Up-and-coming historians publish new journal

The Chi Omicron chapter of Phi Alpha Theta National History Honor Society at the University of Alabama at Birmingham is publishing a revamped version of their award-winning journal, The Vulcan Historical Review (VHR). Due out in July, this year’s VHR features a wide variety of historical topics as well as color photographs and a new format.

The 2009 volume is the 13th edition of the journal. The VHR is written and edited entirely by students from UAB’s history department. This year’s topics include the TVA in Alabama, the Nazis’ Lebensborn Project, the Creek Indians, the cholera epidemic in the United States, rammed earth houses in Jefferson County, the battle of the Aleutians in World War II, urban warfare in Saigon during the Vietnam War, genocide in Colonial Rwanda, and using architectural preservation to study history.

Here’s an excerpt from Beth Hunter’s “Rammed Earth Houses: An American Vision in the New Deal,” which discusses the houses in the Gardendale-Mt. Olive area:

“All put together, these are the only rammed earth houses built by the WPA. In fact, they are the only government-built rammed earth houses in the United States. Their design is similar to Frank Lloyd Wright’s Usonian style, with clean low lines incorporating the surrounding landscape. The WPA planned and executed an amazing feat of engineering and displayed an amount of resourcefulness that was extraordinary.”

Co-editors-in-chief Jennifer Phillips and Kristina Brandon worked diligently to update the VHR and produce a journal that really stands out among the previous publications. “The editorial staff wanted to ensure that there was a wide variety of subjects in this year’s journal, and we worked very hard to reach that goal,” Phillips said. Brandon added that this year’s VHR includes color photos, “which help bring this year’s essays to life.”

The VHR staff and Phi Alpha Theta are currently working out details on when and where the journal will be available. All proceeds from sales of the 2009 Vulcan Historical Review will benefit the student group and help publish the 2010 issue.

Stay tuned for details on when you can get your copy!

Written by: Rebecca D.