The Journal of American History
Welcome to the Journal of American History (JAH) online. Published four times a year by the Organization of American Historians (OAH), the JAH is the leading scholarly publication and the journal of record in American history. The JAH publishes articles, interchanges, states-of-the-field, and the OAH's yearly presidential address as well as reviews of books, digital history projects, exhibits, and movies.
In addition to our print issues, the JAH creates a wide range of online projects, including our biannual Teaching the JAH and special projects such as "Through the Eye of Katrina," "American Faces," and "Oil in American History." Organization of American Historians (OAH) members also have access to our vast citation database, Recent Scholarship Online.
The JAH makes selected content freely available, including the "Textbooks and Teaching" section and Teaching the JAH. A selection of JAH articles, interchanges, and states-of-the-field are also freely available to the public. See individual issue pages for details.
Teaching American History in Alternative Spaces
Call for Submissions
Journal of American History, Textbooks and Teaching section
The essays in the “Textbooks and Teaching” section of the Journal of American History have traditionally explored a wide variety of pedagogical matters related to teaching located within colleges and universities. In contrast, for its March 2023 section, the contributing editors invite submissions that provide narratives of, and/or explore foundational pedagogical issues related to, teaching American history in alternative spaces.
We have no boundaries to what we might consider as “alternative spaces.” Such locations could well include prisons, social movements, civic associations, or various realms of the internet. Essays could be analytical studies of such teaching, and/or ethnographic narratives, and/or first-person reflections. Authors/co-authors do not need to be professional historians. Among the key questions we invite authors to consider are:
- How does such teaching differ from traditional teaching?
- What distinctive purposes and methods might such teaching have?
- In what ways does such teaching contribute to democracy (the subject of the 2022 Textbook and Teaching section)?
We strongly encourage prospective authors to consult with us on possible topics. Essays should not exceed 4,000 words. Deadline for an initial draft is July 1, 2022, with editorial work happening between then and November 1, 2022. Please send questions and contributions to Laura Westhoff at westhoffL@umsl.edu and Robert Johnston at email@example.com.
Posted: March 3, 2022
Teaching U.S. Democracy and Political History
Call for Submissions
Journal of American History, Textbooks and Teaching
How are college and university history instructors responding to the recent divisive and fraught political moment, when democracy itself seems at stake? What role do college history courses play in developing student political knowledge and civic capacities? Does such teaching have a role to play in the U.S. democratic projects? What are students learning about democracy’s multiple and contested meanings, its history, and those who worked for it? The contributing editors for the Textbooks and Teaching Section of the Journal of American History invite submissions that explore these and similar questions for its March 2022 section. We especially invite articles that move beyond explanations of assignments, materials, and practices to examine evidence of student learning and to engage with the Scholarship on Teaching and Learning. We encourage prospective authors to consult with us on possible topics. Essays should not exceed 4,000 words. Deadline for the initial draft is June 1. Please send questions and contributions to Laura Westhoff at westhoffL@umsl.edu and Robert Johnston at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Posted: March 10, 2021
Call for Submissions: Textbooks and Teaching, Journal of American History
How do we best prepare students to write historically? What role can and should history courses play in developing students’ skills to write for various publics, media, and careers? What do we learn about student writing through transdisciplinary teaching collaborations? How do we support the growing number of English-language learners while balancing the writing demands essential to our discipline? The contributing coeditors of the Journal of American History’s Textbooks and Teaching section seek articles and essays that speak to these and related questions. We particularly welcome submissions that explore evidence of student learning and engage the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning. Please contact us with questions or to discuss submission ideas. Deadline for manuscripts: July 15, 2020.
Robert Johnston, email@example.com
Laura Westhoff, firstname.lastname@example.org
Posted: May 1, 2020
In honor of Women’s History Month, and as part of the Sex, Suffrage, Solidarities series by which we are marking the centennial of the Nineteenth Amendment, we at the Journal of American History are pleased to publish the JAH Women’s History Index. This index consists of every article of women’s history printed in the JAH since its inception as the Mississippi Valley Historical Review in 1914. The index, along with a brief note about our methodology, may be read here.
We have also invited Katherine Turk to curate this online issue of articles selected from the index. Associate Professor of History and Adjunct Associate Professor of Women and Gender Studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Turk is the author of Equality on Trial: Gender and Rights in the Modern American Workplace (2016). We offer these materials as resources for readers who wish to learn more about women’s history and U.S. historiography more broadly. Entitled “Not Additive, but Transformative: Women and Gender in the Journal of American History,” the online issue will be freely available through May 2020.
Posted: March 5, 2020
Noni Olabisi, “To Protect and Serve” (1997), side wall of Rick’s Barbershop, 3406 Jefferson Blvd., Los Angeles, 2011. Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division. LC-DIG-vrg- 08775. Reproduced by permission of the photographer, Camilo J. Vergara, in honor of his friend and co-author, Kenneth T. Jackson. For more information about Vergara’s photography, see African American Communities in America’s Cities: Photographs by Camilo J. Vergara.
