Call for Papers

MHR NS 1: Call for Papers

Since its first volume in 1999, the Massachusetts Historical Review (MHR) has published original analytical essays, photo-essays, historical documents, and reviews for a general audience. Beginning in 2021, each issue of the MHR will focus on a specific theme connected with Massachusetts history, although the essays need not be limited to Massachusetts or New England topics.

The publication of this first volume of the new series will coincide with the centennial of the Sacco-Vanzetti murder trial. Starting from charges of robbery and homicide in Massachusetts, the case became an international cause célèbre. The accused—Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti, both Italian immigrants and anarchists—faced a hostile trial judge and enormous local animosity. Their supporters criticized the blatant anti-immigrant sentiment surrounding the trial and decried it as a gross injustice. Yet the fact that both Sacco and Vanzetti had been anarchists did much to hurt their cause. Tried in the years just after the Red Scare, their case proceeded amid widespread fear that immigrants who espoused radical political change would spark widespread upheaval, fear running so deep that it prompted Congress to enact harsh laws drastically curtailing immigration to the United States. Despite global outcry and pleas for mercy, Sacco and Vanzetti were found guilty and sent to the electric chair in 1927.

Using the Sacco-Vanzetti case as a starting point, Volume 1 of the MHR’s new series will focus on the theme of radicalism in American history. The MHR invites interested authors to submit proposals for original essays concerning radicalism, broadly conceived, in any era of American history and speaking to a general audience. Preference will be given to essays that connect in some manner to Massachusetts and New England. The journal welcomes submissions from authors pursuing research in history or related fields (such as American studies or American literature) at all career stages, including graduate students, tenured faculty members, and independent scholars.

Interested parties should submit a current curriculum vitae along with a one-page (double-spaced) proposal that outlines the subject the author seeks to pursue, the sources employed, and the intervention in relevant historical scholarship to by August 2, 2019. By September 3, authors with successful proposals will receive an invitation to submit a completed draft of their essay for consideration.

First drafts of essays selected will be due by January 3, 2020 and must be between 7,500–10,000 words. All drafts will undergo a rigorous peer-review process by both MHS staff and outside readers prior to publication. Questions? Please write to

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