Cecelia Bucki, editor
Jessie Embry, editor
Murray Phillips, editor
Shaunna Scott, editor
Neal Pease, editor
Gayle Murchison, editor
Named 2012's 'Best New Journal' by the Council of Editors of Learned Journals
John J. Bukowczyk, editor
Ellen Koskoff, editor
Susan Brantly, editor
Stephen Tropiano, editor
Mark Hubbard, editor
History of the Present, launched in 2010, is devoted to history as a critical endeavor. Its aim is twofold: to create a space in which scholars can reflect on the role history plays in establishing categories of contemporary debate by making them appear inevitable, natural or culturally necessary; and to publish work that calls into question certainties about the relationship between past and present that are taken for granted by the majority of practicing historians.
In 2012, the Journal was awarded "Best New Journal" by the Council of Editors of Learned Journals.
While the editors of HOP continue to curate exciting content, they have recently put together an exceptional special issue.
From one of the editors, Brian Connolly: "[Issue 6.2] asks how the violence of the archives of slavery contributes to the production of a history of our present. What is at stake in revisiting the devastation and death contained in the documents of slavery? How does a critical relationship to these archives of death and destruction not only unsettle our present but help think through liberated futures. In thinking through the linguistic, geographic, and representational logics of our archival reading practices, while attending to the ways in which our understanding or archives of slavery themselves – sites of lack or excess or both – all of the authors offer provocative meditations on how to reconceptualize histories of slavery through reimagined relations to the archive."
For this issue, the editors identified a group of contributors, who received the following prompt and were asked to submit essays.
"In a recent article, 'Venus in Two Acts,' Saidiya Hartman provocatively limns the tension between the violence of slavery and particular historical and orientations toward the archive. In doing so, Hartman calls for 'critical fabulation,' which entails attempts 'to jeopardize the status of the event, to displace the received or authorized account, and to imagine what might have happened or might have been said or might have been done....The intent of this practice is not to give voice to the slave, but rather to imagine what cannot be verified, a realm of experience which is situated between two zones of death – social and corporeal death – and to reckon with the precarious lives which are visible only in the moment of their disappearance.'"
"Hartman, then, traces a paradoxical relation to the archive – it is both the site of the possibility of history and the site of the failure of such a project. Given this unresolvable paradox, how does one go about writing the history of slavery with an acute awareness of the limitations of the archive, not as the source of histories of slavery but as the failure of those histories to adequately represent the experience?"
The contributors included in the issue are Anjali Arondekar, Brian Connolly, Marisa Fuentes, Saidiya Hartman, David Kazanjian, Seth Moglen, Jennifer Morgan, and Stephanie Smallwood.
This exciting issue is available now on JSTOR and in print for $15 (U.S. shipping included). We hope you will take a look!
We would like to announce that TWO new Common Threads titles are now available!
Following the Elephant: Ethnomusicologists Contemplate Their Dicsipline
Edited by Bruno Nettl
In Following the Elephant, Bruno Nettl edits articles drawn from fifty years of the pioneering journal Ethnomusicology. The roster of acclaimed scholars hail from across generations, using other works in the collection as launching points for dialogues on the history and accomplishments of the field. Nettl divides the collection into three sections. In the first, authors survey ethnomusicology from perspectives that include thoughts on defining and conceptualizing the field and its concepts. The second section offers milestones in the literature that critique major works. The authors look at what separates ethnomusicology from other forms of music research and discuss foundational issues. The final section presents scholars considering ethnomusicology — including recent trends — from the perspective of specific, but abiding, strands of thought.
Mere and Easy: Collage as Cultural Practice in Pedagogy
Edited by Jorge Lucero
Collage making offers everyone from small children to trained artists the ability to express themselves through images. In this new Common Threads collection, Jorge Lucero draws on the archive of the journal Visual Arts Research to present articles focused on the place of collage in fine art and education. Guided by the twinned concepts of mereness — collage’s reputation as a trifle — and easiness — the technique’s accessibility to all—the authors explore how subversive, debased, and effortless the collage gesture can be. What emerges is in and of itself a collage, one that groups disparate scholarship into a whole that reveals how the technique may serve as a method of scholarship and as a wellspring of vibrant, even radical, pedagogical utility.
See other Common Threads titles, here.