Marissa L. Nichols (PhD ’23) Awarded Prestigious 2024 ACLS Fellowship


The Emory University History Department is proud to celebrate Dr. Marissa L. Nichols, a 2023 alum, on being awarded a 2024 ACLS Fellowship from the American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS). The ACLS Fellowship Program supports scholars who are poised to make original and significant contributions to knowledge in any field of the humanities or interpretive social sciences.

Nichols has been recognized as one of 60 exceptional early-career scholars selected through a multi-stage peer review from a pool of 1,100 applicants. ACLS Fellowships provide up to $60,000 to support scholars during six to 12 months of sustained research and writing. Awardees who do not hold tenure-track faculty appointments receive a supplement of $7,500 for research or other personal costs incurred during their award term.

Nichols currently holds a postdoctoral fellowship at the Center for Healthcare History and Policy in Emory’s Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing. The ACLS fellowship will support the writing of her book project, “The Backbone of Rural Health: Nursing and Indigenous Healing in Oaxaca.” Based on her dissertation, which was advised by Dr. Yanna Yannakakis, the manuscript traces how rural nurses and Indigenous communities shaped the expansion of rural healthcare in mid-twentieth-century Oaxaca, Mexico. It relies on research from archives and libraries in Mexico as well as oral histories conducted primarily as part of her dissertation research.

“The applications we received this year were nothing short of inspiring – a powerful reminder of the capacity of humanistic research to illuminate and deepen understanding of the workings of our world” said John Paul Christy, Senior Director of US Programs at ACLS. “As scholars face increasing challenges to pursuing and disseminating their research, we remain committed to advancing their vital work.”

PhD Candidate Anjuli Webster Publishes Articles in Journals of African and World History


African history graduate student Anjuli Webster has published two new articles drawing on her doctoral research. The first, a short piece titled “Water and History in Southern Africa,” was published as an Open Access “History Matters” contribution in the Journal of African History. The second article, titled “Inter-Imperial Entanglement: The British Claim to Portuguese Delagoa Bay in the Nineteenth Century,” appeared in the Journal of World History. Webster wrote the original version of this article in the graduate student seminar (HIST 584) and under the supervision of Drs. Clifton Crais and Jason Morgan Ward. Webster thanks the Research Workshop in History at Emory for support in the process of revisions and the History PhD program for funding image reproduction fees.

Webster’s dissertation, “Fluid Empires: Histories of Environment and Sovereignty in southern Africa, 1750-1900,” explores transformations in sovereignty and ecology in southern Africa during the 18th and 19th centuries. She has won many grants for her research, including from the American Society for Environmental History, Harvard Center for History and Economics, the Luso-American Development Foundation, and Emory’s “Visions of Slavery” Mellon Sawyer Seminar.

Summer 2024 Funding Opportunities for Undergraduates


Through the generous support of donors, the History Department is pleased to offer multiple funding opportunities for undergraduates in the summer of 2024 to pursue research, study, or experiential learning in the United States or abroad. Students graduating in the fall of 2024 or spring of 2025 are eligible. Applications should include a faculty letter of recommendation and be submitted electronically to Becky Herring by 4pm on March 4. Browse a summary of our funding programs below, and find more details on the Undergraduate Research section of our website.

