Welcome to Past Tense Online!

Welcome to Past Tense Online, a new page managed by the editorial collective of the Past Tense Graduate Review of HistoryPast Tense Online expands the scope of the journal by offering young and promising historians a year-round venue to reflect on and intervene in current debates in the scholarly literature.

Over the past year, the COVID-19 Pandemic, rapidly escalating climate change, and the explosion of social movements across the world challenging persistent patterns of social, political, and economic oppression, have dramatically changed the academic landscape, forcing many of us to rethink the paradigms of our fields while we’re stuck in place and out of the archives.  

Past Tense Online is presentist to its core, calling on new historians to contribute their expertise to the myriad social crises that we face. We seek two forms of contributions: commentaries and reviews. Commentaries are essays of 1000-1500 words that intervene in current historiographical debates, place current events in historical perspective, or share quirky historical narratives or unexpected archival finds. We are also interested in digital exhibits and pieces that utilize audio, cinematic, and photographic materials that can be reproduced in an interactive website. Reviews are succinct pieces of 500-1000 words that share the latest works in the humanities and social sciences and assess their impact on relevant historiography and criticism.

We are excited about the future of Past Tense Online and look forward to reading and sharing your work with historians across the world. We also welcome any and all suggestions or recommendations for improvement, as well as proposals for collaboration. Please write to us at pasttensejournal@gmail.com.

Volume 8 Now Available

We are pleased to announce the release of Volume 8 of Past Tense Graduate Review of History.

This past year has produced unprecedented changes and challenges, which significantly impacted the publication of this issue. However, thanks to the hard work and patience of our authors and editorial team, we are thrilled to be able to share three incredible articles by graduate students.

Billy Sawyers’ article examines Japanese colonial power in Taiwan through a study a collection of commemorative postcards from the Truku-Japanese war of 1914.

Laura Tibi’s award-winning article explores ideas of memory, nationhood, and identity in works by Palestinian artists of the twentieth century.

Anna Wenzel’s article brings attention to how Cuban exile political extremism was portrayed in American Cuban exile newspapers of the 1970s.

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

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 pasttensejournal@gmail.com 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 pasttensejournal@gmail.com.