Alumni Update: Kelly Damon Caiazzo (MA/BA, ’05)

The History Department was delighted to receive an update from Kelly Damon Caiazzo, a 2005 graduate. Read Kelly’s update below:

“When I graduated from Emory’s History program, I had a great appreciation for history but hadn’t taken much part in it myself. Almost 2 decades later, I find that my background in history has helped me look for meaningful ways to contribute as I live through it. During the PPE shortage in the early phases of Covid-19,  my community mobilized to sew cloth PPE for essential workers, then family and friends. I have never felt as close to the women who inspired Rosie the Riveter as I did bent over my sewing machine late at night wondering if my work could save a life. Cars pulled in and out of my driveway as people picked up sewing kits I created, or dropped off fabric donations.

Masks that Kelley sewed during the COVID-19 pandemic.

We were part of history, contributing what we could as we worried about the world. Our background in history provides us with context for how things have been achieved in the past. It can empower us with ideas for how to spark change and remind us that that the small actions of many individuals create movements that are necessary for progress. In the time since I’ve graduated, I’ve knocked on doors and written letters to encourage voter turnout, called senators, volunteered for a rape crisis hotline, and created a dinner and documentary series to promote environmental activism in my town. I’ve led efforts that brought speakers on anti-racism and LGBTQUIA+ inclusion to my children’s school and served on the board of several non-profits. I do this in part because I learned from my professors at Emory how important we all are. We are all part of history. We are bystanders, witnesses, activists, writers and teachers. From Bowden Hall out into the world, we can use what we’ve learned to make progress.”

Are you an Emory History alumnus? Please send us updates on your life and work!

Price Offers the Long View of Pandemics in the U.S. on MSNBC

Price’s Plagues in the Nation

Dr. Polly J. Price, Asa Griggs Candler Professor of Law, Professor of Global Health, and Associated Faculty in the History Department, recently appeared on MSNBC’s The Mehdi Hasan Show to discuss the COVID-19 pandemic in historical context. Price is the author of Plagues in the Nation: How Epidemics Shaped America, just published in May of 2022 by Beacon Press. Watch the clip of Price in the embedded video below or on YouTube at “Why Wasn’t America More Prepared For Covid-19?

Polly J. Price on the Mehdi Hasan Show, July 27, 2022.

Loren & Gail Starr Award in Experiential Learning Awarded to History Major Kheyal Roy-Meighoo

The Department of History is delighted to award one of the new Loren & Gail Starr Awards in Experiential Learning to Honors student and film studies major Kheyal Roy-Meighoo for the Summer of 2022. She will create short animated film, “Backwards,” about the historical connections between the Covid-19 pandemic and Asian exclusion laws.

Kheyal’s work in stop motion films has been winning praise. Last December, she received the Women in Film and Television Atlanta 2021 Scholarship. Recent projects include “The Great Escape” & “My Bunny’s Story.” Check out her YouTube channel:

She writes that “All of the History faculty I have taken classes from have been fantastic!” and praises the department for being so supportive. “It has always encouraged me to draw on my love of film in my historical studies,” she explains. She expressed special thanks to her advisor, Prof. Chris Suh, who has encouraged Kheyal to make films since her first year at Emory. Kheyal notes that “Not only has he taught me so much about Asian American history, but he has taught me how Asian American filmmakers have tacked historical (and current) social and political issues.”

Established in 2022 through a generous donation, the Loren & Gail Starr Award provides summer funding for experiential learning projects proposed by History majors, joint majors, or minors​. The Starr Award is intended to support students who wish to use the knowledge and skills they have acquired in history courses to create or participate in projects in settings outside of the classroom. Bold, creative, and off-the-beaten path proposals are encouraged. The only rule is that engagement with the past be central to the experience undertaken by the student. We will offer a second round of these awards in the fall. 

We look forward to seeing “Backwards” at the end of the summer! This fall, all of the winners of our summer funding awards will make presentations on their projects and their research experiences to the History Department. 

Major Bryn Walker (20Ox and 22C) Featured Among Emory’s ‘Best and Brightest’

Emory Magazine recently featured undergraduate senior history major Bryn Walker in a profile of 16 flourishing students across all schools and levels at the university. The feature highlights Walker’s numerous academic accolades – including the John and Ouida Temple Scholarship, Oxford College American History Award, the Woodruff Dean’s Achievement Scholarship, and a prestigious Library of Congress internship – along with her active support for fellow members of the Emory community throughout the coronavirus pandemic. Read more about Walker and 15 other thriving Emory students: “With a Flourish.”

Doctoral Candidate Anastasiia Strakhova Creates Workshops Amidst Pandemic

Emory’s Tam Institute for Jewish Studies recently published a feature of the pandemic-era work of History doctoral candidate Anastasiia Strakhova, who was the Anne and Bill Newton Graduate Fellow at the Rose Library for 2020-21. After COVID-19 thoroughly derailed her original plans for the fellowship year, Strakhova responded by organizing two virtual workshops on grant writing and the process of conducting research during the pandemic, respectively. Strakhova won a highly competitive Summer Dissertation Writing Grant from the Association for Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies (ASEEES), which is currently supporting her work completing the dissertation, titled “Selective Emigration: Border Control and the Jewish Escape in Late Imperial Russia, 1881-1914.” Drs. Eric Goldstein and Ellie R. Schainker are advisors to Strakhova. Read the full article from the Tam Institute here: “Doctoral Candidate Creates Workshops Amidst Pandemic.”

‘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.”

Lisa Greenwald (PhD ’96) Featured on Fox News NY and NBC News NY

Fox and NBC news outlets in New York City recently featured the community building work of Dr. Lisa Greenwald, a 1996 graduate of the Emory History PhD program. Greenwald has been a driving force behind the reanimation of her block association in New York City’s Upper West Side, which has organized multiple charitable projects relating to COVID-19. Greenwald herself was named “New Yorker of the Week” earlier this year in recognition of her cooking dinner every Wednesday night for women and children at a local shelter. Greenwald teaches at Stuyvesant High School and published Daughters of 1968: Redefining French Feminism and the Women’s Liberation Movement with the University of Nebraska Press in 2019. Watch the news stories featuring Greenwald and the block association’s work: “Pandemic Brings NYC Neighborhood Closer Together” and “West 111th Street Block Association.”

Lisa Greenwald (PhD, ’96) Featured as ‘New Yorker of the Week’

PhD alumna Lisa Greenwald was recently featured as the “New Yorker of the Week” by Spectrum News’ NY1 outlet. The story focuses on how Greenwald has cooked dinner each Wednesday night throughout the pandemic for 30 women and children at a shelter across from her Morningside Heights home. Greenwald, who graduated from the Emory PhD program in 1996 and teaches at Stuyvesant High School, published Daughters of 1968: Redefining French Feminism and the Women’s Liberation Movement with the University of Nebraska Press in 2019. Read the feature about her service to her neighbors here: “New Yorker of the Week: Lisa Greenwald.”

Price Evaluates Biden Administration’s COVID Plan for ‘Octavian Report’

Dr. Polly J. Price, Asa Griggs Candler Professor of Law, Professor of Global Health, and Associated Faculty in the History Department, was recently a featured guest on Rostrum, the podcast of Octavian Report. Price evaluates the strengths and weaknesses of the Biden administration’s ambitious plan to address the pandemic and discusses whether she thinks the approach will prove successful. Price’s book Plagues in the Nation (forthcoming from Beacon Press), a narrative history of the United States through major outbreaks. Listen to the full conversation on Rostrum: “Will the Biden COVID Plan Work?”