- An Introduction to The CHR Presents …
Welcome to The chr Presents, a new feature from the Canadian Historical Review (chr) created to mark the journal's centennial in 2020–21 and the start of the chr's second century as one of Canada's most important and long-standing scholarly endeavours.
The concept behind The chr Presents is to allow a scholar to utilize the extensive back catalogue of the journal–dating to 1920– to develop a historiographical essay that frames a selection of past articles, reviews, or other types of pieces from the journal that they have chosen to highlight and assess but that also provides an opportunity for each scholar to address the chosen theme in whichever manner they see fit. By providing a historiographical overview of a particular topic that is interesting to readers, and by reframing and breathing new life into some of the journal's older articles, we have essentially asked scholars to create an edited collection that springs from the pages of the chr, curated by each author.
It is our hope that these supplements to the first few volumes of the chr following its centenary in 2019–20 (volume 100) can provide historians, other scholars, students, and readers with insights into the evolution, issues, and some of the key debates of a particular theme, not only as each theme unfolded across the pages of the journal since 1920 but also, more generally, across the theme's historiographical development and scholarship over time.
Of course, given the vast archive that constitutes the chr's first century, the themes and the pieces chosen by each author are selective as opposed to exhaustive or representative. Moreover, in asking each scholar to write about a theme of their particular interest, we have imposed no specific expectations upon each commissioned author as to what their historiographical essay should look like, beyond following their own instincts. At the same time, since the historiographical essay and past articles will be published solely online, there are no limitations to the length of the introductory essay, nor are there any specific expectations as to the number of past articles, reviews, Historical Perspectives, Life in History memoirs, chr Forum selections, or other pieces that are included in each collection.
Some of the themes that authors have been chosen to write about have a challenging past in the pages of the chr. There may be gaps or absences in the journal's history in which certain themes were neglected or were written about in a way that present-day readers may find problematic, including in the interpretations, choice of language, or terminology that may have been employed in [End Page iii] the past. We do not shy away from these challenges, and we have asked our readers to take a "warts and all" approach to how the journal may have addressed the themes being explored. This project is not a hagiography of the chr but, rather, an attempt to create earnest and thoughtful examinations of themes in Canadian history. As such, authors may be sharply critical in their assessments of how the journal treated themes in the past, which we welcome.
Finally, readers should please keep in mind that the historiographical essays that introduce and frame each issue of The chr Presents are not original pieces of research but commissioned interpretive essays, with articles and other pieces from the back catalogue attached to create an edited collection. Ultimately, our goal is to have a diverse range of chr Presents collections available to students and scholars as online edited collections that are accessible, useful, and interesting and that also provide an opportunity to both assess themes that are important in Canadian history and the chr's past and perhaps to provide some direction to historians and readers as we begin the journal's second century.
The Editors, Canadian Historical Review [End Page iv]