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.”
Sixth-year doctoral candidate Robert Billups, who is currently the 2023–2024 Ambrose Monell Foundation Funded National Fellow in Technology and Democracy for the Jefferson Scholars Foundation in Charlottesville, Virginia, recently authored a reflection about his research on the global dimensions of anti-semitism for Emory’s Tam Institute for Jewish Studies (TIJS). Billups recounts how a story heard in his childhood home of Meridian, Mississippi, about the attempted bombing of a local temple led him to research in Emory’s archives and, ultimately, to discern links between anti-Black racial violence and anti-semitism among right-wing extremists. Billups realized those links had global dimensions, as well, and secured financial support from the TIJS to conduct research abroad. With the counsel and support of Dr. Jeffrey Lesser, Samuel Candler Dobbs Professor of History, Billups chose to pursue his inquiry in the British Foreign Office in London, which contained mid-20th century records from officials in British consulates and embassies around the world worried about the resurgence of fascism and antisemitism. Read Billups’ full reflection here: “Graduate Student Researches Antisemitism at the British Archives.”
Congratulations to doctoral candidate Georgia Brunner on receiving honorable mention for her paper “Chaos, Possibility, and Foreclosure for Women’s Futures in Revolutionary Rwanda” in the category of Graduate Student Paper Prize from the African Studies Association. Brunner’s scholarship examines gender and colonialism in Africa, particularly late colonialism and early postcolonialism in Rwanda. Her dissertation, “Building a Nation: Gender, Labor and the Politics of Nationalism in Colonial Rwanda, 1916-1962,” is advised by Drs. Clifton Crais and Mariana P. Candido.
In the summer of 2023, Dr. Ellie R. Schainker, Arthur Blank Family Foundation Associate Professor of Modern European Jewish History, led an inaugural study abroad trip to Poland. Schainker taught the course “Jews of Poland: History and Memory” in collaboration with doctoral student Olivia Cocking to sixteen Emory undergraduates. The ten-day, one-credit program was supported by the Tam Institute for Jewish Studies, which provided significant subsidies for undergraduate participants through the Berger Family Fund. One of the undergraduate participants, Emory College 2023 graduate Sasha Rivers, reflected on the experience for the TIJS. Read her post here: “Journey to Poland: A Student’s Perspective.”
“Understanding the afterlives of empire is a central concern of my work as a historian. Histories of imperialism and colonialism have not only shaped our present climate crisis, but they have also undermined indigenous modes of responding to and managing ecological emergency across the world.”
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.
Fourth-year doctoral candidate Olivia Cocking has received a prestigious Chateaubriand Fellowship in Humanities and Social Sciences (HSS), a grant administered by the Cultural Services of the Embassy of France in the United States. The fellowship will support research in France for Cocking’s dissertation, which examines how migrants from the French empire navigated municipal courts and social welfare programs in the metropole between 1919 and the 1960s. Cocking’s dissertation is advised by Drs. Judith A. Miller and Tehila Sasson.
At the May 2023 Emory Commencement nine PhD candidates from the History Department were recognized for completing their degrees. Some of the students received their diplomas in the summer or fall of 2022 but were not honored until the 2023 ceremony. The students represent more than seven areas of research specialization and are pursuing an array of professional positions inside and outside the academy. In the table below, find the names, advisors, and dissertations of these recently-minted PhDs.
The first-year cohort of doctoral students recently presented their research at the History Department’s annual Hi-Five gathering. Adapted from the University of Queensland’s Three Minute Thesis model, the Hi-Five charges students to put forth a sound, compelling, and accessible distillation of their research. Five first-year History Department students presented their work:
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.