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History professor Ray named senior editor of prestigious historical journal

The Tennessee Historical Quarterly, the pre-eminent historical journal in the state, is coming to Austin Peay State University.

For almost 20 years, the journal operated out of Middle Tennessee State University, but last week, APSU assistant professor of history Dr. Kristofer Ray was named the publications new senior editor. Ray, who joined the APSU history department faculty in 2008, will make the final decision on what articles get published in the magazine, and he plans to expand its coverage of certain topics.
The Tennessee Historical Quarterly, the pre-eminent historical journal in the state, is coming to Austin Peay State University.

For almost 20 years, the journal operated out of Middle Tennessee State University, but last week, APSU assistant professor of history Dr. Kristofer Ray was named the publication's new senior editor. Ray, who joined the APSU history department faculty in 2008, will make the final decision on what articles get published in the magazine, and he plans to expand its coverage of certain topics.

“First and foremost, I intend to continue the tradition of excellence,” he said. “But one aspect of Tennessee history that I think could use more exploration is the early Tennessee experience. We're going to push for new explorations in Tennessee history, things previously unexplored or issues that might need to be rethought.”

The THQ is a scholarly publication, produced by the Tennessee Historical Society, which has served academics and historians across the state since 1942. The journal appears four times a year with illustrated, peer-reviewed articles covering everything from the first European contact with Tennessee to the late 20th century. The THQ also features book reviews on the latest publications on Tennessee history, and it often prints edited primary documents. Scholars from across the country and throughout Europe have submitted manuscripts for publication in the journal.

“This is a significant position, and it is good for both Dr. Ray and APSU,” Dr. Dewey Browder, chair of the APSU Department of History and Philosophy, said. “They could have given this position to any of several different institutions in the state. The fact they chose Dr. Ray and APSU is a testimony to his good and growing reputation as a scholar and another sign that APSU is on the move.”

Ray's appointment as senior editor of the journal comes at a pivotal time in the state and the nation's history. The sesquicentennial of the Civil War is approaching, as is the bicentennial of the War of 1812 and the 50th anniversary of the civil rights movement.

“There are a number of things we're going to play around with over the next several years,” he said. “Under the broad umbrella of maintaining excellence, we're looking to push in a number of different directions to get some new looks at Tennessee history.”

Ray also plans to use two familiar names around campus in his efforts to produce the publication four times a year.

“I have two extremely distinguished emeritus professors from Austin Peay, Dr. Howard Winn and Dr. Richard Gildrie, who are going to do the book review duties for me,” he said. “I'm extremely fortunate for them to be willing to work with me.”

Ray is already receiving manuscripts, and the first issue of the journal under his leadership will be published this fall.

For more information on the THQ, please contact Ray at 931-221-7916 or rayk@apsu.edu. -- Charles Booth