Georgia Regional PAT Conference 2017

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On Saturday, April 1, Reinhardt student Kyle Walker, alumnus Alex Bryant, and Prof. Jonathan Good traveled to Macon to participate in this year’s Georgia Regional Phi Alpha Theta Conference. Many thanks to Abby Dowling and John Thomas Scott for their hard work in putting together a good one. Mercer last hosted this conference in 2011, and it was a pleasure to return, as the Mercer campus is gorgeous, especially in the spring. The papers I heard were all very good – especially Kyle’s, who spoke of how the domino theory of Communist expansion in southeast Asia was applicable to Indochina only, largely on account of all parts of Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos all having been part of the French empire. Communism did not spread beyond these places because Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Burma, etc. had different histories (i.e., communism and nationalism did not converge there, as it did in Indochina). Plus, the US commitment to containing communism entailed a great deal of support for the non-communist governments of these countries, which helped to protect them from that particular ideology. This was the silver lining of the Viet Nam war – it didn’t prevent the North from taking over the South, and from backing the Pathet Lao and Khmer Rouge as they took power, but it did prevent the spread of communism beyond Indochina.

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Kyle Walker ’17 at the Georgia Regional Phi Alpha Theta Conference, Mercer University, April 1, 2017.

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Participants in the “Eastern Front” session: chair Joshua van Lieu (LaGrange College), MiKaylee Smith (LaGrange), Daniel Garrett (LaGrange), Kyle Walker (Reinhardt).

The plenary session at lunch featured a very interesting presentation by Maurice Hobson of Georgia State University, professor of history and African-American studies, whose book The Legend of the Black Mecca: Myth, Maxim and the Making of an Olympic City is about to be released by UNC Press. Dr. Hobson’s talk, entitled “Using Hip Hop as History: From the Black New South to the Dirty South,” referenced W.E.B. Dubois, Atlanta’s first black mayor Maynard Jackson, the 1996 Summer Olympics, artists like OutKast and Goodie Mob, the Atlanta Child Murders, and Hobson’s own personal history, to demonstrate how not all African-Americans were uplifted by Jackson’s post-segregation New South.

Georgia Gwinnett College (home of former Reinhardt professor Pat Zander) has agreed to host this conference next year.

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Alex Bryant ’15 and Kyle Walker ’17 flank a Mercer bear.

Phi Alpha Theta Induction 2017

It is with pleasure that the Reinhardt history program announces the induction of four new members to our chapter of Phi Alpha Theta, the honor society for students of history.

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Dr. Jonathan Good, Ivonne Ramirez-Perez, Luke Madden, Hayden Mills, guest speaker Dr. Mary Rolinson. Not pictured: Chap Lindstrom. Photo: Jeff Reed.

The ceremony took place in the Glass House on Thursday, March 23. Mary Rolinson of Georgia State was our guest speaker, and spoke of her current research into the career of Mabel Murphy Smythe, an African-American academic who was an expert on Africa, a teacher in Japan and a pioneer of multicultural education, and an ambassador to Cameroon and Equatorial Guinea in the 1970s.

Phi Alpha Theta Georgia Regional Conference

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Spelman College in Atlanta yesterday hosted the Georgia Regional Phi Alpha Theta conference (the same one hosted by Reinhardt last year). Thanks to Charissa Threat for organizing such a good one. 

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In addition to several excellent student papers (there were thirty-five all told, from students at nine different schools), attendees also enjoyed a tour of Spelman’s Museum of Fine Art by Mora Beachamp-Byrd, visiting scholar of art and art history at Spelman.

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Mora Beauchamp-Byrd and Charissa Threat outside Spelman’s Museum of Fine Art.

The current exhibit, Black Chronicles II, explores the black presence in late nineteenth century Victorian Britain through studio portraiture, including some thirty portraits of The African Choir, which toured Britain between 1891 and 1893, and a selection of popular cartes-de-visite. (One of these made me smile: a Zulu warrior from “Farini’s Friendly Zulus.” “The Great Farini,” né William Leonard Hunt, hails from my hometown of Port Hope, Ontario. He first gained fame as a tightrope walker and later became an African explorer and entertainment promoter. Shane Peacock’s book about him has more detail.)

The keynote address, entitled “Women and Violence in the Grassroots Anti-Abortion Movement in the United States,” was delivered by Karissa Haugeberg of Tulane University. Based on her forthcoming book, it was a surprisingly sympathetic portrait of 1980s-era pro-life activism and the women who participated in it. (We’ve been conditioned to think of abortion opponents as men trying to keep women down, but according to Haugeberg women have always made up a majority of the movement, often for feminist reasons – widespread abortion, they believe, frees men from their responsibilities to the women they impregnate. This fundamental divide over the significance of the sexual revolution – is it empowering, or degrading? – is still not resolved, as one can see in the debate over hook-up culture on campus today.)

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Karissa Haugeberg.

Reinhardt was represented by recent graduate Alex Bryant, whose paper “The New American Revolution: A Brief History of the Internet” sparked quite a bit of discussion afterwards.

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Alexander Bryant.

This is the seventh PAT annual conference I’ve been to. It is always fun, and this one was one of the best.

Phi Alpha Theta 2016

The History Program is pleased to announce that nine new members of the Reinhardt chapter of Phi Alpha Theta were inducted yesterday in the Glass House. They are in the photograph below, wearing their new honor cords, blood red and sky blue, the colors of PAT.

