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Uncommon Sense

By oieahc · November 08, 2017

To the Revolution with the WMQ & JER

WMQ 6 min read

by Joshua Piker, Editor, William and Mary Quarterly 

October’s issue of the Quarterly went into the mail about two weeks ago and up on the OI Reader, Muse, and JSTOR soon thereafter. When you open your preferred format, you’ll see that we’ve published a joint issue with the Journal of the Early Republic around the theme of “Writing To and From the Revolution.” I’m delighted that this multi-year project has come to fruition, and I’m very grateful to all the people—particularly Cathy Kelly (the JER’s Editor), the staffs of the two journals, Doug Bradburn (who hosted a multiday workshop at Mt. Vernon), and, of course, the article’s authors—who put so much thought and effort into the initiative.

“Joint issue,” in this case, means that the WMQ and the JER are each publishing their own slate of articles—four apiece—and that each journal is also publishing the introductory and concluding essays, which are written by Alan Taylor and Serena Zabin, respectively. Using the pages of the two journals in this way allows us to present more full-scale, article-length essays. And because the articles were workshopped together and because Alan and Serena’s essays explicitly discuss all of the articles, the joint issue can feature both volume and coherence, both more voices and real conversation.

Of course, one of the conversations that we hope to spark is between the readerships of the two journals. To be sure, there’s already real overlap between SHEAR people and OI people, between scholars working on the “early republic” and those focused on “early America.” But Cathy and I have been struck by how often readers of one journal don’t consult the other and by how frequently conversations within one group fail to engage with the insights and concerns of the other.

With that in mind, Cathy and I have made arrangements for the subscribers of each journal to get free access to the joint issue articles published in the other journal. I will be sending OI Associates the address and password for a webpage that the JER folks have set up to host their articles. As for the WMQ articles, they are available free of charge to anyone via the OI Reader app.

If you have an Apple or Android phone or tablet, all you have to do is go to the App Store or Google Play, download the OI Reader (for free!), click on the icon for October 2017’s issue, and then click the “free” button. The WMQ’s articles from the joint issue will then live on your device.  And, again, all of this is freely available to anyone—to JER subscribers and OI Associates, of course, but also to other scholars and the general public.

That said, if you want a hardcopy of the joint issue and you’re not currently receiving the journal because your Associate’s membership has lapsed—or if you’ve never gotten around to joining the Associates and thereby supporting the Quarterly and all the rest of the OI’s efforts to advance the field of early American history—this is a terrific time to remedy that problem.  If you want to purchase a hardcopy of this one issue of the journal, you can do that by participating in our Doing History promotion. (Doing History: To the Revolution! is our podcast series on Ben Franklin’s World with host Liz Covart. For even more discussion of the American revolution, visit your favorite podcast provider and download the series.)

But enough logistics.  Here’s the lineup of the joint issue.  Happy reading.

Introduction: Expand or Die: The Revolution’s New Empire
by Alan Taylor

Revolution in the Quarterly? A Historiographical Analysis
by Michael A. McDonnell and David Waldstreicher

Atlantic Cultures and the Age of Revolution
by Nathan Perl-Rosenthal

Writing Women’s History Through the Revolution: Family Finances, Letter Writing, and Conceptions of Marriage
by Sara T. Damiano

Independence and Interdependence: The American Revolution and the Problem of Postcolonial Nationhood, circa 1802
by Eliga Gould

Conclusion: Writing To and From the Revolution
by Serena R. Zabin

Reviews of Books



[…] aims to continue this conversation, appropriately, in the digital sphere. Inspired by the joint issues in the winter of 2017 of the Journal of the Early Republic and the William and Mary Quarterly, […]
Digital Research, Digital Age: Blogging New Approaches to Early American Studies: Joint Issue with the Junto – The Panorama  •  April 08, 2019

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