Frances Smith Foster honored by MLA

Emory University professor Frances Smith Foster has been honored with a lifetime achievement award for significantly advancing the study of American literature. Foster, the Charles Howard Candler Professor of English and Women’s Studies, will receive the 2010 Hubbell Medal in January from the American Literature Section of the Modern Language Association (MLA) during the MLA’s annual meeting.

Foster is the first African American woman to receive the award. The Jay B. Hubbell Medal, awarded since 1964, is named for one of the pioneers of American literary scholarship. The medal has been awarded to some of the most distinguished practitioners of the discipline.

Foster’s specialties include African American family life and American and African-American literature. She has edited or written more than a dozen books, including most recently, “’Til Death or Distance Do Us Part: Love and Marriage in African America.” The critically acclaimed book, a study of slave marriages that uncovers a rich legacy of love, struggle and commitment in the antebellum era, demolishes stereotypes of African Americans during an era when they were treated as chattel. Foster also is an editor of “The Norton Anthology of African American Literature.”

She was the recipient of Emory’s top faculty honor in 2006, the University Scholar-Teacher Award. Foster served as chair of Emory’s English department from 2005-2008 and is the former director of the Emory Institute of Women’s Studies. She currently is a fellow of Emory’s Center for the Study of Law and Religion. Foster received the Association of Departments of English “Francis Andrew March Award” for exceptional service to the profession of English last year.


See full news release

Information on the Hubbell Medal

In this video, Professor Foster gives a talk about the domestic happiness many Afro-Protestant families of the Antebellum era experienced, despite the many obstacles they faced.

Applying math to healthy hearts

Emory mathematician Alessandro Veneziani talks about how mathematics, in the form of computing and diagnostic imaging, is being applied to medicine in this YouTube video.

“My dream is that medical simulation will become part of the daily routine of medical doctors,” he says.

Read more in the 12-13-10 Emory Report article.

Tango connects students with community

Kristin Wendland, a senior lecturer in the music department, studies the relationship between Argentine tango music and dance. She’s also using tango to reach the community–a grant from Emory’s Office of University-Community Partnerships has allowed her to organize a tango dance party, called a milonga, at the Latin American Association on Buford Highway, and help her add a service-learning component to her spring semester freshman seminar, “Tango: Argentina’s Art Form in Body, Mind and Spirit.” Students in her class will teach Latino children from Woodward Elementary School the roots of tango music.

For more details see the 10-29-10 Emory Report article.

For more Emory tango videos, enter “tango” at

Books published by College faculty in 2010

Abramowitz, Alan (Political Science) The Disappearing Center: Engaged Citizens, Polarization, and American Democracy. Yale UP.
Agnew, Robert (Sociology) and Joanne M. Kaufman, eds. Anomie, Strain, and Subcultural Theories of Crime. Ashgate.
Aldridge, Delores (Sociology) Imagine A World: Pioneering Black Women Sociologists. UP of America.
Bennington, Geoffrey (Comparative Literature and French and Italian) Not Half No End: Militantly Melancholic Essays in Memory of Jacques Derrida. Edinburgh UP.
Bernstein, Matthew (Film Studies), ed. Michael Moore: Filmmaker, Newsmaker, Cultural Icon. U of Michigan P.
Bernstein, Matthew (Film Studies) Screening a Lynching: The Leo Frank Case In Film And TV. U of Georgia P.
Bianchi, Eugene (Religion, Emeritus) Taking a Long Road Home. Wipf and Stock.
Bing, Peter (Classics), area ed. Greek Literature for the Oxford Encyclopedia. Oxford UP.
Perry, A., and Daniel Brat (Medicine), eds. Practical Surgical Neuropathology: A Diagnostic Approach. Churchill-Livingstone.
Brown, Peter J. (Anthropology) and Ron Barrett, eds. Understanding and Applying Medical Anthropology, 2nd ed. McGraw Hill.
Buras, Kristen (Educational Studies), J. Randels, K.Y. Salaam, and Students at the Center, eds. Pedagogy, Policy, and the Privatized City: Stories of Dispossession and Defiance from New Orleans. Teachers College Press.
Bullock, Julia (REALC) The Other Women’s Lib: Gender and Body in Japanese Women’s Fiction. U of Hawai’i P.
Butler, H. Erik (German Studies) The Bellum Grammaticale and the Rise of European Literature. Ashgate.
Butler, H. Erik (German Studies) Metamorphoses of the Vampire in Literature and Film. Camden House.
Byrd, Rudolph P. (ILA and African American Studies), ed. The World Has Changed: Conversations with Alice Walker. New Press.
Carrión, Maria M. (Spanish) Subject Stages. U of Toronto P.
Carter, Jimmy (The Carter Center) White House Diary. Farrar, Straus and Giroux.
Cherribi, Sam (Sociology) In the House of War. Oxford UP.
Clark, Tom S. (Political Science) The Limits of Judicial Independence. Cambridge UP.
Corrigan, Kevin (ILA) Evagrius and Gregory: Mind, Soul and Body in the 4th Century. Ashgate.
Corrigan, Kevin (ILA) and John D. Turner, eds. Plato’s Parmenides, Vol. 1: History and Interpretation from the Old Academy to Later Platonism and Gnosticism. SBL/Brill.
Corrigan, Kevin (ILA) Plato’s Parmenides and its Heritage, Vol. II: Reception in Neoplatonic, Jewish, and Christian Texts. SBL/Brill.
Coropceanu, Lilia (French and Italian) Faber Suae Fortunae: L’autoformation du Sujet chez Mme de Lafayette, Marivaux et Stendhal. Peter Lang.
Eltis, David (History) and David Richardson. Atlas of the Transatlantic Slave Trade. Yale UP.
Garner, M., George Engelhard (Educational Studies), M. Wilson, and W. Fisher, eds.Advances in Rasch Measurement, Vol. 1. JAM

