Kennesaw, Ga., November 27, 2018 – The Georgia Historical Society today honored Dr. Andrew Denson and Dr. William T. Okie as co-winners of the 2018 Malcolm and Muriel Barrow Bell Award for the best book on Georgia history. The awards were presented by Dr. W. Todd Groce, President and CEO of the Georgia Historical Society, with Dr. Pamela Whitten, President of Kennesaw State University, on hand for the honors.
“The Georgia Historical Society is pleased to recognize doctors Denson and Okie for their outstanding research and scholarship,” said Dr. Groce. “By asking probing questions about our state’s past, their books shed new light on what it means to be a Georgian in the 21st century.”
Dr. Andrew Denson is the author of Monuments to Absence: Cherokee Removal and the Contest Over Southern Memory (Univ. of North Carolina Press). He is Associate Professor of History at Western Carolina University and is a specialist in Native American history. Denson’s book explores how Cherokee removal has been remembered in the public landscape and brings commemoration of the Indian past into the broader discussion of race and memory in the south.
“I’m thrilled and honored to receive this award. The book was inspired by a visit to northern Georgia many years ago, and, in pursuing the research, I met a lot of wonderful Georgia people and experienced a great many Georgia places,” said Denson in a statement. “I’m truly grateful to have the recognition of a society that does such fine work to preserve the state’s history and to make it accessible to the public.”
Dr. William Thomas Okie is author of The Georgia Peach: Culture, Agriculture, and Environment in the American South (Cambridge Univ. Press). He is Associate Professor of History and History Education at Kennesaw State University, where he teaches American history, food history, and history education. Okie’s entertaining new book explores how the myth of the Georgia peach was created and its staying power as a cultural icon to the present day.
“I’ve enjoyed many hours researching in the Georgia Historical Society’s beautiful Research Center — and I look forward to returning there once renovations are complete — so I’m tremendously honored to receive the Society’s Bell Award,” said Okie.
Established in 1992 and named for Malcolm Bell, Jr. and Muriel Barrow Bell in recognition of their contributions to the recording of Georgia’s history, the Bell Award is the highest publication award given by the Georgia Historical Society. It recognizes the best book on Georgia history published in the previous year.