Emory Report
November 24, 2008
Volume 61, Number 13



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November 24, 2008

’Mammy’ image gets closer look
”In some of these photos their faces are obscured, the same way their identities were obscured,” Kimberly Wallace-Sanders said in a recent Life of the Mind lecture, as she showed historic photos of African American women who served as “mammies” to white children.

Wallace-Sanders is associate professor in the Graduate Institute of the Liberal Arts and the Department of Women’s Studies and the author of “Mammy: A Century of Race, Gender and Southern Memory.”

“I want you to notice the youth of some of these women,” she said, noting that many of them were actually young girls. “In some of these photos, the girls were holding their masters and mistresses. By that, I mean that some of these girls were given as gifts to the children they were taking care of.” — Carol Clark

Georgia justice on Russia conflict
“Usually, judges don’t comment on political issues. But this issue is not before the court. So I’m free to speak about it,” George Papuashvili, president of the Constitution Court of the Republic of Georgia, told a Halle Institute audience.

The “issue” was the recent dust-up between Georgia and its neighbor and former ruler, Russia.

Following a timeline of events that led to Russia’s sending of military equipment and troops to oppose Georgia, Papuashvili filled in the background with reasons for Russian actions: Retribution for backing Kosovo independence and Georgia’s interest in joining NATO and growing closer to European nations.

“Georgia is a corridor for energy transportation, an alternative to routes through Europe,” he noted, adding “Russia wanted to control this route.” — Leslie King

Early asylums tried ‘culture’ cure
In the mid-1800s, society took a utopian approach to treating insanity by turning some asylums into cultural centers, including well-stocked reading rooms, musical groups and stage plays. “Being cured was largely about acting out somebody else’s script,” said Benjamin Reiss, during an Evening with Emory’s Authors lecture.

An associate professor of English, Reiss recently published “Theaters of Madness: Insane Asylums and Nineteenth-century American Culture.”

Mental patients were considered like children “in need of reform, civilization and uplift,” Reiss said.
— Carol Clark