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  • Editors' Note
  • Jean Allman and Antoinette Burton

In July 2004, the Journal of Women's History moved to the University of Illinois from Ohio State University, where it had been edited by Leila Rupp—and recently co-edited by Donna Guy—for eight prosperous years. Thanks to the good offices of everyone at OSU, the transition has been a smooth one. We are grateful to Susan Hartmann, Birgitte Søland, and Anne Collinson for hosting us in Columbus as we prepared to move the files and talked through the joys and challenges of journal work. We are especially indebted to OSU Managing Editor Stephanie Gilmore, who drove with us back to Champaign-Urbana and helped unload the boxes from our van to the new JWH offices in 318 Gregory Hall. With characteristic energy and generosity, Stephanie carefully walked us through what we have come to know as "the life of a manuscript." Words cannot express our gratitude. Her eye for detail and her willingness to hold our hands for those first dizzying days made a world of difference in how quickly we were able to get up and running. Last but certainly not least, as we take up our new responsibilities, we want to thank Leila Rupp, whose sage advice on matters large and small continues to help us as we adjust to the rhythms of production day to day. Leila's tenure as journal editor has profoundly shaped the directions of women's and gender history over the last decade. As the new joint editors, we hope to build upon her impressive legacy by continuing the journal's tradition of innovative scholarship that at once showcases state-of-the-art research and points to new avenues of historical inquiry.

The changes that have occurred over the past several months, in the journal offices and in its staff, are reflected in this issue's opening pages, where we introduce our new local editorial staff and acknowledge our gratitude to the journal's founding editor, Christie Farnham, and its editors emeritae: Christie Farnham, Joan Hoff, Leila Rupp, and Donna Guy. New on these pages is a listing of the members of the journal's founding board of associate editors in 1989—many of whom continued to serve for many years. Because the journal constitutes a living archive of what women's and gender history has been, as well as a testament to its indispensable place in the historical profession at large, we consider it important to acknowledge the foundational role of these scholars. Finally, readers will find the new listing for the journal's Editorial Board. In the past, there were listings for a U.S. Board of Associate Editors and an International Board of Advisers. Because we are dedicated to expanding the journal's transnational breadth and because email and cyber technology now make it possible for an article to wing its way from Singapore to [End Page 6] Cape Town in two seconds, we have, in line with the journal's new constitution, done away with the distinction between U.S. and International, and have consolidated membership into one board. For those who have rotated off the board and to all international advisers, we wish to express our profound gratitude for your hard work and ongoing support for the journal. To those now joining us—welcome!

The nature of journal transitions is such that we step into our new editorial roles as significant beneficiaries of the hard work of our predecessors. We are delighted to introduce this issue, whose articles and reviews began life almost a year ago under the careful supervision of Leila and Donna. We are especially pleased to open with the section "New Directions in African American Women's History," which features three essays emphasizing the complex tangle of social context and individual agency that produces historical change—large and small. Laila Haidarali's article, "Polishing Brown Diamonds," charts the emergence of "Brownskin" models in the post-World War II United States, arguing that they produced a "racial corrective" to dominant visual discourses by offering new, and newly professionalized, images of the African American working woman in the postwar economy. Haidarali highlights the roles of both...


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pp. 6-9
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