Issue Spring 2023
Tempus was founded in 1998 by a pair of Harvard undergraduates who wanted to publish the historical scholarship of their peers. We have remained committed to this goal ever since, publishing historical research papers chosen by our Editorial Board in a semesterly journal format. This semester, however, we decided to expand the scope of Tempus to include not only what we call the Journal – the traditional Tempus format of historical research papers – but also two additional sections, Forum and Profiles. Our contributors come from diverse academic backgrounds, studying everything from Philosophy to Government to Human Developmental & Regenerative Biology.
In this issue, our Editorial Board selected Journal pieces with a particular focus on showcasing the creative and interdisciplinary possibilities of historical work. Every paper eligible for the Journal is reviewed anonymously, scrutinized to the highest standard, and debated by the board before it is voted upon for selection.
We are thrilled to present the following four Journal pieces.
Our first paper, “Dearly Bought by the Sword”: Tracing Harvard Land in Pequot Country,” traces Harvard’s claims to land in Pequot Country in the context of English Indigenous dispossession using material from the Harvard Archives. Our second paper, “सिगरे ट ज़़िन््ददाबदा्द! Cigarette Zindabad: Tobacco and the Cultivation of an Indian Middle Class, 1961-1979” investigates the role of cigarette advertising in shaping the Indian postcolonial middle class and the negotiation of identity through postcolonial aesthetics, recreational drug use, and the public sphere. Our third paper, “Erection Without a Cause: Viagra, Arousal Versus Desire, and The Medicalization of Sexuality,” explores the emergence of Viagra in American culture and the drug’s role in shaping attitudes towards the medicalization of male sexuality. Our fourth and final paper, “‘Y el cielo sigue azul e indiferente’: The Politics of Memory & Forgetting in Armando Valladares’ Prison Writing,” examines how political prisoners and dissidents in Cuba rewrote themselves into the narrative of the Cuban revolution, resisting state-sanctioned erasure.
Beyond the Journal, the newly-minted Forum section features pieces written by members of our Editorial Board. These pieces are guided by the personal and intellectual interests of our members, which often emerge from topics in coursework as well as shared reflections on contemporary issues in the discipline. Our Profiles section contains interviews with Senior History concentrators about their theses and thesis-writing processes. These interviews are intended to demonstrate the wide range of topics covered by each year’s graduating class, and to provide a window into the History thesis research and writing process.
We hope our selections this semester will encourage undergraduates to pursue the study of History in a way that is meaningful and interesting to them.