Strocchia’s ‘Forgotten Healers’ Wins the Rossiter Prize from the History of Science Society

Dr. Sharon T. Strocchia’s book Forgotten Healers: Women and the Pursuit of Health in Late Renaissance Italy (Harvard UP, 2020) has been awarded the Margaret W. Rossiter History of Women in Science Prize from the History of Science Society. The prize is given annually in recognition of an outstanding book on the history of women in science. Forgotten Healers was also awarded the Marraro Prize by the Society for Italian Historical Studies and the Phyllis Goodhart Gordan Book Prize from the Renaissance Society of America. Strocchia is Department Chair and Professor of History. Read more about the Rossiter Prize and browse the list of past winners here.

Price Cited in ‘The Atlantic’ Article on COVID in Rural America

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 in The Atlantic. Titled “Rural America’s False Sense of Security,” the article focuses on the perception and reality of the COVID-19 pandemic in rural parts of the U.S. Read an excerpt from the piece below along with the full article.

People who live in rural areas are also more likely to be Republican, and as COVID-19 became politicized, Republicans grew less likely to get vaccinated voluntarily or to endorse masking and other restrictions. Rural areas and red states issued fewer restrictions, such as mask mandates, throughout the pandemic, so it makes sense that they’d have fewer restrictions now. “This is a very long-standing difference in our country of what sort of pandemic measures we had,” says Polly Price, a law and global-health professor at Emory University. “You had different pandemic experiences depending on where you live.”

Scully Quoted in ABC’s Digital Essay on Sara Baartman

Dr. Pamela Scully, Vice Provost of Undergraduate Affairs, Professor in WGSS and African Studies, and Affiliated Faculty in the History Department, was recently quoted in a digital essay published by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. The piece, “The fight for Sarah Baartman,” discusses the life, death, and legacy of Sara Baartman. Scully and Dr. Clifton Crais, Professor of History, co-authored a biography of Baartman in 2009, titled Sara Baartman and the Hottentot Venus: A Ghost Story and a Biography (Princeton UP). Read the essay here: “The fight for Sarah Baartman.”

Drs. Chira and Armstrong-Partida Publish Articles in September Issue of ‘AHR’

Two faculty members in the Emory Department of History have published articles in the September issue of the American Historical Review. Dr. Adriana Chira, Assistant Professor, published “Freedom with Local Bonds: Custom and Manumission in the Age of Emancipation.” Dr. Michelle Armstrong-Partida, Associate Professor, reflects on collaborative research with her co-author Dr. Susan McDonough in a piece titled, “Finding Amica in the Archives: Navigating a Path between Strategic Collaboration and Independent Research.”

History Department Announces 2021-’22 Graduate Award Winners

Congratulations to the graduate students who won 2021-’22 awards in the History Department. These awards were formally announced at the fall Department of History party on Friday, October 29. See the names of the winners and details below.

The Ross H. and May B. McLean Prize, awarded annually to the first-year student/s in history who achieved the most distinguished record for the previous year.

The Francis S. Benjamin Prize, awarded for the best paper written by a graduate student during their first two years in the Emory History PhD program.

The Blair Rogers Major and James Russell Major Dissertation Award, given annually to the most promising student writing a dissertation in the history of Europe and of European expansion (including the British Isles), from classical antiquity to the present. 

*As one-time special exception, due to COVID-19 and the inability to award it in 2020-21, two awards were granted in 2021-22.

Dr. Navyug Gill (PhD, ’14) Publishes Article in ‘Past & Present’

PhD alum Dr. Navyug Gill has published an article in the journal Past & Present. Gill completed his dissertation, “Labours of Division: Peasant Castes and the Politics of Agrarian Hierarchy in Colonial Panjab,” in 2014 under the advisement of Arts & Sciences Distinguished Professor Gyanendra Pandey. Gill is now Assistant Professor in the Department of History at William Paterson University. Read the abstract of the Past & Present article below along with the full piece here: “Accumulation by Attachment: Colonial Benevolence and the Rule of Capital in Nineteenth-Century Panjab.”

A persistent theme in the emergence of capitalism is the displacement of peasants from the countryside into industrializing cities, with regions not undergoing such a transition usually deemed semi-feudal, proto-capitalist or pre-modern. Instead of separations, however, Panjab was the site of an altogether different dynamic of accumulation based on forging a series of novel attachments. This article begins by tracing the East India Company’s conquest in 1849, and the development of an ostensibly benevolent land revenue settlement based on surveying, measuring and calculating agrarian potential. Next, it examines how this process generated a set of natural and human contingencies so that certain castes were fixed to parcels of land, and expected to pay increasing rates while cultivating global commodities and conducting exchanges in cash. To make sense of this difference, it then contrasts the archive of settlement work with Karl Marx’s narrative of primitive accumulation, to explicate the conditions and limitations of its universality. Together this demonstrates how caste-based peasant agriculture in Panjab was a new phenomenon implicated in a modern yet distinctive rule of capital. In a broader sense, this offers possibilities to rethink the politics of comparative analysis as well as the alterity of capitalist transitions across the colonial world.

