About Us

Atlanta Studies is an open access, digital publication that features work from scholars, writers, artists, and activists who are writing the next chapters in our city’s story.  Examining Atlanta from a wide range of perspectives, we offer thoughtful analyses of the metro region’s past and present for a public audience. We aim to be critical when addressing Atlanta’s problems and even be a tad boosterish when assessing its possibilities. We believe a city is no better than its scholarship, and we hope you’ll tune in and take part. We publish long form articles of up to 5,000 words (multimedia pieces encouraged) as well as shorter blog posts.

In collaboration with other educational and non-profit organizations, Atlanta Studies also co-sponsors an annual symposium each spring. 

Click on the boxes below to learn more about the people behind Atlanta Studies.

Editorial Board

Brennan Collins, Georgia State University

Brennan Collins is the Associate Director of Writing Across the Curriculum and the Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning at Georgia State University. The interdisciplinary nature and technology focus of these programs allows him to work with a diverse faculty in exploring inventive pedagogies. He is particularly interested in creating inter-institutional Atlanta projects and platforms to develop student critical thinking and opportunities for community engagement.

Barbara Combs, Clark Atlanta University

Barbara Harris Combs is Associate Professor of Sociology and Criminal Justice at Clark Atlanta University. She holds a Juris Doctorate degree from The Ohio State University College of Law and a PhD in Sociology from Georgia State University. Her research agenda focuses on how the dynamics of race, place, and space influence human interactions. She is the author of From Selma to Montgomery: The Long March to Freedom (Routledge, 2014), and she is currently collaborating on a project funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF), which examines what influence the geographic dispersion of Atlanta’s African American population has on the group’s sociopolitical behaviors.

Marni Davis, Georgia State University

Marni Davis is an Associate Professor of History at Georgia State University. Her book Jews and Booze: Becoming American in the Age of Prohibition (NYU Press, 2012) was a finalist for the Sami Rohr Prize for Jewish Literature. She is currently researching and writing about immigrants in Jim Crow Atlanta (1890-1960). 

Katherine Hankins, Georgia State University

Katherine Hankins is an urban geographer and an Associate Professor in the Department of Geosciences at Georgia State University.  She examines urban change and how social and spatial inequalities are expressed and contested in the urban landscape, primarily at the neighborhood scale.  In her work, she’s examined both the large urban development projects that have shaped neighborhood spaces and the ways in which various actors and organizations respond to such projects, whether through everyday acts, or “quiet politics,” or through sustained neighborhood activism.  She has lived and worked in Atlanta since 2001.

Ed Hatfield, Emory University

Edward Hatfield is a Visiting Lecturer at Emory University where he is teaching courses on urban and political history. His research examines the politics of metropolitan planning in Atlanta during the latter half of the Twentieth Century.  

Joe Hurley, Georgia State University

Joseph A. Hurley is a Data Services and GIS Librarian at Georgia State University.  Much of his work involves creating open digital resources that aid in the study and teaching of urban change in Atlanta and the United States.  He works on several interdisciplinary Atlanta-focused projects, led the NEH funded Planning Atlanta digital project, and his research and teaching interests include historical GIS, urban renewal, and demographic, land use and built environment change.

Jesse P. Karlsberg, Emory University

Jesse P. Karlsberg, Senior Digital Scholarship Strategist at the Emory Center for Digital Scholarship, is a scholar of vernacular American music and digital humanities publishing. Jesse is editor of Original Sacred Harp: Centennial Edition (Pitts Theology Library, 2015) and series editor of Sounding Spirit, a series of digital critical editions from the southern sacred music diaspora. 

Anna Joo Kim, Georgia Tech

Anna Joo Kim is an Assistant Professor of City and Regional Planning at Georgia Institute of Technology. Her research examines the blurred boundaries between informal and formal jobs for low wage immigrant workers, and how these semi-formal employment arrangements translate into strategies for local economic growth in ethnic neighborhoods. Dr. Kim teaches community and workforce development, planning for immigrant communities in the Atlanta region, and other courses on social, economic, and environmental justice.

Calinda Lee, Atlanta History Center

Educated at Spelman College, New York University and Emory University, Calinda N. Lee is Historian for the Atlanta History Center. As a member of the center’s leadership team, she works to develop plans that inform visitor experiences in exhibitions, historic houses, historic gardens, and public programs/education.

LeeAnn Lands, Kennesaw State University

LeeAnn Lands is an Associate Professor of History at Kennesaw State University. Her research focuses on housing segregation, anti-poverty movements, and spatial inequality. Her book The Culture of Property: Race, Class, and Housing Landscapes in Atlanta, 1880-1950 (University of Georgia Press, 2009) examines the relationship between whiteness and neighborhood landscapes. She is currently completing a book-length project tentatively entitled “We’ll Be Back”: Poor People’s Movements in Atlanta, 1950 to 1980.

Advisory Board

Kali-Ahset Amen, Emory University

Rebecca Burns, Atlanta Magazine

Joe Crespino, Emory University

Tim Crimmins, Georgia State University

Andrea Jackson, Atlanta University Center, Robert W. Woodruff Library

Ben Miller, Georgia State University

Michael Leo Owens, Emory University

Charles Steffen, Georgia State University

Lawrence Vale, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Stewart Varner, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Kerrie Cotten Williams, Auburn Avenue Research Library

Dana White, Emory University

Editorial Staff

Jesse P. Karlsberg, Managing Editor

Adam P. Newman, Assistant Managing Editor

Clinton Fluker, Associate Editor

Former Editorial Staff

Sarah Melton, Managing Editor (2014-2016)

Karen L. McCarthy, Editorial Associate (2015-2016)

Stephanie Rodgers, Editorial Associate (2014-2015)

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