Ferriss, Abbott L. (Sociology, Emeritus) Approaches to Improving the Quality of Life. Springer.
Foster, Frances Smith (English and Women’s Studies) ‘Til Death or Distance Do Us Part: Love and Marriage in African America. Oxford UP.

Garibaldi, Skip (Mathematics), Jean-Louis Colliot-Thélène, Ramdorai Sujatha, and Venapally Suresh. Quadratic Forms, Linear Algebraic Groups, and Cohomology. Springer.
Gillespie, Andra (Political Science) Whose Black Politics? Cases in Post-Racial Black Leadership. Routledge.
Goldberg, Jonathan (English) Sodometries: Renaissance Texts, Modern Sexualities. Fordham UP.
Goldman, Shalom. (MESAS) Zeal for Zion: Christians, Jews, and the Idea of the Promised Land. U of North Carolina P.
Gruber, Bill (English) Offstage Space, Narrative, and the Theatre of the Imagination. Palgrave/ Macmillan.
Hauk, Gary (President’s Office) and Sally Wolff King (English) Where Courageous Inquiry Leads: The Emerging Life of Emory University. Bookhouse Group.
Levin, Lowell and Ellen Idler (Sociology) The Hidden Healthcare System, 2nd ed. Golden Apple.

Jackson, Lawrence P. (English and African American Studies) The Indignant Generation: A Narrative History of African American Writers and Critics, 1934-1960. Princeton UP.
Judovitz, Dalia (French and Italian) Drawing on Art: Duchamp and Company. U of Minnesota P.
Juricek, John T. (History) Colonial Georgia and the Creeks: Anglo-Indian Diplomacy on the Southern Frontier, 1733-1763. UP of Florida.
Karnes, Kevin C. (Music) and Levi Sheptovitsky, eds. Across Centuries and Cultures: Musicological Studies in Honor of Joachim Braun. Verlag.
Kaufman, Myron (Chemistry) Order and Disorder: Science Essentials for Non-Scientists. World Scientific.
Klehr, Harvey (Political Science) The Communist Experience in America. Transaction.
Konner, Melvin (Anthropology) The Evolution of Childhood. Harvard UP
Kugle, Scott (MESAS) Homosexuality in Islam: Critical Reflection on Gay, Lesbian, and Transgender Muslims. Oneworld.
Li, Hong (REALC), Wan-Li Ho (REALC), and J. Zhang. Access China – An Interactive Classroom Video Course for Chinese and Learning, Vols. 1-4. 21 Century Publishing.
Makkreel, Rudolf A. (Philosophy) and Sebastian Luft, eds. Neo-Kantianism in Contemporary Philosophy. Indiana UP.
Makkreel, Rudolf A. (Philosophy) and Frithjof Rodi, eds. Wilhelm Dilthey’s Selected Works, Vol. 2, Princeton UP.
Varricchio, D. J., Anthony J. Martin (Environmental Studies), and Y. Katsura. El Dinosaurio Que Excavó Su Madriguera. Fundación Conjunto Paleontológico de Teruel-Dinópolis.
Martin, Richard C. (Religion) and Abbas Barzegar. Islamism: Contested Perspectives on Political Islam. Stanford UP.
Ernst, Carl and Richard C. Martin (Religion), eds. Rethinking Islamic Studies: From Orientalism to Cosmopolitanism. U of South Carolina P.
McClintock, Sara L. (Religion) Omniscience and the Rhetoric of Reason: Śāntarakṣita and Kamalaśīla on Rationality, Argumentation, and Religious Authority. Wisdom.
Mitchell, Andrew J. (Philosophy) Heidegger Among the Sculptors: Body, Space, and the Art of Dwelling. Stanford UP.
Nouvet, Claire (French and Italian) Abélard et Héloïse: La Passion de la Maîtrise. Presses Universitaires du Septentrion.
Nouvet, Claire (French and Italian) Enfances Narcisse. Editions Gallilée.
Pandey, Gyanendra (History), ed. Subaltern Citizens and Their Histories: Investigations from India and the USA. Routledge.
Patton, Laurie (Religion) Notes from a Mandala: Essays in Indian History of Religions in Honor of Wendy Doniger. U of Delaware P.
Peletz, Michael (Anthropology) Gender Pluralism: Southeast Asia Since Early Modern Times. Routledge.
