Call for External Reviewers

We have extended our call for external reviewers!

The Past Tense Editorial Board relies on external reviewers for our anonymous peer review process. The ideal candidate is a graduate student in a History PhD program (or closely-related field) who has reached candidate status and has both thematic and geographic expertise. External reviewers evaluate research article submissions with respect to their originality, argumentation, style, and historiographical rigour. The feedback we receive from reviewers is instrumental in determining the acceptance of articles for publication.

The majority of external review work for the 2021 issue will take place in April. The editors assign articles they determine are within a reviewer’s range of expertise, and the number of articles reviewed each issue cycle will vary based on submissions. We typically will not assign reviewers more than two articles per cycle.

The application for external reviewers can be found here, and will be open until March 14th, 2021.

Submissions for Past Tense Summer 2021

The deadline for research article submissions has passed for our summer 2021 issue, but we are still accepting book reviews (between 500-750 words) and critical commentaries (of no more than 1500 words) on issues in the field of history. Examples of critical commentary submissions include thought pieces, analyses of current events in historical perspective, and quirky historical or archive stories. We welcome graduate students to submit book reviews and critical commentaries by March 4th to be considered for publication in our summer 2021 issue. 

We are particularly interested in commentaries addressing the following topics:

  • History in the Time of Covid: How do we practice, learn, and teach history during the COVID-19 Pandemic? How have travel restrictions, program delays, and social isolation impacted research and writing practices, and individual mental health? How have social inequities materialized and intensified due to COVID-19 in both local (for e.g. in urban geography of spread) and global (for e.g. food (in)security in the developing word) contexts?
  • Public health and the Covid-19 Pandemic in historical perspective
  • Black Lives Matter and racial justice advocacy: How do we tackle legacies of white supremacy and (neo)colonialism in history-writing and the university? What is/are the future(s) of critical race studies? 
  • Current trends and historical perspectives on indigenous rights and activism
  • Popular and public history: engaging with wider audiences and readerships in TV, film, podcasting, video games, and other media
  • Ecology and the Environment in 2021: examining natural disasters, food scarcity, and environmental advocacy across national borders

If you have another idea for a critical commentary, please reach out to us at to “pitch” your story. We will also be accepting short book reviews and critical commentaries covering a range of topics on a rolling basis. Submissions and pitches sent to us after the March 4th deadline will be considered and reviewed by the editorial team for publication on our website.

2020-2021 Update

Past Tense has experienced significant delays in the publication of our Spring 2020 issue, due to challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. We remain committed to releasing our 2020 issue, though we are now predicting a fall 2020 publication.

We expect to see delays with publishing the 2021 issue as well. For this reason, we have extended the deadlines to submit papers for publication until December 15th, 2020. We intend to publish the 2021 issue in summer 2021.

We thank you for your patience and understanding in these difficult circumstances. If you have questions or concerns about how Past Tense is responding to these unprecedented times, please contact us at

Volume 7 Now Available

We are pleased to announce the release of Volume 7 of Past Tense Graduate Review of History.

Volume 7 features three academic articles written by graduate students from across North America. Jason Romisher’s award-winning article details the ways that segregation was enacted in New Jersey, as well as African American responses to northern Jim Crow practices, focusing on swimming pools and beaches.

Jacob Bell’s article brings attention to an eighteenth-century sexual assault case, examining the international significance of this case at the time.

Vladimir Penaloza’s article examines the role of Latin America in the Second World War, encouraging readers to reconsider the conventional narratives about Nicaraguan participation in international wartime diplomacy.

Drawing from diverse time periods and geographies, the articles in this issue all speak to the way activity and passivity have been understood in specific historical contexts. All three articles offer examples of individuals, groups, and governments demonstrating agency, and ask us to re-think commonly held beliefs about authority, control, resistance, and action in the past in light of more nuanced understandings about reciprocal but unequal power relationships.

The issue also features a book review by Benson Cheung.

Thank you for supporting graduate research in history, and please enjoy the latest issue of Past Tense!