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From the Desk of Eli Bortz

The University of Notre Dame Press feels palpably the impact the cancellation of OAH has on historians, publishers, students, and the general historically-intrigued public.  Personally, I’ve not missed OAH as an editor in nearly 15 years.  Given this unprecedented collective absence from our lives, we as a Press wanted to highlight our own particular focus in the field.

Strategically, Notre Dame Press sustains a major focus on the entirety of the American religious experience.  In history, we tend to work in early American religious history (stretching from the colonial period through the antebellum years, with an additional concentration on twentieth-century religious politics).  We also publish in Latin American religious and cultural history from the colonial era through today.

Recently, Notre Dame Press built a concentration on Underground Railroad studies, which overlaps some with religious history, US southern and transatlantic history, and American political history.  The Underground Railroad literally ran through this region, and involved actors from every walk of life.  This focus began in 2017 and continues to build momentum.

Most recently, and in a focus that for us remains in development, Notre Dame Press is building a new list in French (or, more precisely, New French) colonial history.  From a purely regional perspective, this is an area of obvious growth and necessity.  One of the key forts, for example, in seventeenth-century New France, Fort St. Joseph, was located not more than seven miles north of Notre Dame campus.  The very founders of Notre Dame itself were French missionaries, in turn building off the remnants of missionary efforts in this region in the eighteenth century.  I spent my formative years as an editor at the University Press of Florida working in Spanish colonial history, so you can imagine my delight on landing in Notre Dame to discover the relatively underexplored history of the French in this area beginning in the late seventeenth century.  This is an area Notre Dame Press intends to explore thoroughly in publication.

If you’re working in any of these fields, please don’t hesitate to reach out at ebortz@nd.edu, and please do enjoy our current offerings.

Eli Bortz

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