Robbins, Vernon K. (Religion) Sea Voyages and Beyond: Emerging Strategies in Socio-Rhetorical Interpretation. Deo.
Sanders, Mark (English and African American Studies) A Black Soldier’s Story. U of Minnesota P.
Skibell, Joseph (Creative Writing and English) A Curable Romantic. Algonquin.
Staton, Jeffrey K. (Political Science) Judicial Power and Strategic Communication in Mexico. Cambridge UP.
Stuhr, John J. (Philosophy), ed. 100 Years of Pragmatism: William James’s Revolutionary Philosophy. Indiana UP.

Trethewey, Natasha (Creative Writing and English) Beyond Katrina: A Meditation on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. U of Georgia P.
Palagia, O., and Bonna Wescoat (Art History). Samothracian Connections: Essays in Honor of James R. McCredie. Oxford UP.
Wilson, Elizabeth A. (Women’s Studies) Affect and Artificial Intelligence. U of Washington P.
Wolff King, Sally (English) Ledgers of History: William Faulkner, an Almost Forgotten Friendship, and an Antebellum Plantation Diary. Louisiana State UP.
Worthman, Carol M. (Anthropology), Paul Plotsky (Medicine), D.S. Schechter, and C. Cummings. Formative Experiences: The Interaction of Caregiving, Culture, and Developmental Psychobiology. Cambridge UP.
Young, Kevin (Creative Writing and English), ed. The Art of Losing: Poems of Grief and Healing. Bloomsbury.


In the news… Dean Robin Forman

from Emory Quadrangle Magazine, Fall 2010

New Dean in Town: Robin Forman Arrives at Emory

[pdf version]

If Emory College’s new dean were to fill out a Facebook profile, he’d certainly include something about math—especially topology and combinatorial methods, his specialty— and about serving as Rice University’s dean of undergraduates. He might also save space for baseball, chess and stand-up comedy.

Robin Forman accepted the position of dean of the College of Arts and Sciences this summer after a nationwide search. A professor and chair of math at Rice, he will also hold the Asa Griggs Candler Professorship in Mathematics.

Dabbling in stand-up no doubt served Forman well in overseeing both the academic and the social sides of Rice undergraduate life. And a sense of humor couldn’t hurt in his new role. At Emory his responsibilities include strategic, academic and financial planning for nearly fifty departments and programs, as well as promotion and tenure decisions.

Chess, like comedy, is a longtime hobby. “I don’t get the chance to play in clubs or tournaments any longer,” Forman says, “but I still enjoy studying the game, keeping up with the progress of the top grandmasters, and I’ll occasionally head to a chess website for a quick game over the Internet.” When he’s at home, the dean also enjoys reading, with tastes that run toward “literary fiction, with the occasional spy novel thrown in. But I’ve recently found myself drawn more to nonfiction.”

And baseball? That’s a family affair. Dean Forman is joined in Atlanta by his wife and son, Saul, age 13. “Saul is passionate about baseball,” he says, “both as a fan and a player, and Ann and I have enthusiastically joined him on his journey. We enjoy watching baseball at all levels—youth, college, minor and major leagues—and all our recent family vacations have been baseball-themed. Of course my most joyful and most stressful baseball moments involve watching Saul play. When we’re not cheering on his teams, we can often be found exploring the wonderful restaurant options in Atlanta. We’ve already learned that this is a great city for anyone who appreciates food.”