Anderson in ‘The Guardian’: “White supremacists declare war on democracy and walk away unscathed”

Dr. Carol Anderson, Charles Howard Candler Professor and Associated Faculty in the History Department, recently published an opinion piece in The Guardian. Surveying U.S. history since the eighteenth century, Anderson highlights a pattern of white supremacists endangering U.S. democracy and yet suffering few to no consequences thereafter. Anderson links this historical pattern to the results of current cases brought against the invaders of the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021. Read an excerpt from the article below along with the full piece: “White supremacists declare war on democracy and walk away unscathed.”

“This horrific attack on American democracy should have resulted in a full-throttled response. But, once again, white supremacy is able to walk away virtually unscathed. US senators and representatives who were at the rally inciting the invaders were not expelled from Congress. Similarly, in shades of the post- civil war Confederacy, several politicians who attended the incendiary event at the Ellipse were recently re-elected to office. And those who stormed the Capitol are getting charged with misdemeanors, being allowed to go on vacations out of the country, and, despite the attempt to stage a coup and overturn the results of a presidential election, getting feather-light sentences.”

Dr. Aditya Pratap Deo (PhD, ’13) Publishes ‘Kings, Spirits and Memory in Central India’

Congratulations to Dr. Aditya Pratap Deo on the publication of his book Kings, Spirits and Memory in Central India: Enchanting the State (Routledge, 2022). Deo, who teaches History at St. Stephen’s College in Delhi, completed his dissertation in 2013 under the advisement of Arts & Sciences Distinguished Professor Gyanendra Pandey. Read Routledge’s summary of Kings, Spirits and Memory below.

Part anthropological history and part memoir, this book is a unique study of the polity of the colonial-princely state of Kanker in central India. The author, a scion of the erstwhile ruling family of Kanker, delves into the oral accounts given in the ancestral deity practices of the mixed tribe-caste communities of the region to highlight popular narratives of its historical polity. As he struggles with his own dilemmas as ethnographer-king, what comes into view is a polity where the princely state is drawn out amidst a terrain of gods and spirits as much as that of law courts and magistrates, and political power is divided, contested and shared between the raja/state and the people. This study constitutes not only an intervention in the larger debate on the relationship between state formations and tribal peoples, but also on the very nature of history as a knowledge practice, especially the understandings of power, authority and sovereignty in it.

“Combining intensive ethnography, complementary archival work and crucial theoretical questions engaging social scientists worldwide, the author charts an unusual explanatory path that can allow us to obtain a meaningful understanding of societies/peoples that have historically been marginalized and seen as different. This book will be of interest to students and researchers of history, anthropology, politics, religion, tribal society and Modern South Asia.

Lipstadt Serves as Expert Witness in Civil Trial Against Organizers of Charlottesville Rally

Dr. Deborah E. Lipstadt, Dorot Professor of Modern Jewish History and Holocaust Studies and Associated Faculty in the History Department, is serving as an expert witness in a civil lawsuit against the organizers of the 2017 Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia. Counterprotesters charge that the rally organizers promoted violence against them based on racial and religious hatred. That violence led to the death of one counterprotester, Heather Heyer, who was killed when white supremacist James Alex Fields Jr. drove his car into a crowd of counterprotesters. In her expert testimony (published here), Lipstadt concludes that “the ideology, symbols, and rhetoric that were on display at the Unite the Right rally fit comfortably within a long tradition of antisemitism and share in the tradition that led to the violent murder of millions of Jews in the Holocaust.” Read more about the case in The New York Times article: “For Holocaust Scholar, Another Confrontation With Neo-Nazi Hate.”

Patterson Appointed Distinguished Visiting Humanities Professor at Agnes Scott College

Dr. Cynthia Burchell Patterson, Professor of History and Ancient Mediterranean Studies, has been appointed the Dabney Adams Hart Distinguished Visiting Humanities Professor at Agnes Scott College for Spring 2022. The Dabney Adams Hart Distinguished Visiting Humanities Professorship was established in 2003 by Madeline and Howell E. Adams, Jr. in honor of his sister, Dabney Hart ’48. This fund welcomes visiting scholars to campus in a variety of topics and disciplines.