Mercer to Host Georgia Regional Conference of Phi Alpha Theta History Honor Society


MACON – Mercer University will host the annual Georgia Regional Conference of the Phi Alpha Theta honor society on April 1, 9 a.m.-4 p.m., on the Macon campus.

Phi Alpha Theta is an honor society for undergraduate and graduate students and professors of American history in the United States. Mercer's Alpha Zeta Lambda chapter was founded in 1995, and the University previously hosted this event in 2011.

“The History Department is honored to host the annual Phi Alpha Theta conference, which provides an opportunity for promising students to present their research and interact with other historians, students and faculty in a supportive, professional academic venue,” said Dr. Abby Dowling, assistant professor of history.

The conference will begin with a welcome from Mercer President William D. Underwood in the Presidents Dining Room of the University Center. Concurrent paper sessions on a variety of topics will take place at 9:30 a.m., 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. in Knight Hall.

A plenary luncheon from 12:15-1:45 p.m. will feature a presentation by Dr. Maurice J. Hobson, assistant professor of African-American studies at Georgia State University, on “Using Hip Hop as History: From the Black New South to the Dirty South.”

Dr. Hobson earned a B.A. in history and African-American studies from the University of Alabama at Birmingham, where he was also a student-athlete. He earned an M.A. in American studies/African-American studies from the University of Alabama and a Ph.D. in history, focusing on 20th-century African-American history, from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

His research interests are grounded in the fields of 20th-century U.S. and African-American history, African-American studies, oral history and ethnography, urban and rural history, political economy, and popular cultural studies. He is working to form a new and emerging field that he calls Black New South Studies. His manuscript, titled “The Legend of the Black Mecca: Myth, Maxim and the Making of an Olympic City,” is currently in press.

The conference will conclude with an awards ceremony at 3:30 p.m. in the Presidents Dining Room.

The Georgia Regional Conference is supported by the History Department in Mercer's College of Liberal Arts, Phi Alpha Theta regional and national offices and Mercer Admissions.

The concurrent sessions are open to all members of the Mercer community. For more information, contact Dr. John Thomas Scott, professor of history, at or Dr. Dowling at