When I first considered creating and editing a web-journal of United States history waaaaaay back in 2009 I envisioned a platform where promising undergraduates, who often have little or no access to professional academic journals, could experience writing, revising, and publishing original history, free from the painfully slow submission and peer review process typical of other journals. Since the first issue, published in July 2014, this course has veered to a slightly different tack. I now encourage submissions from all independent scholars, history “buffs” (for lack of a better word), and teachers. So far so good.
Earlier this year, University of Kentucky Ph.D. candidate Cody J. Foster approached me with the idea of a commemorative issue, focusing on America’s use of atomic weapons on the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945 – the history and legacy of the attacks on the 70th anniversary of the end of WWII. Mr. Foster was leading a summer session of undergraduates at Indiana University Southeast who were tasked to write short op-eds interrogating any number of questions arising as a result of America’s initiation of the nuclear age. He wanted to publish their work. Naturally, recalling my original vision…I jumped at the chance. In this issue you will find a couple of essays introducing the topic and – most important – the students’ work in nearly unedited form.
I believe that you will find their op-eds as intriguing as I did. This collection of undergraduate work is a small but revealing window into the possibilities of historical writing in the classroom at the college level.
You can read the Autumn 2015 issue HERE.
And as always, The Americanist Independent is totally and entirely gratis.