Open symposium on April 26 to feature Atlanta research projects

Published 04-03-2013

The Emory Libraries and its Digital Scholarship Commons (DiSC) will host the first annual Atlanta Studies Symposium on Friday, April 26 to present new scholarship on the city, introduce scholars to emerging research methods and inspire new partnerships between schools, libraries, archives and scholars.

The presentations, which are free and open to the public, will run from 9 am to 6 pm in the Research Commons, located on Level 3 of the Robert W. Woodruff Library at Emory University. The program will include research presentations, two keynote speakers, and six panel discussions focused on the study of Atlanta.

The symposium also will showcase libraries and archives that house resources related to Atlanta history. Representatives from Emory’s Manuscript, Archives, and Rare Book Library (MARBL), the Auburn Avenue Research Library, the Atlanta History Center, and area university libraries will give short presentations to highlight their important collections.

The event is expected to draw researchers from across Atlanta and the broader scholarly community and will offer them an opportunity to report on their projects. Sessions will cover such topics as the city’s public housing, changing neighborhoods, population trends, and political climate.

“In order to understand where something is going, we have to understand what has already happened,” says Stewart Varner, digital scholarship coordinator for the Emory Libraries. “The past, present, and future are always present in Atlanta.”

The opening keynote address will be given by Katherine Hankins, associate professor in the Department of Geosciences at Georgia State University. Her research interests include urban geography and its relation to politics and identity. Zephyr Frank, associate professor of history and director of Stanford University’s Spatial History Project, will deliver the closing keynote address. He will speak on the advantages and challenges of using digital tools to study the history of place.

Varner hopes the symposium will give scholars and community members a chance to learn about a wide range of Atlanta-based research, which could encourage more cooperative research projects going forward. “A lot of people study Atlanta, but not everyone knows what others are studying,” Varner says. “Through this symposium we hope to spark collaboration.”

For a detailed schedule of events, please visit the symposium website.

Those interested in attending this free symposium can register at this link. Check the DiSC homepage for updated information. The Robert W. Woodruff Library at Emory University is located at 540 Asbury Cir., Atlanta, GA 30322.

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