March 19, 2019: The March 2019 Issue of the NEQ is now Available

“ONE of the pleasures of assembling the March issue of the New England Quarterly was to learn to “read” differently. I pause here to ask for absolution from an early English teacher who commanded his young charges to purge tendentious quotation marks from their essays; however, as what follows indicates, there seems to be no alternative to conveying how imaginatively our authors have examined their respective sources. Dependent as literary scholars and historians are upon the analysis of text, all of our essays caution against being too narrow and literal and ask us to contextualize our understandings in the broadest sense of ‘reading.'” 

Jonathan Chu,  Editor

Click here to see the full table of contents

February 28, 2019: 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.

December 10, 2018: New Section of NEQ Website: Innovations in Teaching

The New England Quarterly is pleased to announce the addition of Innovations in Teaching to our website. 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. 

October 10, 2018: 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.

September 21, 2018: Our September 2018 issue is now available.

“Our essays use different approaches to the study of the life and letters of New England to demonstrate complexities familiar to recent scholars but in a fashion resonant of Miller and Bercovitch. In part they represent different methods: different periods and topics, political as opposed to intellectual history, and history as opposed to literary or cultural studies. Neal Dugre’s Whitehill prize-winning essay is a study of institutional history, of the formation of of the United Colonies; Andrew MacDonald’s, a very traditional (to this student whose primary training in the early 1970s was lumped together as intellectual and social history) essay on the fissures in late eighteenth- and early nineteenth-century New England Calvinism; Mixon Robinson uses church bells and railroads as prisms to unpack abolitionist activity; and Clark Davis, to link Jones Very, Ralph Waldo Emerson, and Melville’s Bartleby the Scrivner. While each, however, engages the problems of declension, dissent, and exclusion, they, nonetheless, engage issues of orthodoxy, of defining common, in Bercovitch’s terms, agreed-upon myths.”
— Editorial, Jonathan M. Chu

June 14, 2018: Our June 2018 issue is now available.

“In 1928 Samuel Eliot Morison and his colleagues founded the Quarterly to challenge the view that New England studies were an abandoned farmstead in need of extensive renovation; our authors in this issue demonstrate New England’s continued centrality to scholarship on regional and national subjects. Our first two articles reflect the region’s unique role in larger scholarly conversations on the First World War…. Sherry Zane connects the arrest and prosecution of gay sailors in New- port, Rhode Island to the rise of a national security apparatus…. Michael McGuire’s study of Frances Webster’s participation as an overseas volunteer for the American Red Cross in France illustrates the layers of class and gender that shaped civilian support for the war…. [James] Rankin’s essay connects Gravity’s Rainbow with an earlier New England, positioning Pynchon’s engagement with contemporary issues in an ongoing and ironic conversation with his Puritan ancestor.” — Editorial, Jonathan M. Chu

May 4, 2018:  The Colonial Society of Massachusetts announces the 2017 Walter Muir Whitehill Prize winner, Neal Dugre.

The award-winning essay, “Repairing the Breach: Puritan Expansion, Commonwealth Formation, and the Origins of the United Colonies of New England, 1630–1643” will be published in an upcoming issue of the Quarterly.

The NEQ is accepting submissions for the 2018 Whitehill Prize in Early American History. Click here for more information including judging criteria, submission specifications, and past winners.

March 26, 2018:  Our March 2018 issue is now available.

We begin the Quarterly‘s 91st year with a special tribute to Professor Bernard Bailyn and the 50th anniversary of his monumental work, The Ideological Origins of the American Revolution.

“In April 2017, just as the fiftieth anniversary edition was hitting the reading public, scholars of Revolutionary America gathered at the Whitney Humanities Center at Yale to discuss the book and what it has meant. This special issue of the New England Quarterly…contains revised versions of seven of the papers delivered then, along with three new papers commissioned for this issue. The papers that follow begin with an essay by Professor Bailyn based on his re-reading of the book. The others fall into three sections. The essays in the first part analyze the book as a text, its origins, and how it has been read by critics. The authors of the second group of essays use Ideological Origins to suggest ways that we can expand our understanding of particular aspects of the Revolutionary Era….The Final section includes three essays that contribute new interpretations to our understanding of the era.” ––Preface, Peter C. Mancall

December 18, 2017:  Our December 2017 issue is now available.

“Henry St. John, the Viscount Bolingbroke in his Letters on the Studies and Uses of History once commented, ‘To converse with historians is to keep good company.’ With this final issue of 2017, we are fortunate to be in good company. We have in this issue essays by Peter Messer and Zachary Bennett, an article in our Memoranda and Documents from Kevin Thornton, and two longer review essays by Marla Miller and John Belohlavek.” Scroll down to see the issue’s full table of contents.

September 10, 2017:  Our September 2017 issue is now available.

The New England Quarterly is pleased to present the winning essay of the 2016 Walter Muir Whitehill Prize for Early American History, ‘The Bishop Controversy, the Imperial Crisis, and Religious Radicalism in New England, 1763–74′ by Peter W. Walker. Like all good scholarship, Walker expertly builds upon the growing body of scholarship on the Revolution that reflects a more complicated, differentiated empire. Described by the Whitehill Prize Committee as a ‘sober-sided, coherent argument sustained by strong research in archival sources; well-written to boot,’ Walker’s essay on the New England Anglican bishop controversy stands Carl Bridenbaugh’s interpretation, in the words of one of the prize judges, ‘on its head and makes it comprehensible and significant.'” Click here to see the full table of contents.