By Stephen Fowler
Asst. News Editor
Three Emory faculty members have recently been recognized for outstanding work in the fields of history, art history and mathematics.
Clifton Crais, professor of History and director of Emory’s Institute of African Studies, was named among one of the best authors of a memoir for 2014 on Library Journal’s Best of 2014 list.
His book “History Lessons: A Memoir of Madness, Memory, and the Brain” is described as “part memoir, part narrative science and part historical detective story” and is heavily influenced by his time at Emory.
“My teaching and research at Emory has been very central to the writing of History Lessons,” Crais wrote in an email to the Wheel. “More generally, the support Emory faculty have for interdisciplinary work helped nurture the project.”
Crais wrote that the memoir came from a desire to turn his teaching and research inward.
“I embarked on the project for multiple reasons, personal and intellectual,” Crais wrote. “I’ve always been fascinated with memory and history, and I wanted to explore the interior life, as it were, of being a historian.”
Part of the inspiration for the memoir also came from “Writing Memory,” a seminar he teaches that combines history, literature and neuroscience, according to Crais.
“This class became a wonderful way of thinking through many of the challenges of doing a book like History Lessons,” Crais wrote.
On receiving the award, he wrote that while he is under the opinion that too many people put too much emphasis on awards, he is honored with the good news.
“It’s certainly nice to be one of Library Journal’s Best Books of the Year, if only because they review 8,000 books so the competition is pretty fierce,” Crais wrote.
Asa Griggs Candler Professor of Art History Walter Melion was awarded the Chair Francqui by the Belgian Fondation Francqui – Catholic University, according to an Oct. 30 University press release. The honor typically is a six-month visiting appointment, but since Melion is on another fellowship at the Newberry Library, he will make two one-week visits in December and March, according to the press release.
Melion has published extensively on Dutch and Flemish art and art theory of the 16th and 17th centuries, on Jesuit image-theory, on the relation between theology and aesthetics in the early modern period and on the artist Hendrick Goltzius, according to his website.
Additionally, Jinho Choi, assistant professor in the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science and an assistant professor in Emory’s Institute of Quantitative Theory and Methods, was the recipient of a Yahoo Labs ACE Award, which recognizes five first- and second-year faculty members conducting Yahoo-relevant research.
Choi works in the field of Natural Language Processing, also known as Computational Linguistics, which retrieves, analyzes, extracts and generates information from human languages, according to his website. The research is interdisciplinary between Computer Science, Linguistics, Psychology or any other disciplines where natural languages are used.
Both Melion and Choi were unable to comment before press time.
– By Stephen Fowler, Asst. News Editor