No one who knows Forman will be surprised that he places a strong emphasis on the student experience at Emory. He served as master of a residential college at Rice, and he remembers his own undergraduate experience as “a thrilling intellectual journey, and great fun. I made some wonderful life-long friends, among both students and faculty. I also took full advantage of the opportunities to participate in extra-curricular activities: I played intramural sports, played in rock and roll bands, and, of course, joined the chess club.”

At Emory, says Forman, “The aim of our undergraduate program is to take in high school students and graduate young adults. This requires that they develop in many ways beyond the intellectual growth that forms the core of the College experience. We have to make use of the entire campus. I look forward to working with the Campus Life team to create a student experience, in the classroom and out, that helps our remarkable students achieve their potential.”

An important part of this, he says, is community service. “There’s a great passion for community service among the students here, and a wonderful collection of opportunities available to them—especially through the Office of University-Community Partnerships and Volunteer Emory. Our goal should be to continually support opportunities that provide both benefit for the community and educational value for our students.”

Faculty play a crucial role in Forman’s view of a thriving Emory College. As a veteran teacher and scholar, he calls the dual mission of teaching and research “one of the defining features of the College,” adding, “I have had numerous opportunities to chat with Emory faculty, and many of them spoke of their passionate commitment to this ideal. Many in fact came to Emory precisely because they believe in that mission. And it’s been a wonderful experience to walk down the halls of the departments and see the spectacular work that’s taking place in every building on campus.

“The university is at its best when these aspects overlap— when students have the opportunity to learn by participating in our research mission. The College does this very well,” he says. Forman notes too that he has been impressed by all the “ambitious and creative approaches to interdisciplinary work” at Emory.

Asked to pick the most pressing issue facing higher education today, he answers, “The financial crisis. We had all gotten used to continuous expansion, and this was especially true at Emory, which experienced three decades of quite dramatic growth. This was mission-driven growth, with exciting new opportunities for scholarship and student programs. But the last two years required a pause, and even a slight contraction. The positive side is that it has given us a chance to regroup, and to build in new efficiencies.”

Other effects of the recession ought to be resisted, Forman says. “In times of financial stress, there can be a tendency to look at higher education in purely vocational terms. It becomes even more important to educate students, parents, employers, political leaders, and others about the value of a liberal arts education, the role it plays in preparing our students to be successful adults. I’m not speaking just of professional success, but of success as happy, healthy, fulfilled adults.”

[pdf version]

Related Links

Emory Magazine profile (Autumn 2010)

Emory Report profile (August 27, 2010)

Emory University news release (April 12, 2010)

Get your act together!

It’s time to get your act (or presentation) together for the 2011 Emory Arts Showcase (see last year’s award-winning Samuel Crowley in the video). Now in its 3rd year and open to current Emory students, staff or faculty, the Showcase invites works of music (original & performed) and visual arts. The deadline for entries is Jan. 12th, and the big gala takes place on Saturday, January 29th in Emerson Concert Hall.

More details & rules…

2010 Music Winner (1st place) Christopher Knific

2010 Visual Arts Winner (1st place) Ien Chi

Atlas Details Dark History of Slave Trade

Historian David Eltis of Emory University and co-author David Richardson of the University of Hull, England, have published a new book, Atlas of the Transatlantic Slave Trade, that focuses on where slave ships began their voyages, where the ships went in Africa, and where the ships landed in the Americas.

The atlas derives from an online database ( that launched from Emory in 2008 to much acclaim from historians and researchers worldwide.

“What you get from this book is a sense of the direct links in the slave trade,” says Eltis. “It totally overturns the idea that the vessel sets out for slaves, goes down a thousand miles of coastline, eventually gets a full cargo, then turns and crosses the Atlantic and sells essentially a group of people who perhaps can’t communicate with each other.” Historians had long painted such a picture.

“We’re showing that particular ports in Africa had strong connections with particular ports and therefore areas in the Americas,” says Eltis. “And it’s very easy to see those connections the way the data is presented in the form of maps.” Eltis calls the technique used to demonstrate those connections “pathographics,” or sweeping arrows showing the movement and numbers of people from specific place to specific place.

Read the full news release

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