Publication Date

January 1, 1996

Robert Brent Toplin is professor of history at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington, where he teaches courses on American history, film and history, and Latin American history. Toplin, who received his Ph.D. from Rutgers University, has also taught at Denison University and the University of Houston at Clear Lake. He has held fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the American Council of Learned Societies, and the American Philosophical Society.

Toplin developed an interest in the visual media through work as a filmmaker with PBS television. He was the creator and project director for Denmark Vesey's Rebellion (1982), Solomon Northup's Odyssey (1984), Charlotte Forten's Mission (1985), and Lincoln and the War Within (1992). Two of these films also appeared on the Disney Channel, and the docudrama about Solomon Northup received the Bamouw Award from the Organization of American Historians.

Toplin is the author or editor of a number of articles and eight books, including “The Filmmaker as Historian” (American Historical Review, 1988), History by Hollywood: The Use and Abuse of the American Past (1996), and Ken Burns's Civil War: The Historians' Response (1996). He is also editor of film reviews for the Journal of American History.

Submission Guidelines

Toplin would like to incorporate a wide variety of discussions about the media in this column. It would be useful to see articles, for example, that review important historical films, explore the challenge of interpreting history through film, reveal the experiences of historians who serve as advisers to film projects, report on the work of historians who have become filmmakers, examine new books about film and history, comment on sessions about film and history at national meetings, and report on film-oriented programs featured at museums and public sites. Articles dealing with other forms of media arewe1come too, including discussions about radio, television, and CD-ROM.

Submissions may be up to twelve doubles-paced pages long with no more than five endnotes. Please include a diskette (preferably a PC-compatible one) along with a paper copy. Forward submissions to Robert Brent Toplin, Contributing Editor for Film and Media, Perspectives, Dept. of History, University of North Carolina, Wilmington, NC 28403-3297.

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