Editors in the Wider World: A Perspectives on History Conversation with Journal Editors

AHA Session 236
Sunday, January 5, 2014: 11:00 AM-1:00 PM
Virginia Suite A (Marriott Wardman Park)
Allen Mikaelian, American Historical Association

Session Abstract

History journals first had to adapt to digitization, then to social media, and now to questions posed by open-access models. Along the way, they have been shaped as much by their editors as by these outside forces and developments, but the editors have had to adapt as well. At many journals, the editor’s job is no longer a straightforward set of tasks defined by management of text. Editors often must engage with a wider world and a more diverse set of communities. Digitization has led to demands for interactivity; social media has fed demands for conversation with authors; and open access has forced editors to balance accessibility with responsibility—and even to justify their own role in the publishing process.

This conversation includes participants who have responded to change by expanding their role as editor and their journals’ places in the field. Ethan Kleinberg’s experience with History and Theory has led him to conclude that his journal should be a hub of a network of social media. Hong-Ming Liang has used the Middle Ground Journal to build bridges to the local community and to a global network. Swati Chattopadhyay envisions the Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians as providing a way for architectural historians to critically engage with the world. All have had to adapt as their journals find new ways to extend their roles as sites of disagreement, debate, and discussion.

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