What’s In the September JAH?
The September issue of the JAH is available online and in print. From OAH President George J. Sánchez’s annual meeting address that focuses on immigration to our Editor’s Choice article by Bathsheba Demuth, which is available for free, this issue covers extensive chronological and thematic territory. As always, we encourage you to take advantage of our archives and special indices.
In an essay derived from his 2021 presidential address to the Organization of American Historians annual meeting, George J. Sánchez centers the 11 million undocumented migrants, largely of Latin American descent, living and working in the United States. For too long, this population has existed in the shadows of U.S. society and historical scholarship. But recent coverage of systemic family separation has brought the lives of undocumented families to the forefront of our social and political consciousness. Placing the lived experiences of these migrants in a broader story of liminality, citizenship, and belonging, Sánchez forcefully retells contemporary U.S. history to account for how the undocumented have shaped our communities and our democracy.
How does attending to the lives and wills of dogs change our view of borderlands? To answer this, Bathsheba Demuth examines two centuries of human-canine history along Indigenous, imperial, and nation-state borders in Alaska and Yukon. She reveals how the canine labor necessary to make borders rested on emotional connections between people and dogs. Thus borderlands, long understood as spaces of human political, economic, and cultural mixing, here emerge as spaces of interspecies affect. By twining histories of the environment and emotion, Demuth’s essay is germane to scholars of borders, animals, labor, empire, and affect, and offers a methodological argument for using sources in the behavioral sciences and anthropology alongside archival documents and oral histories.
Christopher Clements examines the history of racialized policing practices, jurisdictional disputes, and tribal governance in and around reservation communities in New York. Focusing primarily on the Akwesasne Mohawk Nation, which straddles the U.S.-Canada border, he asks how carceral state development affected Indigenous people and lands and how carcerality intertwined with settler colonialism during the first half of the twentieth century.
In the 1960s, conglomerates such as Gulf & Western and itt grew into some of the nation’s largest and best-known corporations. These multinational giants were not just controversial but also difficult to comprehend, because, by design, they blurred the categories between industry sectors and national economies, combining everything from American snack-cake companies to Chilean telephone systems under one corporate banner. Efforts to explain what the conglomerates were and what their overwhelming bigness meant to American life took many forms in the 1960s and 1970s, surfacing everywhere from congressional hearings to children’s television. These representations mattered, Richard K. Popp argues, because they influenced how Americans reshaped their ideas about the nature of economic interconnectedness and the legitimacy of large-scale technocratic institutions in the early days of globalization.