Congratulations to Dr. Tonio Andrade, Professor of History, on receiving an NEH Public Scholars Fellowship. Awarded for his project “The Dutch East India Company: A Global History,” the fellowship will support the writing of a book about the factors that enabled the Dutch East India Company to become the dominant maritime power in Asia: its financing, its military strength, and its use of trade and information networks. This NEH program supports projects that lead to the “creation and publication of well-researched nonfiction books in the humanities written for the broad public.”
At the Emory College of Arts and Sciences Staff Service Awards ceremony on Aug. 17, 2023, Becky Herring, Sr. Academic Department Administrator, and Allison Rollins, Sr. Accountant, were honored as milestone achievers for their length of service: 25 years for Allison and 30 years for Becky. The ceremony was hosted by new ECAS Dean Barbara Krauthamer. Congratulations and thank you to our exceptional department staff!
Dr. Michelle Armstrong-Partida, Associate Professor, was recently recognized for an article the she published in Past & Present with her co-author, Dr. Susan McDonough, Associate Professor of History at the University of Maryland Baltimore County. Titled “Singlewomen in the Late Medieval Mediterranean,” their piece won the article of the month prize from the Mediterranean Seminar. The article challenges prevailing ideas about the supposed distinct marital patterns among mediaeval women in Northern and Southern Europe, offering a persuasive, archivally-rich reinterpretation that the prize evaluator described as “rigorous and thought-provoking” as well as “theoretically sophisticated.” Read the abstract from the article below, along with the full comments from the award evaluation.
This article challenges a long-entrenched model of two discrete marital regimes in northern and southern Europe. Demographer John Hajnal argued in 1965 that a distinctive north-western European Marriage Pattern emerged post-1700 when a large population of unmarried men and women married in their early to late twenties and formed their own household rather than join a multi-generational household. The corollary to this argument is that women in southern Europe married young and universally, and thus rarely entered into domestic service. Medievalists have embraced and repeated this paradigm, shaping assumptions about the Mediterranean as less developed or ‘less European’ than the north and ignoring the experience of women enslaved throughout the region.
Notaries and judicial officials in medieval Barcelona, Valencia, Mallorca, Marseille, Palermo, Venice, Famagusta and Crete recognized singlewomen owning property, buying, selling and manumitting enslaved people, appointing procurators, committing crimes and making wills. We reintegrate the experiences of singlewomen, both enslaved and free, into the daily life of the medieval Mediterranean. Understanding how these women made community, survived economically and participated in the legal and notarial cultures of their cities reframes our understanding of women’s options outside marriage in the medieval past.
Dr. Carol Anderson, Charles Howard Candler Professor and chair of the Department of African American Studies, has been elected to the American Philosophical Society. The oldest learned society in the United States, the APS is composed of top scholars from a wide variety of academic disciplines. Read more about this year’s cohort: “The American Philosophical Society Welcomes New Members for 2023.”
The Association for Caribbean Historians has awarded Dr. Adriana Chira’s book Patchwork Freedoms: Law, Slavery, and Race beyond Cuba’s Plantations (Cambridge UP, 2022) with its Elsa Goveia Book Prize. Named for renowned Caribbean historian Elsa Goveia (1925-80), the biennial prize recognizes scholarly excellence in the field of Caribbean history. Patchwork Freedoms was released as part of Cambridge’s Afro-Latin America series. The following citation about Patchwork Freedoms was read at the ACH annual meeting in June 2023:
In Patchwork Freedoms: Law, Slavery, and Race beyond Cuba’s Plantations (Cambridge University Press, 2022), Adriana Chira probes an extensive but little-known archive of legal documents to analyze how Afro-descendent rural cultivators negotiated liberty and landholding rights in nineteenth-century Santiago de Cuba. Her meticulous research demonstrates how protracted struggles against local legal institutions blurred the lines between enslavement and freedom. Chira argues that it was these gradual, lengthy, community-based processes, coupled with the flexibility of customary law, rather than innovations from above, that allowed these landholders to carve out spaces of greater autonomy. Patchwork Freedoms is an important counterpoint to scholarship that emphasize freedoms gained through Atlantic and circum-Caribbean mobility or formal processes of abolition and emancipation. It is essential reading for scholars of Atlantic world slavery, legal regimes, and agrarian societies.
