Editors note, Student Journal, research


Each year, the staff of The Thetean faces the challenge of narrowing down the dozens of excellent paper submissions we receive to a small group of those most worthy of publication. During this process, we evaluate each paper on its own merits, while aiming to represent a diversity of topics, periods, and cultures in the entries we ultimately choose. It surprised me, then, as editor-in-chief, to see how naturally the final candidates seemed to clump together into a few general categories. This year, our selections fall mainly under the broad themes of religious history, women's history, and twentieth-century international relations. Historians recognize that the amount of interest (and interesting work) in different fields tends to wax and wane, and so one could argue that the themes embodied by these papers constitute a sort of barometric measurement of the predominant interests of current students. The Beta Iota chapter of Phi Alpha Theta publishes The Thetean annually as an outlet for students to present their work to the campus and scholarly community. As a staff, we have tried to select papers that represent the best efforts of Brigham Young University's history students, all of whom endeavor in their work to engage with primary sources and to contribute meaningfully to the ongoing historical conversation between scholars in each sub-field of history. We hope that the papers included in this edition not only reflect the diligence and insight of the student authors and the faculty who mentored them, but motivate other students to embrace history and the myriad opportunities that it yields to discover truths about human nature, past and present.