Mary g. Rolinson

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Curriculum Vitae


Ph.D. history, Georgia State University

M.A. history, University of Georgia

B. A., history, University of Virginia
“Mabel Murphy Smythe: Black Women and Internationalism,” in Ann Short Chirhart and Kathleen Clark, eds. Georgia Women: Their Lives and Times, Vol. II (Athens, GA: The University of Georgia Press, 2014).

Grassroots Garveyism: The Universal Negro Improvement Association in the Rural South, 1920-1927. The John Hope Franklin Series in African American History and Culture (Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press, 2007).

“Mabel Murphy Smythe,” African American National Biography (New York: Oxford University Press, 2007).

“Atlanta: Before and After the Olympics,” Perspectives: The Newsmagazine of the American Historical Association 44 (8) November 2006, 31-32.

“The Garvey Movement,” in James C. Cobb and Melissa Walker, eds. The New Encyclopedia of Southern Culture, Volume 11: Agriculture and Industry (Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press, 2008), 165.

“The UNIA in Mississippi,” in Ted Ownby and Charles R. Wilson, eds., The Mississippi Encyclopedia (Oxford, MS: The University Press of Mississippi, forthcoming 2015).

“Community and Leadership in the First Twenty Years of the Atlanta NAACP, 1917-1937,” Atlanta History 42 (3) 1998: 5-21.

“The UNIA in Georgia: Southern Strongholds of Garveyism,” in John C. Inscoe, ed. Georgia in Black and White: Explorations in the Race Relations of a Southern State, 1865-1950 (Athens: The University of Georgia Press, 1994), 202-224.

“The NAACP in Georgia” and “The UNIA in Georgia” in The New Georgia Encyclopedia (Athens, GA: The University of Georgia Press), online at

“Atlanta Negro Voters League,” in Nina Mjagkij, ed. Organizing Black America: An Encyclopedia of African American Associations (New York: Garland Publishing, Inc., 2001), 83-84.

Major Research Fields:
African American, African Diaspora, Twentieth Century U.S., U.S. South.

Professional Conference Papers and Participation:

“African American Sensei: Mabel and Hugh Smythe in Japan, Working for the State and Working for the Race,” presenter, Georgia Association of Historians Annual Meeting, Athens, GA, February 27-March 1, 2014.

“Mabel Murphy Smythe: Black Atlantic Biography?” for roundtable entitled “Biography, History, and Identity: Racial Consciousness, Black-White Ancestry and the Meaning of Race,” American Historical Association Annual Meeting, Atlanta, GA, January 6, 2007.

“Crossing Boundaries: Garveyism in the Southern US and South Africa,” panelist, Southern Historical Association Annual Meeting, Birmingham, AL, November 16, 2006.

“Separatism and Intimacy in the Rural Black Belt, 1914-1945,” Organization of American Historians Annual Meeting, Boston, Massachusetts, March 25-28, 2004.

“Choosing Separatism: The Popularity of Garveyism in the Rural South,” National Council for Black Studies (NCBS), 27th Annual Conference, Atlanta, GA, March 19-22, 2003.

“Garveyism in the Rural South: A Window on African-American Thought in the 1920s,” Association for the Study of African-American Life and History (ASALH), 84th Annual Conference, Detroit, Michigan, October 6-10, 1999.

“Job Search and CV Workshop for Women Graduate Students,” Chair and Organizer, Southern Association for Women Historians (SAWH) Sixth Southern Conference on Women’s History, Athens, GA, June 5-7, 2003.

“Black Self-Help Organizations in the South from Reconstruction to the Early Twentieth Century,” Georgia Association of Historians (GAH), 36th Annual Meeting, Fort Valley State University, February 22-23, 2008.

“The Carter Administration’s Response to the Mariel Boatlift,” Georgia Association of Historians (GAH), 25th Annual Meeting, Hiawassee, Georgia, April 3, 1998.

Invited Presentations:
“Mabel Murphy Smythe: American Sensei in Japan, 1950-1952,” Conference: Cross-Generational Dialogues in Black Women’s History, Michigan State University, March 20-21, 2015.

Faculty Development Seminar Leader, “Understanding Black Power Ideology,” The Westminster Schools, Atlanta, GA, October 20, 2014.

“The Roots of Harlem Radicalism,” presenter for Conversations in Black Freedom Studies, September 5, 2013, Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, New York Public Library, New York, New York.

“The Importance of the Green Book,” speaker, AJC-Decatur Book Festival, September 3, 2011.

“Updating the Garvey Legacy in the South: New Research Possibilities and the Thomas Watson Harvey Papers,” at a conference entitled: “Marcus Garvey, Garveyism, and the UNIA” at the Center for Africana Studies, University of Pennsylvania, March 20-21, 2009.

