Academic journal article Early American Studies

From the Editor

Academic journal article Early American Studies

From the Editor

Article excerpt

Until recently, the title of this journal did not impinge on my consciousness. Yet the more I consider the word studies, the more I realize it is an important statement of the journal's objective, much as the word interdisciplinary defines its contents. History was and is an integral feature of the journal's focus, but history per se is only one facet of its many sides. If the Spring 2010 issue highlighted early American archaeology, the current issue not only includes an investigation into nineteenth-century American literature, but also offers a modern work of fiction about an even earlier America.

Geographically expansive and chronologically broad, the essays in this issue remind us how the direction of the profession has changed over the years. An attention to gender has contributed to that change, as women and the family take their place alongside traditional subjects. Dallett Hemphill takes an innovative approach to the history of the family with an essay on the importance of sibling relationships in early America - a topic barely investigated until now. The study of Quaker women has a long trajectory, but Amanda Herbert tackles a new subject by investigating the "sufferings" of early female public Friends and their place in the construction of gender history.

The reach of historical investigation has spread far beyond the shores of the original colonies, both geographically and chronologically, although there is still much to learn about the history of our most familiar settlements. …

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