Fourth-year doctoral candidate Anjuli Webster has been awarded a 2023 dissertation grant from the National Institute of Social Sciences. The NISS grant will support research for Webster’s dissertation, titled “Fluid Empires: Histories of Environment and Sovereignty in southern Africa, 1750-1900.” History department faculty members Clifton Crais, Mariana P. Candido, Yanna Yannakakis, and Thomas D. Rogers serve as advisors for Webster’s dissertation. The NISS typically awards no more than four grants each year, spanning the fields of Anthropology, Economics, History, Political Science, Psychology, and Sociology.
Three History Department faculty members have received grant support from the Halle Institute for Global Research for 2023. The winners and associated research categories are:
Dr. Tehila Sasson, Assistant Professor – “The Politics of Financial Exclusion in Britain, 1960s-2000s,” (Global Perspectives on Race+, Ethnicity+, and Nation+)
Dr. Mariana P. Candido, Associate Professor – “Africans in Colonial Courts: Agency, Gender, and the Rule of Law in Angola and Cape Verde, 1800-1950s” (Halle Foundation Collaborative Research Grantees)
Dr. Brian Vick, Professor – “The Internationalization of Science and Politics in the Nineteenth Century” (URC International Research Grants)
Congratulations to the grantees!
Dr. Adriana Chira, Assistant Professor of History, published Patchwork Freedoms: Law, Slavery, and Race beyond Cuba’s Plantations with Cambridge University Press in 2022. The Nineteenth Century Section of the Latin American Studies Association recently recognized Chira`s work with an honorable mention in the category of Premio Mejor Libro (Best Book Prize). Dr. Bianca Premo, Professor of History at Florida International University, described Chira`s work as a “powerful history of claims-making and political identity formation among enslaved and free people of African descent in a key region of the Atlantic world…Chira deftly upturns superficial narratives about the emancipatory nature of liberalism in the nineteenth century.” Chira is among three current or former Emory History Department members recognized by prizes in the 2023 LASA awards cycle.
Congratulations to third-year graduate students Ursula Rall and Ayssa Yamaguti Norek on winning the 2023 Albert J. Beveridge Grant from the American Historical Association. Rall and Norek were among just eleven researchers nationwide to receive the grant, which supports research in the Western hemisphere (the United States, Canada, and Latin America). Emory was the only institution to have two awardees. Rall’s dissertation, advised by Drs. Yanna Yannakakis and Javier Villa-Flores, examines the spatial mobility of Black women within and between Mexico City, Puebla, and Veracruz from roughly 1580 until 1740. Norek’s dissertation, “The incarceration of female political prisoners in Brazil’s Military Dictatorship (1964-1985),” is advised by Drs. Jeffrey Lesser and Thomas D. Rogers.
Dr. Andrew G. Britt, a 2018 alum of the graduate program, has won the Antonio Candido Prize for Best Article in the Humanities from the Brazil Section of the Latin American Studies Association. Titled “Spatial Projects of Forgetting: Razing the Remedies Church and Museum to the Enslaved in São Paulo’s ‘Black Zone’, 1930s–1940s,” Britt’s article appeared in the November 2022 issue of the Journal of Latin American Studies. The piece investigates how anti-Black racism influenced the demolition of São Paulo’s former Church of the Remedies, the headquarters of Brazil’s Underground Railroad in the 1880s and, following formal abolition in 1888, a museum dedicated to the enslaved. The article forms part of Britt’s book manuscript, titled The Paradoxes of Ethnoracial Space in São Paulo, 1930s-1980s. Britt completed his graduate work under the advisement of Drs. Jeffrey Lesser and Thomas D. Rogers. He is currently Assistant Professor of History and Digital Humanities at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts. Britt is among three former or current Emory History Department members recognized by prizes in the 2023 LASA awards cycle. Read the abstract of the article below.
In the shadows of a Shinto torii (gateway) in São Paulo’s ‘Japanese’ neighbourhood rests the city’s first burial ground for enslaved Africans. Recently unearthed, the gravesite is one of the few visible remains of the Liberdade neighbourhood’s significance in São Paulo’s ‘Black zone’. This article excavates the history of the nearby Remedies church, the headquarters of Brazil’s Underground Railroad and a long-time museum to the enslaved. The 1942 demolition of the Remedies church, I argue, comprised part of a spatial project of forgetting centred on razing the city’s ‘Black zone’ and reproducing São Paulo as a non-Black, ethnically immigrant metropolis.