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Editor's Message

Marc Jason Gilbert

     World History Connected announces the publication of its Vol. 16, no. 3 (October 2019) issue.  Its featured articles include Michael Herbst's unpacking of centuries of competing political representations of the Istanbul's Hagia Sophia, and Stephanie Honchell's study of Islamization on the Islamic frontiers in Central and Southeast Asia that demonstrates that conversion and lasting belief were and remain deeply rooted in Islamic cosmologies and worldviews, "challenging the notion that conversion in these regions occurred haphazardly or on a purely surface level."  

     Both articles, if in different ways, tie into this issue's Forum, which is composed of four articles which remind us of the value of connecting innovative scholarship to the methodology of using the arts to teach about the past. This subject is most directly addressed in articles by Kathryn Florence and Michelle and Patrick Bulla. Florence shows how the study of domestic frescos can reveal the deepest of insights into the belief systems of pre-modern/early modern Mesoamericans.  Rajeshwari Dutt and Michael Laver demonstrate that a focus on art, whether that associated with Western paintings or Japanese woodcuts, can be of great value in the teaching of world history to non-traditional or online students, and/or those students whose secondary and college curriculums were and remain so focused on technology, engineering and mathematics as to limit their exposure to the Humanities, as well the discipline of History.  

     Those familiar with Advanced Placement World History terminology will recognize how all of the articles in this issue serve to develop world history "habits of mind" and core concepts, such as change and continuity, cross-regional and internal dynamics, historical and geographical context, and the importance of evidence. Further, they exemplify efforts to not only publish both traditional research articles and articles on the scholarship of teaching, but to promote as at least an ideal, the value of work that seeks to connect the two for the benefit of the discipline of historical analysis and the enhancement of its value as a profession.

     Each issue of the journal publishes also features book reviews and maintains a list of books to be reviewed.  This issue features the following reviews:

Serge Avery review of John C. Corbally, The Twentieth-Century Word, 1914-present. Bloomsbury, 2019.

Eric Spierer, review of Bin Yang, Cowrie Shells and Cowrie Money: A Global History. New York: Routledge, 2018.

Christoph Strobel, review of Kate Fullagar and Michael A. McDonnell, eds. Facing Empire: Indigenous Experiences in a Revolutionary Age (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2018).

Joseph Snyder, review of Clare Anderson, ed., A Global History of Convicts and Penal Colonies. New York: Bloomsbury, 2018.

     For those unfamiliar with World History Connected, it was founded in 2006 as an interdisciplinary, open sourced, double-blind peer-reviewed publication of the University of Illinois Press, currently with 1.85 million "readers" annually (people who read more than one article) and 6 million visits to its website. Published 3 times a year (February, June, and October), the journal has received accolades in surveys of world history literature.  Recent issues of the journal have explored the Atlantic in World History, Film in World History, and, this October, articles exploring the potency of myth in Islamic conversion narratives, and connecting innovative scholarship to the teaching of art in World History. Projected issues include subjects such as Vikings in World History (deadline for submissions December 1) or topics Southeast Asian in World History (deadline March 1), Latin American history (August 1), active learning (including gaming and simulations), graphic histories, and the current trend toward authoritarianism in global and historical perspective (as yet to be determined).   Scheduling is an art rather than a science, so those interested in articles on these subjects should express that interest as soon as possible.

     As the above indicates, as well as publishing reviews and individual articles, World History Connected publishes "Forums" or a special section of the journal, on a world/global history topic. These usually consist of three to five articles.  Often, overtures are made by scholars who seek to serve as Guest Editors, who curate the individual articles submitted or those they have solicited. Guest editors have included Presidents of the American Historical Association and the World History Association. The journal welcomes any who seek to author an individual article or bring together articles pursing innovative approaches to this interdisciplinary field.  

     General correspondence and article manuscripts should be directed to  Manuscripts should be prepared according to the Submissions and Style Sheet on the tabs at the left-hand margin of the journal's homepage (Word or Word.docx, double-spaced, with endnotes only) at

Marc Jason Gilbert, Editor
Hawai'i Pacific University

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