Request for Essays for Microhistory of US South

Michael Gagnon's picture
Call for Publications
August 1, 2019
Georgia, United States
Subject Fields: 
African American History / Studies, American History / Studies, Business History / Studies, Cultural History / Studies, Social History / Studies

Essays Solicitied

Matt Hild, of Georgia Tech, and I are editing a collection of essays on Gwinnett County in suburban Atlanta as a microhistory of the US South.  During the county’s 200 year existence, Gwinnett has been western, Southern, rural, suburban and now increasingly urban. A scholarly press has already expressed interest and invited us to submit the formal proposal.  We already have 14 contributors lined up on a variety of topics ranging from Native Americans in the period before the formation of Gwinnett County to the very recent explosion of diversity in the county.  For example, I am writing an essay on slavery in Gwinnett, while Matt will address the topic of Populism. We still have a number of topics for which we would like to recruit qualified authors (No ABDs please; you already have plenty to do.)


These are to be brief essays, about 5000 words, not to exceed 6,000 words including the endnotes. We are looking for a quick turn-around, by the end of the calendar year. We will provide you with the basic research on the topic, which you may supplement with your own research, and will want you to place the local story into regional and national context, as well as embedding it into the historiography of your essay’s respective topic.


Here is the list of remaining topics for which we would like to solicit essays:


1. Violence against African-Americans from 1865 to 1920. This essay will include the burning of the county courthouse in 1871 by the KKK, as well as the lynching of Charlie Hale in 1911.


2. New South Style Industrialization. Manufacturing of textiles and leather goods, with attendant mill villages, began in the 1850s and ended in the 1970s.


3. Incarceration/Prisons. The Buford Rock Quarry Prison for Incorrigibles became notorious for abuse as well as for escapes in the 1950s.


4. Crime as Spectacle/Pop Culture. The kidnapping of Barbara Jane Mackle in 1968 and the shooting of Larry Flynt in 1978 both brought Gwinnett unwanted national notoriety.


5. Federal Projects in the Sunbelt. This essay should place the construction of Lake Sydney Lanier into the framework of post-war federal projects as well as connect the lake’s importance to electrical and water utilities in Georgia.


6. Gold Mining. Gold mines were established as early as 1831 in the northwestern corner of the county, and after a slump resumed operations from 1890 to about 1913.


If you wish to join our team, please email your interest to with a subject line of “Solicited Essay.” In the body of the email, please state your essay choice, and include a single paragraph on how your past research qualifies you to write the essay, and a statement affirming that you can complete the essay by the end of the calendar year. Please attach an adobe file of a one-page CV that identifies your highest educational credential and current affiliation, and also demonstrates a commitment to your research interests.


Deadline for submissions is August 1, 2019.


Contact Info: 

Michael Gagnon
Associate Professor of History
Georgia Gwinnett College
Lawrenceville, GA 30043

Contact Email: