Dr. Julia Lopez Fuentes, a 2020 graduate of the History doctoral program and upper school teacher at the National Cathedral School, was recently awarded the 2023 European Studies First Article Prize in the Social Sciences by the Council for European Studies at Columbia University. The article, “’A Forgetting for Everyone, by Everyone’? Spain’s Memory Laws and the Rise of the European Community of Memory, 1977–2007,” was published in The Journal of Modern History in 2022. Drs. Walter L. Adamson and Astrid M. Eckert advised Fuentes’s doctoral work, including a 2015 graduate paper in which she first conducted the research and analysis that would culminate in the 2022 article. Read the abstract of this impressive scholarly contribution below. Congratulations, Dr. Fuentes!
“Historians and other scholars of memory have worked extensively on European memory politics, especially around transnational issues such as the Holocaust, as well as on Spanish memory politics, most recently in light of the exhumation of former dictator Francisco Franco. Yet there has been little scholarship to date on how nationally specific incidents, such as the Spanish Civil War and Franco regime, fit into wider trans-European narratives. This article reveals the entanglements between these local and supranational developments by examining the evolution of Spain’s memory laws and discourse, from the 1977 Amnesty Law that followed the end of the Franco regime to the 2007 Law of Historical Memory, in relation to contemporaneous European memorialization patterns. It argues that the shift from a discourse of forgetting in the Amnesty Law to one of commemoration in the Law of Historical Memory is a response to the rise of a European culture of memorialization rather than reflecting an evolution in Spain’s memory regime. By analyzing the development, text, and application of these laws, along with the political and cultural debates surrounding them in Spain and throughout Europe, this article reveals how the 2007 Spanish Law of Historical Memory, despite appearing to espouse European discourses of memorialization and amends-making, perpetuates a system of disremembering that predates most contemporary European memory politics. Ultimately, the article argues that the Law of Historical Memory suppresses the voices of victims of the Franco regime in order to bolster a narrative of Spanish national unity and European belonging.”
Dr. Claudia Kreklau (PhD, ’18), Associate Lecturer at the University of St Andrews, recently received an honorable mention for an article from the Central European History Society. Krelau’s article “The Gender Anxiety of Otto von Bismarck, 1866–1898,” published in the journal German History in 2022, was named an honorable mention for the Annelise Thimme Article Prize. That prize recognizes the best article in the field of Central European History published by a North American scholar. Kreklau completed her dissertation, “‘Eat as the King Eats’: Making the Middle Class through Food, Foodways, and Food Discourses in Nineteenth-Century Germany,” under the advisement of Dr. Brian Vick.
Congratulations to Dr. Mariana P. Candido, Winship Distinguished Professor of History, 2023-2026, and Professor of History, on receiving one of the most significant book prizes in African studies. The African Studies Association (ASA) awarded Candido’s most recent monograph, Wealth, Land, and Property in Angola: A History of Dispossession, Slavery, and Inequality(Cambridge UP), with the ASA Best Book Prize for 2022. The prize is given “to the author of the most important scholarly work in African studies published in English during the preceding year.” Cátia Antunes (Leiden University) writes that “Candido’s approach, insights and poignant arguments will ignite profuse discussions and challenge common views regarding Africa and Africans. Candido is a unique historian and perhaps the most accomplished Africanist of the 21st century.” Earlier in 2023, Candido was one of 26 scholars based in the U.S. to receive the prestigious Berlin Prize, which supports a research fellowship at the American Academy in Berlin. Read more about Wealth, Property, and Land in Angola below and browse past winners of the ASA Book Prize.
Exploring the multifaceted history of dispossession, consumption, and inequality in West Central Africa, Mariana P. Candido presents a bold revisionist history of Angola from the sixteenth century until the Berlin Conference of 1884–5. Synthesising disparate strands of scholarship, including the histories of slavery, land tenure, and gender in West Central Africa, Candido makes a significant contribution to ongoing historical debates. She demonstrates how ideas about dominion and land rights eventually came to inform the appropriation and enslavement of free people and their labour. By centring the experiences of West Central Africans, and especially African women, this book challenges dominant historical narratives, and shows that securing property was a gendered process. Drawing attention to how archives obscure African forms of knowledge and normalize conquest, Candido interrogates simplistic interpretations of ownership and pushes for the decolonization of African history.
“Candido is a unique historian and perhaps the most accomplished Africanist of the 21st century.”
History department staff Becky Herring and Allison Rollins were recently honored at the Emory University Service Awards Luncheon. This year Herring, who is Senior Academic Department Administrator, marks 30 years of service at Emory. Rollins, the History Department’s Senior Accountant, completes 25 years in 2023. Herring and Rollins are among approximately 175 staff members throughout Emory celebrating reaching 25, 30, 35, 40 or 45 years of service this year. Congratulations, Becky and Allison, and thank you for your exceptional service to our department!
Kheyal Roy-Meighoo, a 2023 Emory College graduate who completed double majors in History and Film and Media, received a Fulbright Open Study/Research fellowship to pursue a master’s degree in animation at the Arts University Bournemouth. Roy-Meighoo works at the intersection of social justice and film, and, as her Fulbright profile notes, “she has made it her mission to think critically about diversity through art, discover new forms of storytelling through animation, and uncover histories that have not yet been told.” For her master’s thesis, Roy-Meighoo plans to produce a stop motion animated film about identity, loss, and resilience in the Asian diaspora through the narrative arc of a young girl watching her grandmother cook. Roy-Meighoo was also the recipient of the 2022 Loren & Gail Starr Award in Experiential Learning for a short animated film, titled “Backwards,” about the historical connections between the Covid-19 pandemic and Asian exclusion laws. Roy-Meighoo is Emory’s first recipient of the Open Study/Research Fulbright fellowship to the UK.