In honor of Black History Month, we at the Journal of American History are pleased to re-release the JAH African American History Index. First published last year, the index includes every article of African American history we have ever printed, from our inception as the Mississippi Valley Historical Review more than one hundred years ago, through our most recent issue, published in December 2019.
Consisting of 224 entries, the index was created collaboratively by the JAH staff. In spare moments between fact-checking and proofreading our regular content, our editors, graduate student editorial assistants, and undergraduate intern pored over back issues. We limited our search to articles, an imprecise category that expanded to include roundtables, special forums, and presidential addresses from the annual meetings of the Organization of American Historians. For the sake of manageability, we purposefully excluded thousands of book, film, and exhibition reviews. Finally, in deliberating the parameters of African American history, we determined to index only those articles primarily concerned with black people; we left out many important essays on closely related topics, such as whiteness studies. Notwithstanding these guidelines, each staff member ultimately had to make tough decisions about what material to add to the index and what material to leave off. For these reasons, we consider the index a work in progress. We apologize for any inadvertent omissions, and we welcome recommendations for addition.
We have also invited Peniel E. Joseph, Professor of History, Barbara Jordan Chair in Ethics and Political Values at the LBJ School of Public Affairs, and Founding Director of the Center for the Study of Race and Democracy at the University of Texas at Austin, to compile a handful of these indexed articles, and to write a guest introduction, for publication as a special online issue. Entitled Black Power, American Democracy, and Dreams of Citizenship, the online issue will be freely available through April 2020.
Posted: February 19, 2020
The year 2020 marks the centennial anniversary of the Nineteenth Amendment. What are our obligations to this moment? What are the crucial questions and unresolved problems in the histories and historiographies of suffrage in the United States? The Journal of American History will observe the centennial with a sustained, multidimensional appraisal. From late 2019 through 2020, we intend to publish a variety of scholarly analyses across our many platforms. Our ambition is to foster creative thinking about the amendment, its discursive and material frameworks, and its complex, often-unanticipated legacies. Our theme for the project—Sex, Suffrage, Solidarities—is intended to provoke new questions about the amendment and the political, economic, and cultural transformations of which it has been a part.
We invite original papers on all topics pertaining to women’s suffrage. We seek essays that examine the work of activists, both before ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment and after. We welcome submissions that investigate the complicated linkages among suffrage, citizenship, identities, and differences. We encourage global, transnational, and/or comparative perspectives, particularly if they compel us to reperiodize or otherwise reassess conventional ways of thinking about campaigns for women’s rights or the project of adult citizenship more broadly. We welcome research articles but will also receive proposals for other genres or formats of scholarly prose.
The deadline for consideration in our Sex, Suffrage, Solidarities series is August 2019. For JAH submission guidelines, please visit http://jah.oah.org/submit/articles/.
We also seek submissions on these themes for the OAH member magazine, The American Historian (submission guidelines may be found at http://tah.oah.org/submissions/), and for our blog, Process: a blog for American history (submission guidelines may be found at http://www.processhistory.org/about/).
Posted: November 27, 2018
The OAH is pleased to announce that Benjamin H. Irvin, associate professor at the University of Arizona, has been named the new Executive Editor of the Journal of American History and associate professor in the department of history at Indiana University, Bloomington. He is the author of Clothed in Robes of Sovereignty: The Continental Congress and the People Out of Doors (2011). Irvin has worked on the editorial boards or staffs of Common-Place: The Journal of Early American Life, History Compass, and the Journal of American History. He is also a Distinguished Lecturer with the Organization of American Historians.
Irvin will begin his term as Executive Editor of the Journal of American History in August 2017.
Posted: October 19, 2016
Hot off the presses! We've just received our copies of Past Forward: Articles from the Journal of American History, volumes 1 and 2. They're perfect companions for AP US history classes and for college-level surveys.
Volume 1, focusing on the period before the Civil War, includes abridged articles by Edmund Morgan, Juliana Barr, Gary Nash, Stephanie McCurry, and Walter Johnson. Volume 2, on the Civil War to the present, features pieces by Kate Masur, Eric Foner, Nancy Cott, Mae Ngai, Alice Kessler-Harris, Mary Dudziak, Heather Ann Thompson, and others.
Posted: September 15, 2016
From our September issue, Brian Goldstein's article on "'The Search for New Forms': Black Power and the Making of the Postmodern City" is open to the public. On Process, he describes his article and its genesis.
Posted: September 15, 2016
"Rethinking early Native American history is a difficult enterprise," Robert Morrissey argues. In the latest Teaching the Journal of American History, Robert Michael Morrissey provides a teaching supplement for his December 2015 article, "The Power of the Ecotone: Bison, Slavery, and the Rise and Fall of the Grand Village of the Kaskaskia." Morrissey includes six exercises that tackle the scarcity of primary sources from a Native American point of view. These exercises present students with interdisciplinary sources that they may not expect, such as ecological maps of biomes and soil, as well as more traditional sources like memoirs, letters, and excerpts from language dictionaries. By providing an opportunity to interact with a diverse group of documents, this teaching guide will encourage students to consider a more nuanced, demythologized history of Native Americans.
Posted: July 28, 2016