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  • From the Editor
  • Dallett Hemphill

It is an honor and a pleasure to take over the editorship of Early American Studies, which has become an important vehicle for scholarship in our multidisciplinary field. Its past editors, George Boudreau and Elaine Forman Crane, have made it so; I ask you, fellow readers and contributors, to help keep us headed in the right direction. I want to extend a public thanks to Elaine Crane, who could not have been more generous in sharing the details of how she has done such a terrific job editing EAS over the past six years. My primary goal as I get my bearings is to maintain the high standards she has set, both for the quality of work produced and the amazing expedition with which she guided scholarship from submission to publication. Her advice has been invaluable, and her allowing me to ride shotgun over the past six months has made for a smooth transition.

I am happy for the opportunity to edit this journal because, as a liberal arts person, I love its broad mission. There will be no change in the wide disciplinary and chronological sweep of scholarship welcomed here. In this and in other ways, I hope to keep the journal aligned with the many interests served by the McNeil Center. Thus, the Table of Contents will continue to offer the work of musicologists, archeologists, literary scholars, and historians of all specialties, to name just some of the disciplines that have been represented. The journal will continue to find authors and readers among scholars of the colonial, early national, and antebellum periods of American history. I hope we will continue to receive submissions on all subjects—from religion, politics, slavery, and housewifery to poetry, trade, architecture, and animal husbandry—and work that provides new perspectives on old questions. Geographically, North America before 1850 was part of a rapidly changing world, and any developments in that larger world that connect with the human experience in this hemisphere are worth considering.

All this is to say that to the degree that you see change in these pages over the next few years, it will be evolutionary. As I learn more about the work that you are doing and want to publish, as well as the capacities of the journal, I hope to discuss with the Editorial Board some ways to continue to excel in a changing environment. The journal's web presence is a tempting [End Page 209] area for development, for example, and Dave Lievens and Paul Chase at the University of Pennsylvania Press are as eager and willing to help us grow in that as in all other ways. I will be asking the Editorial Board how we can best serve our diverse constituency of early American scholars at different kinds of institutions—namely, research universities, more teaching-focused colleges, as well as libraries, archives, museums, and historic sites. Of course, to borrow and twist a phrase of Jefferson's, "We are all scholars; we are all teachers." I want to consider how we can support each other in the crucial endeavor of getting our work out to our students and the general public, after sharing and improving it among ourselves.

Fortunately, most of the stellar array of scholars who served on Elaine Crane's Editorial Board have agreed to remain in place. This is testimony to their commitment to keeping EAS on the impressive trajectory that Elaine established. Roderick McDonald has agreed to join them, a blessing for the journal, considering his discerning editorial eye. The McNeil Center fellows have a busy calendar, but I hope to explore ways to give any who may be interested exposure to this important area of the academic enterprise. For the moment, I will work with my smart and helpful editorial assistant, Sarah Rodriguez, a Penn history graduate student, to solicit and consider good work for all the existing departments of the journal, from regular articles to presentations of documents for "Consider the Source," to forums or special issues on specific topics. I urge you to send us your work, so we can sustain what the journal has already become, the place for scholars in various...


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pp. 209-210
Launched on MUSE
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