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‘First Fridays’ lecture series returns Nov. 3

Emory College historians Chris Suh (left) and Maria Montalvo will present the semester’s “First Fridays” lectures on topics related to race and social justice.

Two Emory historians will spotlight their research this fall at Emory College’s “First Fridays” series, monthly lectures that highlight innovative faculty scholarship in a wide variety of topics related to race, ethnicity and social justice.

Chris Suh, an assistant history professor whom the Institute for Citizens & Scholars named as Emory’s first Mellon Emerging Faculty Leader earlier this year, will give the semester’s first lecture at noon on Friday, Nov. 3, in Convocation Hall.

He will draw from his first book, “The Allure of Empire,” and his continued research into U.S. imperialism’s impact on American and East Asian politics. Suh’s talk will explain how considering the American South as part of the transpacific world transforms our understanding of racial inequality and struggles for freedom.

Maria R. Montalvo, an assistant history professor who has researched and taught how to use archival records to examine the lived experience of enslaved people in the U.S., will share her work at the semester’s second and final talk at noon on Friday, Dec. 1, in Convocation Hall.

The lectures are free and open to the public, but registration is required.

The James Weldon Johnson Institute for the Study of Race and Difference (JWJI) and Emory College of Arts and Sciences launched the series in early 2021 to build community and conversation informed by the research of new faculty across disciplines.

The series has since held talks and discussions as varied as the role of disgust in battling racism to how men’s vulnerabilities have challenged the trope of machismo in the Mexican diaspora.

“I am thrilled that Dean Krauthamer has chosen to continue the First Friday series,” says Andra Gillespie, JWJI director and associate professor of political science who organizes the program.

“The series serves as an important platform to highlight Emory faculty scholarship on race, and it is an important resource for any faculty member looking for new, home-grown content on race to enliven their own research and pedagogy,” she adds.

Friday Fridays will return in the spring semester. Aisha Finch, an associate professor in Emory’s Department of Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies whose work explores the radical Black practices that disrupted 19th century Cuba, will be the featured lecturer on Feb. 2, 2024.

The series will continue with Angela Dixon, an assistant sociology professor, and Emil’ Keme, a professor of English and Native American Studies, in March and April, respectively.

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