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Left to right: Cole Gregory, Joseph Wheeler, Max Smith, Kyle Walker, Melissa Martinez, Grant Patrick, Katie Hale, Brent Blackwell, Faculty Advisor Jonathan Good. Photo: Jeff Reed. Not pictured: Chase Palmer.

A highlight of the ceremony was guest speaker David Parker of Kennesaw State University, who spoke about “Rearing Rebels: Confederate Textbooks and Confederate Nationalism.”

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Prof. David Parker. Photo: Jeff Reed.

Prof. Parker has researched school textbooks published and used in the Confederate States of America, and furnished us with some amusing examples of math problems (such as “if one Confederate soldier can kill seven Yankees, how many Yankees can nine Confederate soldiers kill?”) along with other embarrassing moral lessons about the benefits of slavery. But he warned us about arrogance: what things do we believe that might look ridiculous to our posterity?

Georgia Regional Phi Alpha Theta Conference, 2015

Our conference on Saturday, March 28 was a great success. Forty papers from students at fifteen universities in Georgia, Tennessee, North Carolina and Florida were presented in twelve sessions in Lawson and Tarpley Halls, with close to seventy participants overall. Thanks to Wayne Glowka, Dean of Arts and Humanities, who opened the day’s proceedings and to John Morrow of the University of Georgia, who gave the keynote address (on the 369th Infantry Regiment in World War I). Jeff Reed took a number of pictures:

Gnimbin Ouattara (Brenau) chairs a session on Georgia History with Wyatt Dean (Reinhardt), Timothy Walker (Mercer) and Nick Wooten (Mercer).

Alexa Heard (Clark Atlanta University), TyKeara Mims (Spelman), and Evan Lewis (Spelman), panelists for a session on Racial Violence in America (photo: JG).

Kate Yancey and Robin Glover of Georgia Southwestern at lunch.

John Nelzén (FSU) and Jonathan Good (Reinhardt) at lunch.

Anne Good, Barbara Stamey ’11 and Theresa Ast of Reinhardt.

Keynote Speaker John Morrow of UGA.

Tom Scott of Mercer addresses conference participants on behalf of the national Phi Alpha Theta organization.

James Andrew Storey (Georgia Southwestern) and Kenneth Wheeler (Reinhardt) at lunch. 

It is customary to award prizes to the best papers read at PAT conferences. Choosing them is always difficult, because there are so many good ones! Nonetheless, we felt the following students and their papers were especially worthy:

Courtney Lyles of Spelman College, for her paper “The New Black Soldier: How the Fight Against Racism Radicalized the African American Soldier during the Vietnam War”

Andrew Clanton of Mercer University, for his paper “Industrial Propaganda: How Roosevelt, Labor, and Big Business Shaped America’s Most Important Propaganda Genre of World War Two”

Amelia Evans of Georgia State, for her paper “Representations of Charles I: The Tyrant and the Martyr”

Leslie Maletich Grimes of Georgia State University, for her paper “The Brothers Grimm and Their Quest for a German Nation”

Nick Wooten of Mercer University, for his paper “Opposing the Orgy Pragmatically: The Macon Telegraph’s Coverage of Lynching, 1916-22”

Caroline Angle of Wake Forest University, for her paper on “French Photographs of Algerian Women 1839-88: Their Function as Immigration Propaganda”

Thanks to everyone who helped out, and to all conference participants!

We’re pleased to announce that Spelman College has agreed to host next year’s Georgia Regional Phi Alpha Theta conference.

Congratulations

Congratulations to history major Wyatt Dean, who was inducted into Alpha Chi this weekend. Alpha Chi is an honor society for students at small colleges like Reinhardt, based on their overall GPAs. Wyatt’s Alpha Chi pin is marked in the photo below.

Speaking of honor societies, Wyatt, along with Matt Amis and Alex Bryant, will be delivering a paper at the Georgia Regional Phi Alpha Theta conference, scheduled for March 28 at Reinhardt.

Phi Alpha Theta

It is with great pleasure that the Reinhardt history program announces that three worthy students have been inducted into the Reinhardt chapter of Phi Alpha Theta, the honor society for students of history.

From left to right: Dr. J. Good, Daniel Carpenter, Zach McElveen, Kaitlyn Gibson. Photo: Lauren Thomas.

The ceremony took place yesterday in the Glass House. The new initiates received their certificates, honor cords, and roses, and learned the meaning of esoteric symbolism of the Phi Alpha Theta insigne (seen on the banner). Current members Alex Bryant and Brandi Allen and alumni members Barbara Stamey and Caitlan Sumner were also in attendance.

Patrick Zander, assistant professor of history at Georgia Gwinnett College (and formerly of Reinhardt) was our guest speaker.

Photo: Lauren Thomas. 

He delivered a very interesting talk entitled “TWA, African Development, and Breaking the Color Line in 1950s Kansas City (1946-1954).” This paper dealt with how Trans World Airlines was commissioned to set up a national airline in Ethiopia, and how a TWA executive (Zander’s own grandfather) forced Eddy’s Restaurant to serve visiting Ethiopian executives, in defiance of the conventional segregation of the time. Mr. Eddy himself was in a bit of a quandary: he did not want to risk alienating the biggest corporation in town (nor to court the wrath the Eisenhower administration), but he also did not want to risk a walkout by all his other white customers. His solution: he had the band play a drum roll and the MC announce the presence of “our honored guests, the Ethiopian cabinet!” It worked, and although not particularly momentous, the incident did represent a small victory for desegregation in 1950s Kansas City.

Congratulations again to our new inductees!

The next Phi Alpha Theta event will be the Georgia Regional Conference, scheduled for March 28 at RU.