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Special Issue Introduction: Historical Peculiarity and the Order of the Phoenix

Martin, Joseph D.; Mateos, Gisela; Munns, David P.D.; Suárez-Díaz, Edna


Gisela Mateos

David P.D. Munns

Edna Suárez-Díaz


This special issue, “Revealing the Michigan Memorial–Phoenix Project,” highlights the Michigan Memorial–Phoenix Project at the University of Michigan, a program of civilian nuclear research established after World War II that also memorialized Michigan’s victims of the two World Wars. It blossomed into a broad-based, multidisciplinary program supporting work pursuing peaceful uses of the atom, understood broadly. It became the basis for sustained interdisciplinary and international collaboration, a conduit for scientific diplomacy, a privileged site for the alliance between the US government and industry, and a pioneer in the education of nuclear engineers. The Phoenix Project was an unusual and highly local phenomenon, but contributors to this issue nevertheless find ways in which it embodied larger trends in the early Cold War. In this introduction, we highlight the multiple dimensions of the Phoenix Project and reflect on the challenges and opportunities posed by writing the history of peculiar entities.


Martin, J. D., Mateos, G., Munns, D. P., & Suárez-Díaz, E. (2021). Special Issue Introduction: Historical Peculiarity and the Order of the Phoenix. Historical Studies in the Natural Sciences, 51(2), 169-178.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jul 21, 2020
Online Publication Date Apr 1, 2021
Publication Date Apr 1, 2021
Deposit Date Sep 9, 2020
Journal Historical Studies in the Natural Sciences
Print ISSN 1939-1811
Electronic ISSN 1939-182X
Publisher University of California Press
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 51
Issue 2
Pages 169-178