“How I Got Published”: First-Time Authors Discuss the Move From Dissertation to Book,” John and LaWanda Cox Graduate Student Luncheon, Southern Historical Association 74th Annual Meeting, New Orleans, LA, October 10, 2008.

“Text and Context: Using Erskine Clarke’s Dwelling Place: A Plantation Epic to teach Georgia History,” American Academy of Religion, Society of Biblical Literature Southeastern Regional Meeting, Atlanta, Georgia, March 7, 2008.

“Grassroots Garveyism,” Diane Jennings Seminar, Georgia Perimeter College-Clarkston Campus, February 11, 2008.

“African American Radicalism in the Twentieth Century South,” the Association of Social and Behavioral Scientists, 72nd Annual Meeting, Atlanta, GA, March 21-24, 2007.

“The Garvey Movement and the Origins of Black Nationalism in Georgia,” Clayton State University, April 2, 2007.

“The Garvey Movement and the Origins of Black Nationalism in Georgia,” Lecture series for the Georgia Humanities Council and University of Georgia Press entitled "Georgia in the Twentieth Century: Looking at the Past and Considering the Future." DeKalb County Library, Flat Shoals Branch, February 26, 2007.

“African Americans from Georgia Shaping American Foreign Policy Toward Africa: The Case of Mabel Murphy Smythe,” Georgia Consortium on History Symposium, Savannah, Georgia, June 12, 2005.

Published Book Reviews:
Review of Robert Trent Vinson, The Americans are Coming! Dreams of African American Liberation in Segregationist South Africa. Athens: Ohio University Press, 2012. Published online by H-NET Book Reviews, for H-SAfrica, 2012.

Review of Colin Grant, Negro With a Hat: The Rise and Fall of Marcus Garvey. New York: Oxford University Press, 2008. Published by The Journal of American History 95, no. 4 (March 2009): 1190-91.

Review of Tony Martin, Amy Ashwood Garvey: Pan-Africanist, Feminist and Mrs. Marcus Garvey No. 1, Or, A Tale of Two Amies. The New Marcus Garvey Library, No. 4. Dover, Mass.: The Majority Press, 2007. Published by The Journal of Southern History 74, no. 4 (November 2008): 1005-06.

Review of Christina Greene, Our Separate Ways: Women and the Black Freedom Movement in Durham, North Carolina. Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press, 2005. Published online by H-NET Book Reviews, for H-SAWH, 2006.

Teaching Experience:
Georgia State University, Senior Lecturer, Fall 2013-present.

Georgia State University, Lecturer, Fall 2007-Fall 2013.

Georgia State University, Visiting Lecturer, Fall 2005-Fall 2007.

Oxford College of Emory University, Visiting Assistant Professor, Spring 2005.

Georgia Perimeter College, US History Instructor, 2003-2004.

Georgia State University, graduate instructor, 1997-2001.

Courses Taught:
Black Nationalism - HIST 8070-Seminar in African American History

African Americans and Africa - HIST 8070-Seminar in African American History

U.S. in the Twentieth Century – HIST 3220

Georgia History – HIST 4310

Survey of U.S. History – HIST 2110 and Honors HIST 2110

Survey of African and African American History – HIST 1140/AAS 1140

World History to 1500 – HIST 1111

Directed Readings in History - HIST 4999

Directed Readings in History - HIST 8999
Pedagogy Activities:
Fellowship Award from the Center for Instructional Innovation at GSU for 2015, Honors Digital Literacy Innovation Initiative.

“Seven Technological Changes that are Reshaping Teaching and Learning,” participant. CII Seminar with Professor Richard Halverson, Tuesday, October 21, 2014.

Writing Across the Curriculum, Georgia State University, certification earned May 2013.

“Using Erskine Clarke’s Dwelling Place: A Plantation Epic to teach Georgia History to a Diverse Student Population,” Organizer and panelist, The Georgia Association of Historians Annual Meeting, Decatur, GA, Feb 18-20, 2010.

“Teaching U.S. History Using Digital Primary Sources,” presenter, The Workshop in US History at Emory, October 5, 2010.

Georgia State University Department of History Representative to the Professional Education Council for the College of Arts and Sciences and School of Education, September 2009-2013.

Graduate Student Teaching Mentor, 2008-present. (Matthew Myers, Nathalie Massip, Supad Ghose, Shane Tomashot)

Organized annual tours for GSU history undergraduates and graduate students to the National Archives and State Archives facilities in Morrow, Ga. January 2007-2010.

Advisor to Georgia State University’s chapter of Phi Alpha Theta, history honor society, August 2008-present.

Sponsor to 14 undergraduates in my Georgia History class (HIST 4310, Spring 2008) to a symposium in Savannah, Georgia, February 28-29, 2008: “The Atlantic World and African American Life and Culture in the Georgia Low Country, 18th to the 20th Century.”

