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Symposium pioneers study of Atlanta

By Leslie King | Emory Report | April 9, 2013

The first-ever event to study Atlanta in all of its complexity will be Friday, April 26, in Emory’s Robert W. Woodruff Library.  

The First Annual Atlanta Studies Symposium is designed to present new scholarship on the city, introduce scholars to emerging research methods and to inspire new partnerships between schools, libraries, archives and scholars.

It will also gather together interdisciplinary meeting of scholars and community activists concerned with issues related to Atlanta.

"DiSC has identified Atlanta as a particularly interesting focus of study as it connects an interdisciplinary and inter-institutional group of scholars around unique collections in MARBL (Emory's Manuscript, Archives and Rare Book Library) and other local archives," says Stewart Varner, coordinator for Emory's Digital Scholarship Commons (DiSC).

Katherine Hankins, associate professor in the Department of Geosciences at Georgia State University, and Zephyr Frank, associate professor of Latin American Studies and director of Stanford University’s Spatial History Project, open the symposium with keynote addresses.

"We are also eager to highlight the wealth of resources available at area libraries and museums and to enhance connections between scholars, institutions and libraries," says Varner.

Different libraries from around the city will give presentations about the resources they have for the study of Atlanta.

See the schedule, which is still being firmed up.

Panel discussions will explore the changing socio-political environments of Atlanta’s black neighborhoods and new tools for understanding the changing dynamics of metropolitan Atlanta.  

There will be sessions on urban governance and finance; immigration; and public housing relocations. "Digital Tools for Mapping the Built and Natural Environment" is the topic of one session.

Several projects are under way at Emory's Digital Scholarship Commons related to the digital mapping of Atlanta, including creating a digital tool to visualize and map historical Atlanta and digital mapping and exploration of the Battle of Atlanta.

A reception until 6 p.m. will conclude the symposium.

The symposium is free but an RSVP is required so lunch and sufficient space can be provided.