• Greg Lisby was mentioned in an article about Georgia’s creation of the nation’s first censorship board 61 years ago. The Georgia State Assembly established the Georgia Literature Commission in 1953. Eventually, then Gov. Jimmy Carter dismissed it as a “mere complaint department,” and it was slowly allowed to die in 1973. The article was based on old newspaper articles and a review of the commission’s history written by Lisby for The Georgia Historical Quarterly in 2000. 
  • Patricia Davis has learned that an essay she published in the Southern Communication Journal has been selected by the Editorial Board of SCJ to receive the 2014 Rose B. Johnson Award for the best article appearing in Volume 78 of the journal. Patricia will be presented with a plaque at the Awards Banquet during the SSCA Annual Convention in New Orleans in April.  The essay winning this prize appeared in issue 78.2 (April 2013), and is entitled “Memoryscapes in Transition: Black History Museums, New South Narratives, and Urban Regeneration.”  The research is based on some recent efforts to construct African American history museums as a way to galvanize urban renewal, including projects done in Richmond, Virginia (the American Civil War Center) and Washington, DC (the African American Freedom Foundation Civil War Memorial and Museum).  If you’re interested in reading the full essay, it’s downloadable in the EBSCO database. Congratulations!
  • On February 17, Esmaeil Esfandiary successfully defended his dissertation prospectus proposal.  The project, which Shawn Powers is advising, is “A discourse and network analysis of Iranisn expertise in American politics.”
  • The GSU varsity debate team of Luke Floyd and John Finch qualified for the elimination rounds of the Southeast Cross-Examination Debate Association Championship Tournament this weekend, then went on to win three consecutive debates against teams from Emory and Wake Forest to emerge as the tournament champions. The GSU novice debaters also did very well at Southeast CEDA. The team of Rashard Leonard and Juanita Danridge went 4-2 in prelims and made it all the way to semifinals before losing. The team of Minji Kim and Samuel Hanks went 5-1 and also made it to the semifinals. Minji, Sam, and Rashard all got speaker awards, and Minji was named the top novice speaker at the tournament.
  • Meanwhile, concurrent with the SE CEDA Championships running this weekend, Emory hosted the district tournament by which policy debate teams qualify for the national championships.  Two-person student teams can qualify to compete for the national title in three ways:  A group of teams is issued a first-round at-large invitation based on their extraordinary competitive success so far.  Then, teams who do not receive first-round bids can compete in regional district tournaments (and so what Emory was hosting was the southeastern district event).  The news there was disappointing – the top six teams qualified for the National Debate Tournament, but we placed seventh.  There is still one remaining mechanism for qualifying, namely, a second-round process where teams submit their records and the best of those fill out the NDT field.  The NDT is being hosted by the School of Public & Environmental Affairs at Indiana University in Bloomington, and happens late March.  The odds are good that the top GSU student team will qualify by receiving a second-round bid, knock on wood.
  • Chris Toula and Greg Lisby have co-authored an essay that is scheduled to appear in the May 2014 issue of Cultural Studies.  The essay is “Towards an Affirmative Public Domain,” and some of you will recall hearing an early iteration of the piece presented in the doctoral proseminar last year.  Cultural Studies, an ISI-rated Taylor & Francis journal, has an exceptionally wide and international reach, and so appearing there is a terrific accomplishment.
  • The Southeast Journalism Conference met in Lafayette, Louisiana this weekend just concluded, and our student newspaper had a very successful event.  Sixteen GSU Signal submissions won top ten placements in the SEJC’s “Best of the South” awards.  And most significantly, the Signal won First Place in the college newspaper category – this is a big deal because other programs (especially the one at the University of Alabama) have had something of a lock on this prize for several years, so it was a breakthrough moment and a real testimonial to the good work done by the student editorial staff, and the student media adviser Bryce McNeil.  The Signal editor-in-chief is Chris Shattuck; the senior editor is Laura Apperson; the production designer is Anna Yang, and the beat and production editors include Jesus Diaz (news),Samantha Reardon (arts), Hunter Bishop (sports), Candra Umunna(photography), Ami Dudley (opinions), and Adjoa Danso (copy).  Congratulations!
  • Paul Mabrey, who some of you will recall from his days in our M.A. program and as affiliated with the GSU Debate Program, has accepted a new position at James Madison University.  Starting this fall, Paul will be coordinator of the JMU Communication Center, which coordinates campus-wide efforts to advocate for and train colleagues in more effective methods of communication across the curriculum, the disciplines, organizations, and communities.