Since 1986, the History Department’s Historical Studies Journal has featured exceptional student papers with strong arguments and historical analysis. With the shift of this year’s journal to an entirely digital format, the expectations for excellence have not changed, but the ability to feature multimedia projects marks a profound evolution in the 36-year-old publication. This year’s head editors, Teresa Donahue and Noah Allyn, faced the unique challenges of not only re-imagining the potential range of the journal’s content, but also implementing their skills in web design as they re-built the publication within a digital format. Above all, they hoped that their efforts make the journal more accessible to a wider audience.
Both Teresa and Noah have worked as assistant editors for previous editions of the Historical Studies Journaland paired up as a team because they believed that a collaborative process would further elevate this year’s issue. With the challenge of building a digital template for not only this year’s publication, but also for future editions, Teresa and Noah truly leaned on one another. Now, with all said and done, the team recognizes the rewards of overcoming these challenges: “Web design is challenging in many ways, and it can be daunting during that design and implementation process, but when it comes together it feels even more satisfying.” As the History Department enters a new age of digital scholarship, we have this team to thank for laying the necessary groundwork to support future innovations.
The students whose projects were selected for this year’s issue are Raphael Angoulvant, Grace Anolin, Cullen Green, Keira Richards, Caitlin Ross, and Abigail Wedlick. Their topics range from female Jesuit missionaries in 16th-century New France to the impact of the AIDS Crisis in Denver. A uniting theme among these projects is a focus on the marginalization of historically underrepresented populations, centering Native American, female, queer, and working-class perspectives. One project, by Caitlin Ross, even explored the construction of white American citizenship through the racial and cultural biases that were taught through Denver’s early-20thcentury educational textbooks. This year’s issue also features the journal’s first multimedia project, by Keira Richards, presented in web format with the visible accompaniment of the Python coding that she used to visualize the data through tables and graphs.
Moving into the future, students are encouraged to submit multimedia history projects like podcasts, websites, maps, and videos, as well as traditional research papers so that the journal can continue to be a showcase of student excellence and innovation. The History Department thanks the authors of these outstanding projects for their contributions, as well as Teresa and Noah for their hard work and fearless leadership ushering the Historical Studies Journal into a new digital age.
By Teddy Scott