ECDS and LITS welcome record-breaking crowd to Atlanta Studies Symposium

Dan Immergluck presents to a large audience at the symposium.

The Emory Center for Digital Scholarship (ECDS), in partnership with offices across the university and institutions around the region, welcomed a record-breaking crowd of more than 250 attendees to the sixth annual Atlanta Studies Symposium hosted at the Robert W. Woodruff Library this past April.

The publisher of the open access Atlanta Studies journal and a partner in numerous Atlanta Studies Network digital projects, including ATLMaps and Unpacking Manuel’s Tavern, ECDS was keen to welcome interested Atlantans of all stripes to the Woodruff library, with its 10th-floor view across the city to the Atlanta skyline. The library offered a stimulating vantage point for a day of presentations from scholars, practitioners, and activists on the symposium theme of “Atlanta: City + Region.”

Jesse P. Karlsberg opens the event.

ECDS collaborated with units within the Library and Information Technology Services (LITS) division and across the university and beyond to host the event, and several LITS staff members were featured in the program. University librarian Yolanda Cooper and I kicked off the symposium by welcoming attendees to the library and highlighting its focus on supporting research and teaching engaged with Atlanta.

The Stuart A. Rose Manuscript, Archives, and Rare Book Library cosponsored the event, and Rose staff instruction archivist Gabrielle Dudley co-led a workshop on enhancing coursework with African American archival collections from across the region. Rose’s archival holdings were also the focus of a session on Charles Palmer and Atlanta’s role in the development of public housing architecture chaired by Emory art history professor Christina Crawford. Kali Ahset-Amen, assistant director of Emory’s James Weldon Johnson Institute, also a cosponsor of the event, chaired a session on geographies of transnational migration in the Atlanta metro region.

Nicole Baran presents, “Lindy Hop and Jitterbug.”

Meanwhile, behind the scenes, months of advance preparation and detailed event planning by LITS, ECDS, and Rose Library staff helped ensure that the event proceeded smoothly. LITS Campus and Community Relations events manager Maya Cody leveraged her considerable expertise to plan and implement room layouts and food and beverage service, assisted by ECDS staff Adam Newman, Matt Graci, and Clint Fluker. Rose Library’s Courtney Chartier and Christeene Alcosiba helped facilitate holding multiple concurrent sessions on the tenth floor without interfering with business as usual in the archive. Emory’s Bill and Carol Fox Center for Humanistic Inquiry and Office of Community and Government Affairs also contributed to the event’s success by cosponsoring and helping to promote the event through their networks.

Scott Heath leads a panel discussion on FX’s show Atlanta.

External partnerships with Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, Georgia State University, and Georgia Institute of Technology contributed to the symposium’s largest-ever audience with the widest ever range of affiliations among both attendees and presenters. The event attracted staff at 16 city and state governmental departments and local non-profit organizations as well as faculty and students at 16 universities and high schools from across metro Atlanta, elsewhere in Georgia and surrounding states, and as far afield as the University of British Columbia and the University of Illinois.

Don’t worry if you were unable to attend. Just be sure to keep an eye on the Atlanta Studies website in the coming months where we will be posting video presentations and other publications highlighting research presented at the symposium.

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