November 1, 2018

Call for Bloggers!

Calling all scholars working on the years between 1865 and 1920! Have some fascinating research or an unknown story from the archives to share? An experience in the classroom or a new exhibit that you’ve worked on? We’re looking for blog posts from you! We’d love to have posts from independent scholars, public historians, graduate students, teachers, and professors on a wide range of topics. We’re especially looking for posts on borderlands, race and ethnic studies, migration, gender, sexuality, and intersectional histories, but all topics and approaches are welcome. Undergraduates are welcome to submit posts for publication consideration and instructors may submit collective posts. The new SHGAPE Blog (part of the website for the Society of the Gilded Age and Progressive Era) attracts a broad public audience and we can’t wait to feature your work!

Contact Lauren MacIvor Thompson, Georgia State University at with your pitch!



October 31, 2018
We are happy to share SHGAPE President Kristin Hoganson’s note commending the work of Robert D. Johnston and Benjamin H. Johnson as outgoing editors of the Journal of the Gilded Age and Progressive Era. You can find information and the accompanying editors’ note for the issue over at the Latest Journal Issue page!

Valedictory note

Kristin Hoganson, President, Society for Historians of the Gilded Age and Progressive Era

Looking back at the last five years of The Journal of the Gilded Age and Progressive Era, it seems that although the outgoing co-editors, Robert D. Johnston and Benjamin H. Johnson, have published plenty of Gilded Age content, their term as editors has been a thoroughly progressive era.

Their first issue, in Jan. 2015, brought Jay-Z to the pages of JGAPE.  That spirit of innovation has carried forward to this, their last issue.  While following in their predecessors’ footsteps in the basic format of the journal, the high standards for scholarly excellence, the inclusion of a wide range of work, and the occasional themed issue with guest editorial assistance, Robert and Ben have also introduced several new features.

Venturing beyond the core of the journal – the articles chosen from the submissions that landed on their desks (or laptops) and the book reviews ably edited by Elaine Frantz — Ben and Robert arranged a historiographical intervention feature, aimed at reflecting on classic books.  They orchestrated special fora, including one on Indigenous histories that launched its guest editors, Boyd Cothran and C. Joseph Genetin-Pilawa, on the journey that has now placed them at the helm of JGAPE as Robert and Ben’s successors.  They launched special issues, roundtables, a primary source reflection, and a feature labeled “Public Commemoration” that featured a critical assessment of The Birth of a Nation a century after its release.  As debates over migration, borders, and diversity played out in headlines and news feeds, with significant consequences on the ground, they published a forum on immigration, structured as a conversation among six historians of migration and borders.

Their commitment to teaching – and to valuing the particular expertises of teachers – has been palpable in the pages of JGAPE.  Among the prompts for the forum on immigration were questions on teaching immigration history in a tense political environment.  In the Jan 2015 issue, they published an essay on teaching The Great Gatsby in the high school classroom by a high school teacher who wrote from experience.  The “teaching forum” on John Green’s “Crash Course US History” videos also merits note, as do the fora on the revised Advanced Placement U.S. History exam and the Reacting to the Past educational games.

Editing can be persnickety, meticulous work, but editing a journal such as JGAPE also requires the ability to think widely and imaginatively, to see the potential in novel, half-baked ideas, and to grasp the importance of new lines of thought.  Robert and Ben have excelled not only in the hedgehog aspects of editing, but also in the fox-like parts of the job.  And they have consistently done so with an eye on the larger stakes of historical research and the connections between the years encompassed by the journal and our own time.

Their editorial voice has come across not only in the journal’s tables of contents but also in the introductions they have written for each issue.  These have done more than signpost what lies ahead; they have also reflected on the meaning of the past for the present.  As their comments on Woodrow Wilson’s legacy, the labor movement, electoral politics, and recent Klan activity suggest, they saw their work as editors as a way to sharpen our understanding of the world we live in today.  They have invited readers to continue the conversation, signaling that they meant it by providing email addresses.

Shortly after assuming the editorship, they wrote of their hope that the journal would speak “in a multivoiced register, eschewing respectability when necessary and taking seriously all kinds of scholarship, sources, and seemingly strange subjects.” (Editors’ note, April 2015).  Although they never really managed to ditch respectability, they did expose their readers to a whole chorus of voices.  And even as they strove to jazz things up, clearly delighting in fresh approaches and intellectual discovery, they also took the enterprise seriously, as the best of editors do.  Knowing that our work matters, they never lost sight of the importance of their own.

The care they haven taken in soliciting peer reviewers, the attention they have given to honing arguments and prose, the thought they have put into producing each issue can be seen on every page they edited.  On behalf of SHGAPE and the many readers who have turned to JGAPE to better understand the backstory to the present, thank you and well done.


September 10, 2018

The Weather Channel and weather apps like Accuweather are a new medium for an old method. Today’s post features Dr. Jamie Pietruska’s fascinating backstory to the business of weather prediction – a timely read for the current hurricane season!

September 7, 2018

SHGAPE member Christopher Nichols, Associate Professor of History at Oregon State University, has a wonderful TED talk out on American isolationism.

“In a country today that feels more divided than ever, what better time to look beyond our immediate reactions and dig deeper? To search our past for greater understanding? In this masterful Talk, Christopher Nichols PhD, dives into the origins of America Isolationism and “America First.” The parallels to today and “Make America Great Again” provokes and creates an informed debate. He passionately explains that history is a vaccine against superficiality. When we take time to unearth the full story, time to understand it, we gain a new depth of insight which can create a better tomorrow.”

Congratulations, Chris!


August 8, 2018

This week’s exclusive web content features an intriguing post from recent University of Michigan Ph.D Jacques Martin Vest. He brings us a fascinating story from the archives of the New York Public Library on the surprises of research, the connections between the record industry and early twentieth-century material culture, and a little dog mascot named Nipper. Enjoy! On Nippers, Nipper-Napping, and the New York Public Library

July 30, 2018

Today, we’re pleased to feature the editors’ note for the July 2018 issue of the Journal of the Gilded Age and Progressive Era. Editors C. Joseph Genetin-Pilawa, Boyd Cothran, Robert D. Johnston, and Benjamin H. Johnson give us a preview and smart commentary on the fascinating set of articles in Volume 17, Issue 3.

July 18, 2018

Welcome to the first installment of the featured exclusive content on the updated SHGAPE Website! We are pleased to feature our first post

The Blue and the Gray at Gettysburg, Assembly Tent, Gettysburg Celebration, Pennsylvania. Gettysburg Pennsylvania United States, ca. 1913. Photograph. Library of Congress. (

from doctoral student Donald Thomas Hickey of the University of California, Santa Cruz on reconciliation literature after the Civil War. Hickey’s post will be the first in a series of fascinating essays by historians of the Gilded Age and Progressive Era, giving readers an inside look on their research, archival adventures, and the untold stories from this period of history. If you have an idea for a post, please email Lauren MacIvor Thompson ( Enjoy!



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