Monday, October 20, 2014

Speaker Spotlight: Michelle Brattain

Dr. Michelle Brattain, Associate Chair in the Department of History at Georgia State University, is one of our featured speakers for the Scholars & Policymakers Symposium happening Oct. 27-28, 2014 -- just one week away! Brattain received her bachelor’s degree in United States and women’s history from the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill and went on to receive her PhD in United States History from Rutgers University. Her research and teaching specialties include modern United States history, the history of ideas about race, Southern history, and the history of labor. She now teaches undergraduate courses on United States history in the 20th century and the history of race and human variation at Georgia State University.

Brattain remains very involved in the writing community both as a writer herself and as a part of the editorial boards for Americana and the Journal of Southern History. She previously worked as an editor for Atlanta History for six years until she moved to the Journal of Southern History’s board in 2007. She has been an editorial board member for Americana for over a decade. In addition to reviewing dozens of books, she has published many works herself. Her recent pieces include “Race, Racism, and Anti-Racism: UNESCO and the Politics of Presenting Race to the Postwar Public” and “Miscegenation and Competing Definitions of Race in Twentieth-Century Louisiana,” along with a handful of others.

Her 2001 book The Politics of Whiteness: Race, Workers, and Culture in the Modern South examines race, specifically in the textile industry in Rome, Georgia from the 1930s to the 1970s. It discusses the relationship between race and class during most of the 20th century. Her thorough research for this book helps to paint the picture of white supremacy in textile mills that ultimately shaped Southern politics. Brattain is currently working on a manuscript titled "What Race Was: Popular and Scientific Constructions of Race in the Postwar United States."

In 2002, she received the Outstanding Junior Faculty Award for the College of Arts and Sciences at Georgia State University. She was named an Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Library Resident Fellow by the American Philosophical Society in July of 2003. She has also received multiple grants and awards for her research through Georgia State University.

Dr. Michelle Brattain will speak as part of the Politics of Social Relations panel at 1:45 p.m. on Tuesday, October 28. We hope you will join us for this and other discussions at the Richard B. Russell Building Special Collections Libraries. Be on the lookout for more Speaker Spotlights on our blog as we get geared up for the symposium next week!

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