Episodes for the March 2022 Issue

History in Focus is a podcast by the American Historical Review.

Go behind the scenes with the world's leading history journal as we explore the who, what, how, and why of doing history in the twenty-first century.


1. Follow Your Nose

Daniel talks with AHR editor Mark Bradley about the changes coming to the journal in March, in particular a new section called the AHR History Lab that will showcase collaborative projects that challenge us to rethink how history is done in the twenty-first century. Then a conversation with contributors to the Odeuropa project, an EU grant funded research endeavor that seeks to excavate, and bring back to life, the smells of Europe's past.

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2. Unlikely Entry Points and Unexpected Dead Ends

This episode explores unlikely ways into research and what can happen when we confront what seems like a deadend. Daniel talks with Judd Kinzley about his article “Wartime Dollars and the Crowning of China’s Hog-Bristle King: The Dubious Legacies of US Aid, 1938–49.” And History Unclassified editor Kate Brown speaks with Jennifer Lambe about her article “Christine Jorgensen in Cuba: On Dormant Leads and Archival Dead Ends.”

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3. From the Reviews Desk, March 2022 Edition

Daniel talks with AHR associate editor Fei-Hsien Wang about the Reviews section of the March 2022 issue, including a cluster of five history podcast reviews and a new column called Authors in Conversation. Shawn McHale and Christopher Goscha kicked off that column with reviews of each other’s recent books on the Indochina War, and they talk here about their work and their experience of trying out this approach to reviewing.

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4. The Blackivists

The Blackivists, a collective of professionally trained Black archivists in Chicago, partner with institutions and community groups to help preserve the city’s Black cultural heritage as well as model reparative approaches to archives and archiving. Daniel talks with Ashley Farmer, who teamed up with the Blackivists to produce the AHR History Lab piece “Toward an Archival Reckoning” for the June 2022 issue. One of the collective—Stacie Williams—joins Ashley to talk about the group’s work. And Adom Getachew checks in to set this project in the context of a larger arc of upcoming Lab entries on the theme of “engaged history.”

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BONUS: Historians and Their Publics

In this special episode, we look at Jacqueline Jones’s AHA Presidential Address, “Historians and Their Publics, Then and Now,” delivered on January 7th, 2022, at the AHA annual meeting in New Orleans. You’ll hear an abridged version of the address paired with a conversation between Jones and Mark Bradley about the address. Jacqueline Jones served as president of the American Historical Association in 2021.

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