- Editor’s Page
Fifteen Days of Fame (or at least of media attention)
The JER article by Robert M. Peck and Eric P. Newman, “Discovered! The First Engraving of an Audubon Bird,” in our Fall 2010 issue garnered a flurry of interest—more than the fifteen minutes of fame promised by Andy Warhol. The article touched on areas rarely, if ever, explored in the journal—art history, numismatics, and natural history—as well as some familiar themes—banking history, biography, and archival research. Recognizing the broad appeal of this article, Penn Press and the Academy of Natural Sciences in Philadelphia, where Peck is Curator of Arts and Artifacts and Senior Fellow, issued a joint press release. A story based on the article quickly made the front page of the Philadelphia Inquirer. That story was then picked up by AP and Reuters and spread across the country. MSNBC and ABC news in New York City gave it attention. Robert Peck was interviewed on National Public Radio’s Morning Edition. It appeared on the websites of Discovery magazine, National Geographic, Science News, Financial News, and more. Then the news cycle, with its short attention span, turned to other subjects. The JER is not so fickle, and the article remains easily accessible in print and electronic formats, so if you missed it the first time around, do pick it up; it is great fun as well as being innovative scholarship.
We should thank not only the authors, but Kate Tyler Wall for recruiting the article and Roderick McDonald for initiating the editorial process.
The varied subjects touched on in Peck and Newman’s work also indicate the expanding horizons of the field of early American history—in this case interdisciplinary research and analysis, and a trans-Atlantic focus. This issue pushes early Americanists even further. Past president Rosemarie Zagarri urges a global awareness in “The Significance of the ‘Global Turn’ for the Early American Republic: Globalization in the Age of Nation-Building.” It is a clarion call for more comparative research [End Page 135] and a fascinating example of how such a framework can incorporate gender as well as national history, diplomacy and commerce.
This is the last issue when all the book reviews have been edited by Robert S. Cox and Rachel K. Onuf. For five years they have volunteered their services, and they now move on to other interests. Thanks to both for their generosity and their outstanding service, and best of luck to both with their new projects.
Time to register for the annual conference in Philadelphia, July 14–17, 2011.
And it is past time to renew your membership and/or become a Friend of SHEAR. Do it today! [End Page 136]