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Robert A. Schneider
Editor, American Historical Review

Last modified: Friday, November 4, 2011

American Historical Review: global, transnational and cross-cultural perspectives

Nov. 4, 2011

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- The most recent issue of the American Historical Review includes five articles dealing with global, transnational or cross-cultural historical experiences, ranging from the collapse of empires in Southeast Asia between 1250 and 1400 to the modern-day globalization of prison history.

The American Historical Review

The AHR cover illustration features the work of Sharwari Tilloo, who produces African-style masks depicting the moods and faces of India. The journal includes an article in which Sana Aiyar looks at the role of Indian immigrants in anticolonial nationalism in Kenya.

Print-Quality Photo

AHR is the official publication of the American Historical Association. Its editorial offices are at Indiana University Bloomington. Featured articles in the October 2011 issue include:

  • "Charter State Collapse in Southeast Asia, ca. 1250-1400, as a Problem in Regional and World History." Victor Lieberman confronts the question of why all the principal states of mainland Southeast Asia disintegrated during what was also a time of severe political and social crisis in Europe and elsewhere in Asia. He argues that the collapse reflected dislocations caused by sustained demographic and commercial expansion, which drew in part on changes in climate.
  • "Lying Together: The Imperial Implications of Cross-Cultural Untruths." Joshua Piker focuses on the case of a shadowy Native American figure, a Creek Indian known as Acorn Whistler, who was executed in 1752 for leading a war party that killed five Cherokees. Piker explores the processes by which Native Americans and Europeans employed cross-cultural lies to mutually construct empire.
  • "Anticolonial Homelands across the Indian Ocean: The Politics of the Indian Diaspora in Kenya, ca. 1930-1950." Sana Aiyar explores the emergence of anticolonial nationalism in Kenya in the 1930s and 1940s from the perspective of the South Asian diaspora. She shows the extent to which diaspora politics were shaped by events taking place in both India and Kenya, arguing that "homeland" and "hostland" were never really separate.
  • "The Persistence of Transnational Organizing: The Case of the Homophile Movement." Leila J. Rupp examines the International Committee for Sexual Equality, founded in Amsterdam in 1951, which served as the center of a transnational movement fighting for equal rights for homosexuals in the inhospitable environment of Cold War Europe.
  • "Global Perspectives on the Birth of the Prison." Mary Gibson surveys the recent globalization of prison history by focusing on new books about Vietnam, Africa, China, Japan and Peru. Responding to Michel Foucault and others, she argues that such new works complicate theories of prison and punishment by emphasizing the centrality of race and prisoner agency.

The American Historical Review is published five times a year by University of Chicago Press. Highly regarded among scholars of history, AHR has for several years had the highest "impact factor" among history journals, according to Journal Citation Reports, which measures how often articles in a particular journal are cited by peer-reviewed journals in the Thomson Reuters database. More information is available at the AHR website,