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.
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
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
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
In the June 2016 issue of the Journal of American History, Chris Rasmussen published the article "'This thing has ceased to be a joke': The Veterans of Future Wars and the Meanings of Political Satire in the 1930s." In a blog post at the JAH's blog Process, Rasmussen discusses how he got started on his topic as well as the pleasure of researching a satirical organization.
Posted: July 28, 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
On April 8, 2016 the early American history blog The Junto announced the winner of its March Madness tournament to determine the best early American history article. With over 1,000 votes cast throughout the tournament, Edmund Morgan's June 1972 Journal of American History article "Slavery and Freedom: The American Paradox" triumphed. In second place was another JAH article by Jill Lepore, "Historians Who Love Too Much."
Over at the JAH and OAH blog Process, historian Benjamin Carp reflects on Morgan's 1972 article in terms of its place in the historiography of early America and its position within Morgan's scholarly trajectory.
Posted: May 5, 2016
The Journal of American History's blog Process hosted a four-part digital round table on Frank Costigliola's March 2016 JAH article. "'I React Intensely to Everything': Russia and the Frustrated Emotions of George Kennan." The full article is available online for free. The round table features an introduction from Costigliola, responses from historians David Milne and Laura Belmonte, and concluding thoughts from Costigliola.
Posted: May 5, 2016
The Journal of American History has launched a podcast section of our website where interviews with several JAH authors are available. Our most recent podcast features Barbara Young Welke talking about her June 2014 article "The Cowboy Suit Tragedy: Spreading Risk, Owning Hazard in the Modern American Consumer Economy." We will regularly be posting interviews with other JAH authors as well.
In the future we hope also to bring you podcasts of conversations with award-winning authors of books on American history. Anyone may listen to and download these high-quality audio files for free at https://jah.oah.org/podcast.
Posted: October 13, 2014