Sporting a T-shirt reading “I Was a Lesbian Child,” a young woman grasping a handful of helium balloons gazes out from the cover of the new issue of Perspectives on History. Taken in New York City in 1992, Donna Binder’s photograph of an action by an activist group known as the Lesbian Avengers reminds us that efforts to make curricula inclusive have a history.
Like the scent of fresh school supplies, Perspectives on History is back for fall. We’re proud to present our big September issue, featuring a special section, Perspectives on Democracy. Because the topic is far from specific to the United States, and certainly transcends our current presidential campaign, we gathered six historians to tackle it from points of view the world over. Our specialists include AHA past president Barbara Weinstein (Brazil), Peter Zarrow (China), Emily Lord Fransee (Senegal), Charlotte Lydia Riley (United Kingdom), Ramnarayan Rawat (India), and Johann N.
Mixtapes contained tiny archives. In the heyday of the portable cassette—which overlapped with King Vinyl before the great extinction-by-compact-disc of the 1980s—they allowed DJs and freestyle rappers to circulate their work to a micropublic. Unlike Grateful Dead concert bootlegs (which also united a public), mixtapes put individual virtuosity at the center of their aesthetic. As cassettes saturated suburban bedrooms and tape decks became fixtures in cars, young music fans created mixtapes for their own pleasure and to exchange with peers. Today, hip-hop artists still drop mixtapes (making new tracks or remixes available for download), and cassettes are fixtures in many prisons.
The April issue of Perspectives on History arrives near the end of the academic year, when many historians are neck-deep in metrics—grades, course evaluations, funding allocations, and more. So it’s appropriate that several stories in this month’s Perspectives address modes of measurement and their implications.
By Allison Miller
An open file cabinet graces the cover of this month’s Perspectives on History. As an illustration for our cover story—a brief for the power of academic administration to further knowledge production—it’s apt enough.
Are historians shaking off a Frankfurt School hangover? Anecdotally, it seems that having a taste for mass culture is more acceptable today than it was in the past, at least for the critical set.
One of the pleasures of editing Perspectives on History is the opportunity to work with authors committed to history in so many of its facets—including but not limited to academic research, public history, and teaching
I’m pleased to announce that the November issue of Perspectives on History is online, and it’s packed with stories that challenged, provoked, inspired, and fascinated us as we prepared the magazine for production.