The New England Quarterly

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The Colonial Society of Massachusetts Announces the 2019
Walter Muir Whitehill Prize
in Early American History

This prize of two thousand five hundred dollars, established in memory of Walter Muir Whitehill, for many years Editor of Publications for the Colonial Society and the moving force behind the organization, will be awarded for a distinguished essay on early American history (up to 1825), not previously published, with preference being given to New England subjects. The Society hopes that the prize may be awarded annually.

A committee of eminent historians will review the essays. Their decision in all cases will be final.

By arrangement with the editors of The New England Quarterly, the Society will have the winning essay published in an appropriate issue of the journal.

Essays are now being accepted for consideration. All manuscripts submitted for the 2019 prize must be postmarked no later than December 31, 2019. The Society expects to announce the winning candidate in the spring of 2020.

Entries submitted for consideration should be addressed to:

Whitehill Prize Committee
c/o The New England Quarterly

Department of History
University of Massachusetts, Boston
100 Morrissey Blvd.
Boston, MA 02125

Click here for more information including judging criteria, submission specifications, and past winners.

The New England Quarterly‘s December 2018 issue is now available.

“One of the joys of editing the New England Quarterly is the opportunity to visit with old friends. This issue bring together old friends and introduces me to a new one, and, in the process, affirming anew the value of interdisciplinary scholarship for which the Quarterly is aptly suited. At the Quarterly, the editors are especially interested in essays which look at traditional subjects from new prospectives that help us see simultaneously more deeply and broadly. We find these kinds of essays to be especially innovative and creative as they extend our scholarly vision while reconnecting us to the familiar. The four essays in this issue do exactly that: they ask us, in the light of different perspectives and new insights and methods, to revisit our intellectual habits of the mind. Lydia Willsky-Ciollo, Geoffrey Kirsch, and Colin Nicolson provide new views of old friends Henry David Thoreau, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Daniel Webster, John Adams, and Jonathan Sewall while Steve Gowler introduces us to a new acquaintance, William Goodall, who intellectually connects radical abolitionism to Jonathan Edwards and Stephen Hopkins. The span of essays, interestingly enough, have methodological approaches and illustrate the multiple and rich ways one can examine cultural discourse in the scholarship of late eighteenth- and nineteenth century America.”

— Editorial, Jonathan M. Chu

Scroll down to see the issue’s full table of contents.

Innovations in Teaching

The New England Quarterly is pleased to announce the addition of Innovations in Teaching to our website. As teachers as well as editors and scholars, we began discussions three summers ago on how we might make the Quarterly useful for a larger audience. Last August we finally got around to placing the conversation on the functional equivalent of our New Year’s resolutions. Shortly thereafter, one of us reviewed a submission from the University of Vermont with a long list of co-authors which to our subsequent delight was an essay on the life of Frances Parkinson Keyes, author and the wife of Senator Henry Keyes of New Hampshire, written by eleven undergraduates in the US social history undergraduate seminar under the direction of Professor Melanie Gustafson. Sometimes, as the great Oakland and Yankees outfielder Reggie Jackson used to say, “It’s better to be lucky than good.” We agreed that however the department evolved, this essay and Professor Gustafson’s seminar needed a larger audience, hence its publication here as our inaugural effort.

Grateful for the contribution of Professor Gustafson’s class, we solicit responses to continue the conversation we hope this essay initiates on teaching. We also welcome comments, suggestions, and contributions that would facilitate other conversations on the teaching of history. Our only guidance at this point is that all contributions be directed towards advancing New England history and literary culture and being of use to teachers. Those interested in contributing a pedagogical exercise or commentary should forward pdf and word documents to for the editors’ review.

Call for Papers for the 2019 American Literature Association Annual Conference:

We seek submissions for a panel highlighting new scholarly approaches to the study of New England, broadly construed, sponsored by the New England Quarterly, the foremost scholarly journal devoted to the study of the region’s cultural, literary, political, and social history.  Papers might explore a figure or subject that has been neglected or utilize emerging critical approaches and conceptual frameworks.  A member of the journal’s editorial staff will be available to work with all interested authors in the further development of these contributions into submissions to the journal.  We heartily encourage submissions from women and scholars of color.

The American Literature Association’s 30th annual conference will meet at the Westin Copley Place in Boston on May 23-26, 2019 (Thursday through Sunday of Memorial Day weekend).

Please submit an abstract of around 250 words to by January 11, 2019.

—  Volume 91, Issue 4: December 2018  —

by Jonathan M. Chu


Apostles of Wilderness: American Indians and Thoreau’s Theology of the Wild
by Lydia Willsky-Ciollo

Racial Orthodoxy: William Goodell and the Abolition of American Slavery
by Steve Gowler

“So Much a Piece of Nature”: Emerson, Webster, and the Transcendental Constitution
by Geoffrey R. Kirsch

A Case of Identity: Massachusettensis and John Adams
by Colin Nicolson, Owen Dudley Edwards, Jamie Macpherson, and Kristen Nicolson

Book Reviews

The Jonathan Edwards Encyclopedia. Edited by James E. Wadsworth.

Jonathan Edwards & Scripture: Biblical Exegesis in British North America. Edited by David P. Barshinger and Douglas A. Sweeney.
Review by Tucker Adkins

The Cambridge Companion to the Literature of the American Renaissance. Edited by Christopher N. Phillips.

Division and Imagined Unity in the American Renaissance: The Seamless Whole. By Shawn Thomson. 
Review by John Hay

Homelands and Empires: Indigenous Spaces, Imperial Fictions, and Competition for Territory in Northeastern North America, 1690-1763. By Jeffers Lennox.
Review by Katherine Hermes

The Collected Works of Jupiter Hammon: Poems and Essays. Edited and with an Introduction by Cedrick May.
Review by Jordan Alexander Stein

United Tastes: The Making of the First American Cookbook. By Keith Stavely and Kathleen Fitzgerald
Review by Megan J. Elias

Henry David Thoreau: A Life. By Laura Dassow Walls. 
Review by Mark Gallagher

The New England Watch and Ward Society. By P.C. Kemeny.  
Review by Brian Donovan

Schlesinger: The Imperial Historian. By Richard Aldous. 
Review by Mark Atwood Lawrence

Concrete Changes: Architecture, Politics, and the Design of Boston City Hall. By Brian M. Sirman. 
Review by Gary Wolf

Switching Sides: How a Generation of Historians Lost Sympathy for the Victims of the Salem Witch Hunt. By Tony Fels.  
Review by Deborah McNally

“Each generation must rewrite history from its own point of view.” 
NEQ’s Founding Editors, 1928