Led annual field studies to: Georgia State Capitol (including conference with Senate minority Whip, Senator David Adelman in 2008) in 2008, 2009, 2010, 2012, 2014; Old Georgia Governor’s Mansion (Milledgeville), 2008 and 2009; The Old Rives Plantation (Hancock County, Georgia) 2008-2011; Oakland Cemetery and Cabbagetown, 2009, 2011, 2014.

Professional Association Memberships and Service:
American Historical Association

Association of Black Women Historians (Life member)

Association for the Study of African-American Life and History (Life Member)

Association for the Study of the Worldwide African Diaspora

Georgia Association of Historians (Life Member; membership chair 2007-2010; local arrangements co-chair for annual meeting, Decatur, GA, February 18-20, 2010; Executive Board Member, February 2013-present)

National Council for Black Studies

Organization of American Historians

Southern Association for Women Historians (Life Member; member 2009 Willie Lee Rose Prize Committee-best book in Southern history by a woman; 2001-2003 graduate student representative to the executive council)

Southern Historical Association (Sustaining Member; Chair 2009 Numan V. Bartley Research Award; Member 2013-2014 and Chair 2014-2015 Committee on Women in the SHA.
Service to History Profession and Georgia State University History Department:
Editorial Board Member, Georgia Historical Quarterly, 2013-present.

Manuscript referee for Louisiana State University Press.

Manuscript referee for The University of Georgia Press.

Article referee for The Journal of American History.

Article referee for The Journal of Southern History.

Faculty Advisor to student service group Invisible Children, 2008-present.

Advisor to Georgia State University’s chapter of Phi Alpha Theta, history honor society, August 2008-2012 and Fall 2014-present.

Visiting Lecturer Mentor, August 2013-present. Observing and letters of recommendation.

Member, GTA Mentoring Committee, 2011-present.

Member, Chair Triennial Review Committee, 2013-2014.

Member, College of Arts and Sciences Lecturer Five Year Review Committee, 2013-2014.

Member, Lecturer Search Committee, 2008-2009.

Member, Visiting Lecturer Search Committee, spring 2009.

Member, Advisement Committee, August 2008-2012.

Member, Freshman Studies Committee, August 2007-present.

Member, Chair Recommendation Committee, Fall-Spring 2010-2011.

Member, Department Subcommittee on Promotion of Lecturers to Senior Lecturer, 2015.
Awards and Honors:
Fellowship Award from the Center for Instructional Innovation at GSU for 2015, Honors Digital Literacy Innovation Initiative.

Nomination for Outstanding Teaching Award, COAS, GSU, Spring 2011.

Dale Somers Memorial Award, Georgia State University History Department, 2007. Award given for a monograph by GSU history alumni.

John M. Matthews Distinguished Thesis and Dissertation Award, Georgia State University History Department, 2003-2004. Awarded annually to a graduate student in the M.A. or Ph.D. program for an outstanding thesis or dissertation completed during the previous two-year cycle.

John A. Alexander Memorial Award, Georgia State University History Department, 1999-2000. Awarded annually to the outstanding graduate student in history as judged by the faculty.

Best Paper by a Graduate Student, for “Atlanta’s NAACP Women,” Phi Alpha Theta State Conference, Berry College, Rome, GA, April 1997.

Scholarship for Summer Graduate Program in British Social History, University of Edinburgh, UK, 1988.

University of Georgia History Department teaching and research assistantships, 1987-1989.

Research, Consulting, and Editing:
Friends of Decatur Cemetery, 1994-2003. Our group collaborated with Georgia State University’s Historic Preservation program to obtain National Register status for Decatur, Georgia’s historic, city-owned cemetery. I personally transcribed all African-American headstone inscriptions for archival preservation. I launched an oral/written history project to collect biographical sketches of all people interred at Decatur Cemetery.

Consultant to the Georgia Humanities Council for 2002-2003. I assisted the council vice president in organizing National History Day in Georgia, a statewide contest for middle and high school students who have completed exemplary primary source research projects.

Editor for the Office of Legislative Counsel, Georgia General Assembly, 1993-1996. This job involved copyediting all bills to be introduced to the Georgia House and Senate and proofreading revised volumes of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated (OCGA).

Consultant to the Okefenokee Heritage Center, Waycross, Ga., 1994-1995. I guided local researchers in creating exhibits on African American history in the area around the Okefenokee Swamp.

Steven Hahn, Roy F. and Jeannette P. Nichols Professor of History, University of Pennsylvania

John C. Inscoe, University Professor, Professor of History, University of Georgia

Melissa Walker, George Dean Johnson, Jr. Professor of History, Converse College

Susan Y. Ashmore, Associate Professor of History, Oxford College of Emory University

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