This has been a challenging and uncertain year for everyone in many ways. Last year when I wrote my acknowledgements, feeling disappointed and tense about the disruption Covid-19 posed to our traditional mode of producing Past and Present, I could not have known that this entire school year would again represent a departure not only from the publication of the final product, but also from the very ways in which the journal was being produced. For the second year in a row, the journal is being published only in electronic form on the departmental web page, and plans to create a double print issue – as was hoped last year – sadly will be shelved. As has been the case annually, this year’s Past and Present reflects the stellar scholarship produced by York College students. I am indebted to all of my departmental faculty colleagues who have mentored students in the research projects that were submitted for consideration, whether or not the papers ultimately were accepted for publication; faculty devotion to nurturing students at every step of the research process has direct bearing on the quality of the final projects. I am also grateful to all of our department’s students for providing their scholarship, which serves as a foundation for the journal, and I hope that those students whose papers appear in this issue of Past and Present will derive great satisfaction from seeing their work published. This year I was blessed to work with three outstanding student editors, all of whom have been an absolute joy to work with, and I appreciate their unceasing hard work, dedication, and care with which they approached this endeavor. This was especially true in the socially-distanced environment foisted upon us by Covid-19. Although our meetings were necessarily held over Zoom rather than in person, I was gratified that the rapport I have cherished with the editors has not been diminished by such restrictions. After difficult deliberations, the editors selected seven exceptional manuscripts that reflect the broad research interests and high quality of scholarship of our department’s students, and have spent many hours reading and preparing the manuscripts for publication. In another departure from previous years, the editors have also composed their own introduction to this year’s journal, reflecting on their experiences as editors in trying times, and I am thrilled to see the voices of our editors more clearly present in the journal.
-Ilana Krug, Past and Present faculty advisor
The Past and Present Journal is published annually by the Department of History and Political Science at York College of Pennsylvania.
Department of History and Political Science Faculty and Staff:
John Altman, Chair
Deb Staley, Administrative Assistant
Julio Javier Aguayo
Paul Doutrich, Emeritus
Mary Graham, Emerita
Robert Terry, Emeritus