The Abusable Past is a digital venue that emerges from the work of the Radical History Review. For over forty years, Radical History Review has stood at the nexus of historical scholarship and active political engagement. The Abusable Past provides a space for critical scholarship and rigorous debate with implications for how we think through the past, understand the present, and envision the future. The Abusable Past complements Radical History Review with unique and original content related to the praxis of radical history in this social and political moment. The Digital Collective envisions The Abusable Past as a space that can be used to push the boundaries of traditional academic publishing. We are dedicated to showcasing the work of public historians, junior scholars, and contingent faculty in an effort push back against the hierarchies that structure academia generally, and disciplinary History specifically. The Abusable Past is transnational in scope, expansive in chronological breadth, and committed to intersectional analysis and interdisciplinary understandings of radical history.
We welcome pitches for content, but do not accept sponsored posts or requests from authors to be interviewed about their own publications. We do, however, accept pitches from individuals interested in interviewing new authors about their work or facilitating book forums. We also accept pitches for features on individuals “Doing Radical History” such as public historians, curators, artists, and archivists, for example. Please familiarize yourself with the various sections of The Abusable Past in order to have a better sense of where your pitch might fit.
To pitch to the Abusable Past, please fill out this form. If, for whatever reason, you cannot access the form, please send your pitch to email@example.com.
All pitches are subject to review by the Digital Collective and the authors of solicited contributions may be asked to revise their submissions. We reserve the right of declining to publish submissions.
You can follow us on twitter @abusablepast and on instagram @theabusablepast.
Marisol LeBrón is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Mexican American and Latina/o Studies at the University of Texas at Austin. She is the author of Policing Life and Death: Race, Violence, and Resistance in Puerto Rico (University of California Press, 2019), which examines the growth of punitive governance in contemporary Puerto Rico. Along with Yarimar Bonilla, she is the co-editor of the forthcoming volume, Aftershocks of Disaster: Puerto Rico Before and After the Storm. She is also one of the co-creators of the Puerto Rico Syllabus, a digital resource for understanding the Puerto Rican debt crisis.
Kevin P. Murphy is Professor of History and co-founder of the Heritage Studies and Public History program at the University of Minnesota. He is the author of Political Manhood: Red Bloods, Mollycoddles, and the Politics of Progressive Reform (2008) and was one of the editors and authors of Queer Twin Cities (2010). He works on the history of sexuality and gender and on public history and memory. He has co-edited several special issues of the Radical History Review focused on queer history.
Jecca Namakkal is Associate Professor of the Practice in International Comparative Studies, History, and Gender, Sexuality, Feminist Studies at Duke University. She is the author of Unsettling Utopia: The Making and Unmaking of French India (Columbia University Press, 2021), and served as an editor on Issue 138 of the Radical History Review, “Fascisms and Antifascisms Since 1945.”
Evan Taparata is an Assistant Professor in the History Department at the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs. He is a historian of migration, law, and empire in the 19th and 20th century United States. His scholarship has appeared in the Journal of American Ethnic History and his writing has been featured on PublicRadioInternational.org and PublicBooks.org. He has also contributed to several public-facing digital humanities projects, including the #ImmigrationSyllabus, the Humanities Action Lab’s “States of Incarceration” initiative, and the Migration Scholar Collaborative. He was previously a Global American Studies Postdoctoral Fellow at Harvard University’s Charles Warren Center for Studies in American History and the Jack Miller Center Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Pennsylvania’s Andrea Mitchell Center for the Study of Democracy.
Thomas Harbison is managing editor of the Radical History Review, serving in the journal’s editorial office since 2005. He also works as an instructional designer at the Borough of Manhattan Community College (City University of New York), training and collaborating with faculty in applying digital tools to teaching, learning, and scholarship.
Yalile Suriel is an Assistant Professor of Universities and Power in the History Department at the University of Minnesota. Her research traces the rise of campus police departments and broadly explores the intersections between the histories of policing and higher education. She is a co-editor of the forthcoming anthology Cops on Campus Rethinking Safety and Confronting Police Violence (University of Washington Press, 2024). She is also working on a book manuscript tentatively titled Campus Eyes: University Surveillance and the Policing of Black and Latinx Student Activism in the Age of Mass Incarceration, 1960-1990.
L. Carrington OBrion is a PhD student in History at the University of Virginia. Her research focuses on race, culture and performance in the nineteenth-century United States. Carrington is especially interested in reaching audiences beyond academia and has held fellowships in public history and podcasting through the Nau History and Principles of Democracy Lab and the Jefferson Scholars Foundation.
From Left to Right: Jecca Namakkal, Evan Taparata, Marisol LeBron, Kevin Murphy. Photo by Leo Ching.