  • The Loren & Gail Starr Award in Experiential Learning: The Undergraduate Studies Committee hopes to fund up to *5* experiential learning projects proposed by History majors or minors with junior or senior status. The awards, which can range from $500 to $3,000 each, are intended to support students who wish to use the knowledge & skills they have acquired in history courses to create or participate in projects in settings outside of the classroom. The committee seeks proposals from students that are bold, creative, & off-the-beaten path. The only rule is that engagement with the past be central to the experience undertaken by the student.
  • George P. Cuttino Scholarship for Independent Research Abroad: The Cuttino Scholarship is offered annually to rising senior history majors or joint majors in Emory College. The scholarship provides for a summer of research and travel abroad between the students’ junior and senior year. The stipend may be up to $10,000. All junior history majors and joint majors in Emory College with a cumulative G.P.A. of 3.0 or above are eligible. Early in the spring semester (normally mid-February) a notice with deadline for submission of Cuttino Scholarship applications to the Director of Undergraduate Studies is issued. The Cuttino Scholarship recipient is selected by the Department of History Undergraduate Committee.
  • George P. Cuttino Fellowship for Summer Programs Abroad: The Cuttino Fellowships for Summer Programs Abroad are offered annually to rising senior history and joint history majors in Emory College for study outside the United States in a summer study program. Priority is given to students enrolled in Emory Study Abroad programs. Several awards are given each year and can be as much as $4,000 each. The recipients of the fellowships must provide documentation of enrollment in an academic summer study abroad program in order to receive the awarded funds. Upon returning to Emory in the fall, the recipients must also provide documentation of their successful completion of the summer study program.
  • Theodore H. Jack Award for Independent Research in the US: The Theodore H. Jack Award is offered annually to an Emory College history major or joint history major who has attained senior status (75+ credit hours) at the time of the award. It provides modest funds for summer research in the United States outside the city of Atlanta on topics that deal in whole or in part with American history. It is expected that recipients will use the award to research an honors thesis, though students not in the honors program are welcome to apply.
  • James L. Roark Prize for Independent Research in the US: The James L. Roark Prize will be awarded annually to advanced undergraduate History majors (75+ credit hours). The award will provide funds for undergraduate research in American history to be conducted within the United States over one summer.Recipients will be expected to use the prize towards research for an honors thesis, or a similarly significant research project.
  • Bell I. Wiley Prize in U.S. History for Independent Research in the US: The Wiley Prize is offered annually to an Emory College history major or joint major who has attained senior status (75+ credit hours) at the time of the award. It provides funds for summer travel within the United States outside of the city of Atlanta in support of innovative research in the history of the United States. It is expected that recipients will use the award to research an honors thesis, though students not in the honors program are welcome to apply. All history and joint history majors with senior status in Emory College and with a cumulative G.P.A. of 3.0 or above are eligible.

Julia Lopez Fuentes (PhD, ’20) Awarded Article Prize

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.”

PhD Alum Claudia Kreklau Receives Honorable Mention for Article

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.

Malinda Maynor Lowery Discusses Native Pasts, Presents, and Futures in Walk & Talk with Josh Newton


Dr. Malinda Maynor Lowery, Cahoon Professor of American History, recently joined Senior Vice President of Advancement Josh Newton for an edition of his series Walk & Talk with Josh Newton. Lowery, a member of the Lumbee Tribe of North Carolina and a historian of Native America, discusses her work as a scholar, teacher, documentary filmmaker, and tribal community member. Since coming to Emory from UNC-Chapel Hill in 2021, Lowery has been instrumental in facilitating Emory’s reckoning with practices of dispossession and colonialism, including by helping to craft the university’s Land Acknowledgement and creating a deep, reciprocal partnership with the College of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation. Lowery will lead Emory’s new Center for Native American and Indigenous Studies, set to launch in the 2023-24 academic year. Watch her conversation with Newton, which also includes discussion of what drew her to the History Department, here: “Understanding the present begins in the past.”

Billups Investigates Global Dimensions of Anti-semitism with Support from TIJS, Lesser

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.”

Alumni Update: Bronwen Boyd (C22), from Atlanta to Tunisia, the US Senate, and Sciences Po


Bronwen Boyd, a History Honors student and French Studies major, graduated from Emory College in May 2022. Boyd took a gap year following graduation, during which she worked for the Carter Center as a nonpartisan elections observer on the 2022 Tunisian Parliamentary Elections and for US Senator Jon Ossoff and the Congressional Commission on Emerging Biotechnology. She is currently pursuing a Master’s in Political Science as a Shepard Scholar from Emory at Sciences Po’s Paris School of Research. Her thematic interests include violence against women, LGBTQIA+ rights, human rights, law, and global history and politics. In 2022 Boyd was named a Graduating Woman of Excellence by the Center for Women at Emory. Boyd writes that she is a “Proud Emory History alumna— now and always!”

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

Kheyal Roy-Meighoo (C23) Pursues MA in Animation as Fulbright in UK


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.

Cors Dissertation Wins Cromwell Prize from the American Society for Legal History

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.