CALL FOR PAPERS FOR THE 50th ANNIVERSARY ISSUE OF SOCIAL SCIENCE HISTORY
What is the relationship between the past and the present? What is the nature of how change occurs or does not occur over time? This anniversary issue explores the multiple possibilities. For example, in some cases, the present is seen in the past, as a repetition of it. This can be conceptualized as cycles of history that reoccur over time. However, another conceptualization is the past as a creator of the present—that is, the past in different ways leads to the present. These paths might be linear, path dependent, or historically constructed. Yet another idea is that past and present are unique, and in fact, unrelated.
Thus, the relationship between the past and present takes many different forms. Scholars who emphasize the repercussions of a new and unexpected shock imply discontinuity and rupture between past and present. In contrast, the literatures that document the later life consequences of early life or intergenerational experience tend to focus attention on continuities and the past as a creator of the present. Similarly, the long-term persistence of the structures of inequality suggests a process of replication and even stasis. Even social scientists who use statistical models to analyze historical data over time implies some kind of relationship between the past and later points. Variety exists within fields: both technology history and historical institutionalism offer up examples of developments that are path dependent along with ones that represent a complete break from the past. Whatever the field, the model, the literature and most importantly, the historical question, how the relationship between the past and present is perceived, is key to social science history research. These are just a few of the many possibilities!
The Fall 2026 issue is the 50th anniversary of Social Science History. For this issue, the theme of “past and present” will be explored. Papers should address this theme in some way, either theoretically, empirically, substantively (or some combination of them). All papers must be suitable for publication in Social Science History (https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/social-science-history) and will undergo peer review before publication.
200-word abstracts are due by April 2nd, 2024, and a final paper must be ready for review by January 15, 2025. Abstracts should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.