Commonplace
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 1, 2004 Contact: James David Moran
(508) 471-2131 (office)
(508) 248-4694 (home)
(508) 783-5085 (cell)
jmoran@mwa.org (e-mail)

Puritans’ views on gay marriage one feature in the April issue of Common-place

On line history journal bridges scholarly and public worlds as it explores pre-twentieth-century American history and culture

Worcester, MA— The April 2004 issue of the online journal Common-place (www.Common-place.org) features an examination of the Puritan conception of marriage in the column “Talk of the Past” with guest columnist, Mark Peterson, who also speculates upon how the Puritans would react to today’s same sex marriage controversy. The April issue also includes a discussion of expectations and perceptions of contemporary travel with those of Mark Twain in an article entitled, “Traveling with Twain in an Age of Simulations” by Jeffrey N. Wasserstrom; in “Soldiers’ Tales”, the remembrances of a Revolutionary war veteran and those of his family are relayed by his great, great, great, great, granddaughter, Andie Tucher; and how race, murder, and a smallpox epidemic converged in the life of Cotton Mather are examined in “This Miserable African” by Mark S. Weiner.

In the “Common School” section an innovative integration of primary sources with an online comic book at the Minnesota Historical Society is showcased and the moral and social lessons of Charles Wilson Peale’s painting “The Stuart Children” are explored in the column “Object Lessons.”

The issue also includes book reviews of: William Bradford’s Books: Of Plimmoth Plantation and the Printed Word by Douglas Anderson; One Vast Winter Count: The Native American West before Lewis and Clark by Colin G. Calloway; Theology in America: Christian Thought from the Age of the Puritans to the Civil War by E. Brooks Holifield; Foul Means: The Formation of a Slave Society in Virginia, 1660-1740 by Anthony S. Parent; and Possessions, The History and Uses of Haunting in the Hudson Valley by Judith Richardson; Jr.

The April 2004 issue of Common-place will be on-line through June and then available among the journal’s archived issues on the website. Individuals may “subscribe” to the journal in order to be notified of the publication of each issue and occasional between-issue “extras.” Common-place readers can join in the discussion of any of the journal’s features by visiting the “Republic of Letters,” a message board on the website.

About Common-place

The web magazine aims to provide "a common place for exploring and exchanging ideas about early American history and culture," says co-editor Jill Lepore. "A bit friendlier than a scholarly journal, a bit more scholarly than a popular magazine, Common-place speaks–and listens–to scholars, museum curators, teachers, hobbyists, and just about anyone interested in American history before 1900." Common-place readers can join in the discussion of any of the journal’s features by visiting the "Common-place Coffeeshop," a message board on the website.

The January 2004 issue, available free of charge at www.Common-place.org, will be on-line through April and then available among the journal’s archived issues on the website. Individuals may "subscribe" to the journal in order to be notified of the publication of each issue and occasional between-issue extras.

About the American Antiquarian Society

The American Antiquarian Society (AAS) is a learned society and independent research library, specializing in all aspects of American history and culture through 1876. Founded in 1812 by the patriot printer and publisher Isaiah Thomas, AAS is the third oldest historical organization in the United States and the first to take the whole nation as its scope. The AAS library is the preeminent repository of pre-twentieth-century American printed materials and related manuscript and graphic arts materials in the world. The Society also sponsors an array of programs to encourage the use of its collections and to foster a greater understanding of American history. The main office for Common-place is at AAS, 185 Salisbury St., Worcester, MA 01609-1634; telephone (508) 755-5221.

About the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History

The Gilder Lehrman Institute (GLI) promotes the study of the American past by organizing seminars and enrichment programs for teachers; supporting and producing publications and national traveling exhibitions; creating innovative history high schools, history programs, and Saturday academies; establishing research centers at universities and cultural institutions; granting and administering a major fellowship program for work in leading archives; and seeking to build national and international networks of people and institutions involved in American history.

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