The Editors of the Age of Revolutions website describe it as “an Open-Access, Peer-Reviewed Academic Journal,” but the breadth of its features and thematic coverage extend beyond the realm of a traditional journal. Revolution is the central concept of the site, and its main contributions relate to the following movements: the American Revolution, Atlantic revolutions, the French Revolution, the Haitian Revolution, and Latin American revolutions. The site publishes blog posts, analytical essays, book reviews, bibliographies, and links to other valuable online resources.
The fundamental objective of Age of Revolutions is the exploration of humanity’s experience and fascination with “revolutions.” Although it now operates with a nine-person editing team, it was co-founded by Dr. Bryan Banks of Columbus State University and Dr. Cindy Ermus of the University of Texas, San Antonio. It aims to “survey revolutionary changes in history, encourage the comparative study of revolutions, and explore the hopes imbued in the term.” These broad goals pull the site in many directions.
Users can search for blog posts and essays by upload date or via a thematic search. Age of Revolutions publications range from cultural history and material history, to class, agriculture, and religion. Each category functions as a tag, which once selected, displays other posts that fall under its purview. The site also provides the approximate reading time for each article. They range from 10 to 40 minutes, reflecting the varying length and level of intricacy of the articles.
Although the site produces a great variety of essays, it also aims to host regular virtual “roundtables:” collections of posts based on a theme. Past roundtables have included “Bearing Arms in the Age of Revolutions” and ”Faith in Revolution.” Like the previously mentioned categories, the title of each roundtable operates as a searchable tag.
Two features are particularly valuable for students and teachers: the thematic bibliography section and the ‘Teaching Revolutions’ section. Site editors provide and frequently update reading lists for its five major sections: American, Atlantic, French, Haitian, and Latin American. Along with its steadily expanding group of contributors, they also created a series of fifteen posts on teaching strategies for various aspects of historical revolutions. They include “Teaching Chile’s Road to Socialism” and “Texas and the Great White-Washing of the American Revolution.”
In their introductory remarks about the website, its creators ponder why the concept of revolution has remained so popular. They conclude that “the word ‘revolution’ is a human tool” for understanding change, and that over the course of history, “its meaning has shifted to accommodate those wielding it.” The extensive thematic and geographic reach of this site helps users zig and zag across historic and contemporary studies of the elusive concept.