Academic journal article The Journal of Southern History

Commemorating Seventy-Five Years of the Journal of Southern History

Academic journal article The Journal of Southern History

Commemorating Seventy-Five Years of the Journal of Southern History

Article excerpt

IN NOVEMBER AND DECEMBER 1934, WHEN THE SOUTHERN HISTORICAL Association was being formed, the historians involved resolved that the primary purpose of the organization would be "the promotion of interest and research in southern history...." Those present agreed to establish a periodical, and, as they put it, "It is to the accomplishment of its major objective that The Journal of Southern History is dedicated. Southern history will be defined broadly in determining the inclusion of articles, documents, and reviews." (1) During this calendar year, 2009, Volume 75 of the Journal is being published, and the editors and editorial board members believe this signal event in the history of the Association should be commemorated with a special issue.

However, we do not want its emphasis to be narrowly on the Journal or primarily retrospective. We chose to solicit one longer, keynote article that would, in the broadest sense, examine the whole sweep of southern historiography and its contribution to American history. Then we decided to follow that with a baker's dozen of shorter articles--thought pieces in effect--that reflected on the current and prospective state of scholarship on more precise topics in the field. In fulfilling that intention, after the keynote article by Laura F. Edwards, we offer thirteen articles that address the state of the field and then suggest the future direction of southern history scholarship. The result is a historiographical kaleidoscope that reveals exciting current work, discusses new themes and methodological approaches, calls for more comparative scholarship, asks different kinds of questions, and in total provides evidence that the field is in a constant state of renewal. …

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