.

“‘I expect that one similarity,’ she said, ‘will be a failure to grapple with the way U.S. political culture undermines a more robust politics of military restraint, and this hampers powerful political opposition within Congress, which might put a brake on the entry into and persistence of war.’

“What might have been a sustained, nuanced conversation about limiting the president’s war powers, she added, has been short-circuited by the frenzy to decide ‘who lost Afghanistan.’

“‘In our toxic political environment,’ Professor Dudziak said, ‘Republicans are likely to use this moment to undermine President Biden, and partisanship may foreclose the deeper re-examination of American war politics that is sorely needed now, and was also after the war in Vietnam.'”