2022 Editors’ Note
The University of Colorado Denver’s Historical Studies Journal has offered students, as well as their professors, the chance to showcase their best work for nearly forty years. For students whose work makes it into the journal, publication provides invaluable experience with the peer review process and professional publication standards. The assistant editors, a team comprised of graduate student volunteers, similarly gain insight into the peer review process and the complexities of academic publication. The HSJ offers head editors the chance to oversee the peer review process and the publication of an academic journal from start to finish. Finally, the 39th edition of the Historical Studies Journal marks an exciting transition for the publication into a purely digital format. This year’s edition of the Historical Studies Journal, now available in an online format, explores a diversity of fascinating historical topics thanks to the hard work of both undergraduate and graduate students.
The 39th edition of the Historical Studies Journal includes projects focusing on a range of topics. Numerous publications highlight local histories by focusing on Denver. Keira Richard’s “HIV/AIDS Cases in Denver, 1981-2002,” for instance, showcases the advantages of digital mediums in historical scholarship. Responding to the stigmatization of AIDS as “Gay Related Immune Deficiency” or “Gay Cancer,” Richards focuses on data gathered from Denver during the 1980s and 1990s to examine the origins of this stigma and to shed light on the far-reaching effects of AIDS beyond the stereotyped white homosexual community. Likewise, Caitlin Ross’ “Racialized American Political Identity in Denver Public School Textbooks During the Americanization Era” highlights Denver’s 20th-century history as part of a broader national narrative concerning race, identity, and citizenship. Ross traces educators’ efforts to Americanize Southern and Eastern European immigrants during the early Twentieth Century. Although she focuses primarily on educational curriculums and textbooks from Denver, Ross places the topic within the broader context of nationwide assimilation efforts. In doing so, Ross sheds light on notions of race and citizenship, highlighting how assimilation efforts relied fundamentally on the exclusion of non-white immigrants. Lastly, Raphael Angoulvant’s “Out of the Basement: The Denver Art Museum’s Native Arts Collection, 1922–1970” chronicles the history of the Denver Art Museum’s native arts collections. Specifically, he examines discussions about whether to portray indigenous work in a purely aesthetic manner or as a means of cultural education, highlighting how such national debates influenced the DAM’s development over the course of five decades.
This year’s publication also features broader explorations of Colorado history. Abigail Wedlick’s “Long Lost: Conservation and Outdoor Recreation in Post-World War II America” focuses on the historical growth of Colorado’s outdoor recreation industry in the context of the conservation movement. Wedlick examines the cyclical relationship between recreation and conservation, arguing that increased recreational activities necessitate increased conservation efforts to maintain healthy ecosystems. In doing so, she examines Colorado as a case study for an overarching narrative about conservationism and outdoor recreation in the United States during the twentieth century. Moving beyond Colorado, this edition also explores various historical topics related to colonial North America. “White and Wendat Sisters: A Study of Female Perspectives During the Jesuit Missions in Colonial New France” by Grace Anolin offers a compelling window into a period of cultural exchange between European and Indigenous women in 17th-century New France. Relying mostly on primary sources from female Jesuit missionaries, Anolin’s essay offers unique insight into the clashing of two religious worldviews and its effects on gender roles in both societies. Shifting the focus to the pre-Revolutionary United States, Cullen Green’s “Lawless Backcountry: Hunters, Bandits, and Other Outcasts During the South Carolina Regulation, 1761-1772” looks to the South Carolina frontier during the mid-18th century. Green delves into the founding of the Regulator movement—a vigilante group of local property owners that sought to combat bandits and nighttime hunters—while also examining broader issues of poverty that drove such activities in the state’s backcountry.
We are honored to have served as the head editors for this year’s Historical Studies Journal. The prospect of transitioning the journal to an online format added another layer of complexity to the role, so we want to extend our gratitude to Dr. Dale J. Stahl for trusting us with this challenge and providing assistance every step of the way. We also want to give special thanks to Dr. Cameron Blevins for his guidance, as well as Dr. Marjorie Levine-Clark, Dr. Xiaofei Gao and Dr. Gabriel Finkelstein for their contributions to the project. We also want to thank our wonderful team of assistant editors. All of this would not have been possible without the help of Bianca Barriskill, Jose Carbon, Summer Carper, Valerie Cooper, Benjamin Humphries, Mark A. Ortiz, and Jake Wilkes. Lastly, we want to thank and congratulate all the authors who contributed to the 39th edition of the Historical Studies Journal. They worked in collaboration with our editing team to ensure the highest quality content possible in this year’s edition.
The creation and publication of this journal was no easy feat. Only through a collaborative effort between the authors, assistant editors, head editors, and history department faculty were we able to successfully put together this year’s edition of the Historical Studies Journal. This has been a fun, yet challenging process and we’re excited to see what the future holds for this publication.