Perspectives on 2021
A Look Back at the Most Popular Articles of the Year
Perspectives on History cultivates the community of historians and promotes our work. In 2021, a year in which the world continued adjusting to a new normal, the publication showcased the vital work and adaptability of historians. Perspectives published pieces on how instructors reimagined the classroom by becoming the primary source, combining the classroom and students’ living rooms, and inviting active scholars into the K–12 classroom. We took a look at the world around us to publish pieces contextualizing current events, covering topics from divisive concepts to records retention and Juneteenth. Amid these important discussions, historians found fun ways to stay connected, some through bowling, others on Twitter through hashtags and movie nights, and blogging.
We are excited to share new articles with our readers in 2022. For now, we’re enjoying a chance to look back on the work historians produced throughout the past year.
As our own way to ring in the New Year, the team behind Perspectives pulled together a list of the most popular articles from each month. Enjoy this look back at what resonated with readers in 2021.
Please Stop Calling Things Archives by B. M. Watson
What do historians mean when they say “archive”? One archivist makes the case for a more precise use of the word.
American Solitude by Jeffrey Mathias
One year into the pandemic, what can we learn from mid-20th-century isolation studies?
Heterophobia? by Rebecca L. Davis
When she put on her suit that morning, Rebecca L. Davis could not have predicted the questions she faced during her on-campus interview.
Vaccine Hesitancy Is a 21st-Century Phenomenon by Gareth Millward
Since the 1940s, vaccination campaigns have been held to increasingly high, and difficult to meet, standards.
Cliché and Caricature by Dario A. Euraque
A historian of Latin America explains the origins of the term banana republic and explains why it was not an appropriate term for the January 6 insurrection.
History Museums Are Vibrant Civic Spaces by Caroline Klibanoff
History museums contribute to a vibrant civic culture yet were all but ignored in the New York Times' recent Museums section.
The Phantom Olympics by Paul Droubie
Japan’s decision to forfeit hosting the 1940 Olympic Games was the result of conflicting ideological impulses at the core of its Olympic bid.
A Snapshot of the Public’s Views on History by Pete Burkholder and Dana Schaffer
A national survey conducted by the AHA and Fairleigh Dickinson University looked to update our understanding of how Americans understand the past.
The Classicists in the History Department by Evan Jewell
As many ancient historians move out of classics departments, they should celebrate the unique disciplinary and interdisciplinary strengths they bring to history departments.
Playing with the Past by Patrick Rael
Board games encourage history students to imagine changing historical outcomes and discuss counterfactuality and contingency, while covering the entire range of Bloom’s taxonomy of learning.
Seeking Truths through Fiction by Alix E. Harrow, Suzanne Marie Litrel, and Laury Silvers
Three authors detail how they went from writing history to writing fiction.
Hustling to Get By by Rebecca Brenner Graham
After working 15 side gigs during her six years of graduate school, Rebecca Brenner Graham advocates for the importance of a living wage.
Alana Venable is the research and publications assistant at the AHA.
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