The American Society for Legal History has awarded Adriana Chira’s Patchwork Freedoms: Law, Slavery, and Race beyond Cuba’s Plantations (Cambridge UP, 2022) with the Peter Gonville Stein Book Award, awarded annually for the best book in non-US legal history written in English. The prize committee praised how Chira “integrates legal and social history by seamlessly weaving together legal and nonlegal sources to tell a story that is complex, nuanced, and locally grounded.” Patchwork Freedoms was released as part of Cambridge’s Afro-Latin America series. Patchwork Freedoms has already won three other awards: Honorable Mention, Best Book, Nineteenth Century Section, from the Latin American Studies Association; the 2023 Elsa Goveia Prize from the Association of Caribbean Historians; and the American Historical Association’s Rawley Prize. Read the full prize citation from the ASLH below.
Adriana Chira’s Patchwork Freedoms is a compelling account of the ways in which the free and semi-free black residents of eastern Cuba used law and custom to eke out their freedom over the course of the nineteenth century. Chira demonstrates how “day in and day out, enslaved people chipped away at enslavers’ authority locally, by negotiating the terms of their manumission and land access. They pulled one another out of plantation slavery gradually, yet consistently.” The committee was especially impressed by how Patchwork Freedoms integrates legal and social history by seamlessly weaving together legal and nonlegal sources to tell a story that is complex, nuanced, and locally grounded.
Dr. Alexander M. Cors, a 2022 alumnus of the history doctoral program and currently Digital Scholarship Specialist at Emory’s Center for Digital Scholarship, recently won the 2022 William Nelson Cromwell Prize from the American Society for Legal History. Cors’ dissertation, “Newcomers and New Borders: Migration, Settlement, and Conflict over Land along the Mississippi River, 1750-1820,” was advised by Drs. Yanna Yannakakis, Jeffrey Lesser, Adriana Chira, Malinda Maynor Lowery, and Paul Conrad (UT Arlington). The annually-awarded Cromwell prize recognizes the best dissertation in American legal history completed in the past year. View one of the maps that Cors produced for the project, described by the prize committee as “things of beauty,” along with the committee’s full citation below.
This dissertation represents a sparkling contribution to what Cors terms “the legal geography of settler colonialism in the Mississippi River Valley” during a pivotal time of contact between Indigenous peoples, Europeans, and Africans. Utilizing sources in three languages from Spain, France, and four states, Cors seamlessly weaves together narratives of bottom-up experiences of individuals making claims to land under Spanish law with the expansion of state power and control over the Mississippi River territory prior to and after the Louisiana Purchase. Instead of focusing on one or two large tribal nations, Cors takes the land as his analytical frame, beautifully telling the story of how parts of four tribes moved to lands west of the river and then used Spanish land grants to protect their claims against those later made by European-Americans. The tribal claimants were surprisingly adept at achieving their goals, at least for a time, helped by Spanish legal regimes that were much friendlier to first-comers than Anglo-American law later proved to be. By focusing on the river as geography and ecosystem, Cors is able to reveal dimensions of the slave economy that relied on the mobility the river enabled. Instead of cordoning off Louisiana as a civil law territory that had little influence on surrounding states and national legal development, Cors makes Louisiana’s physical position at the mouth of the river central to the movement and migration that undergirded the expansion of slavery in the South. Settlement patterns conferred social structure, he notes, and they also conveyed legal knowledge that proved essential to maintaining property ownership during periods of transition in governance. Indeed, Cors reveals that many non-European settlers along the river resisted the imposition of colonial state power and non-native legal systems, persuading the committee of his broader argument that local land claims drove territorial law and legal practice more than treaty negotiations and national sovereignties. What makes this new history possible are the Spanish-language sources that Cors deftly mines, both for the revealing family narratives he pieces together and for new cartographic data. Cors’s maps are things of beauty, wholly original to this project, that show how indigenous communities spread along the river for decades prior to the Louisiana Purchase. The committee marveled at the way Cors advanced a deeply complex argument with beautifully crafted prose. This novel and original thesis was a joy to read and will, the committee believes, make an important and influential book.
Four Emory College undergraduates were recently recognized for outstanding historical research through the History Department’s Clio Prizes, awarded annually to the best research paper in a junior/senior History Colloquium and to the best paper in a Freshman History Seminar. This year’s recipients are:
For the best paper written in a freshman seminar
Ethan Hill, “Are Video Games Causing Violence?” (Nominated by Prof. Judith Miller)
Thora Jordt, “Zapata’s Ghost: The Reinterpretation of Revolutionary Agrarian Values and Symbolism in the Zapatista Movement” (Nominated by Prof. Yanna Yannakakis)
For the best research paper written in a junior/senior colloquium
Tori Jordan, “Reproducing Slavery” (Nominated by Prof. Yami Rodgriguez)
Yingyi Tan, “Meat and Modernity” (Nominated by Prof. Laura Nenzi)
Congratulations to the 2022-23 winners! Find the archive of all past winners here.
Congratulations to Dr. Adriana Chira, Associate Professor of History, whose book Patchwork Freedoms: Law, Slavery, and Race Beyond Cuba’s Plantations(Cambridge UP, 2022) has won the American Historical Association’s Rawley Prize. Named for James A. Rawley, the Carl Adolph Happold Professor of History Emeritus at the University of Nebraska at Lincoln, this prize recognizes outstanding historical writing that explores aspects of integration of Atlantic worlds before the 20th century. Published as part of Cambridge’s Afro-Latin America series, Patchwork Freedoms has already won two other awards: Honorable Mention, Best Book, Nineteenth Century Section, from the Latin American Studies Association, and the 2023 Elsa Goveia Prize from the Association of Caribbean Historians.