From the Chief Editor, Fall 2011
A few weeks ago someone asked why my Google Calendar is blocked off from 3:45 AM to 9:00 AM every day. That is the time that I use to work for The Middle Ground Journal, before classes and other tasks. Many of the editors and friends of the journal work as hard, and as diligently, to make this new enterprise possible. I would like to take this opportunity to thank them individually.
Jeanne Grant, Jodi Eastberg, and Susan Smith have taken the lead in our three primary sections: research articles, reviews, and essays on teaching. They have been marvelously aided by the hard work of Tanya Maus, Tracy Barrett, Dhara Anjaria, Rebecca Nedostup, Drew Mannetter, Andrew Jarboe, and Nat Godley. I would also like to acknowledge the enthusiastic support of many friends of the journal: Paul Jentz, Al Andrea, Craig Lockard, Edward Farmer, Tammy Proctor, Louisa Rice, Katie Holt, Merose Hwang, Paul Richgruber, Robert Cliver, Karen Rosenflanz, Lisa Irving, Tom Barker, Daniel Ringrose, and Krista Feinberg. To our lead intern Megan Kelly, and to the many student interns and outreach volunteers who have worked tirelessly on our behalf, my eternal gratitude. Their enthusiasm and creativity have brought much to the direction and development of this journal. Finally, many thanks to everyone at the College of St. Scholastica, where the journal is housed. These mentors and friends have provided everything from logistical support, to important advice and constant encouragement.
In the upcoming issues, you will see many of the projects we have been nurturing over the past three semesters. Cooperative projects with several global studies and historical associations and forums have yielded promising papers. I have deliberately included the term “global studies,” because I have discovered over these months and with hundreds of emails how narrowly “world history” has come to be defined. An important part of being a consistent and inviting middle ground is to broaden that definition – of what world history means, and of who may participate in this dialogue -- without losing our core mandate and values. We will also continue our discussion forum series initiated by Professors Lockard and Farmer with papers from WHA President Al Andrea and our keynote speaker from the second MWWHA conference, Professor Merry Wiesner-Hanks.
Reports will also be submitted from our pilot Student Ambassador Program. Our student interns and ambassadors are also enthusiastically embarking on a series of interviews and observations/reports of innovative teaching from area K-12 classrooms. We have begun to peer-review and consider for publication undergraduate research papers. This is an important part of our multifaceted effort to concretely carry out our mandate of redefining the meaning of a journal – to truly serve as a middle ground for all. During this process we not only seek to publish research by promising student scholars, but to also formulate a model for how such a peer-review process might best serve our overall objective of scholarly inclusivity. We have many other projects in the preliminary stages, which I will report upon later.
As we evolve as a journal, we will continue to follow a publication schedule of two issues a year, roughly conforming to the semester system in the United States (September to November; February to April). The minimal expectation is that we must have enough edited material to publish every other week during these periods – otherwise, we will publish one issue only. A minimal issue will have at least 3 Research or On Teaching articles, 2 reviews of textbooks and 1 review of a non-textbook. A full issue will have 6 Research or On Teaching articles, 4 reviews of textbooks, and 2 reviews of non-textbooks. As I have communicated to my editors, we are a young and growing publication, and our editors wear many hats and have generously volunteered their time and energy for this endeavor. Therefore, I want them to recommend articles, essays, and reviews that they are fully satisfied with, without having the pressure of having to fill an overly ambitious publication schedule.
We will move forward deliberately, without haste – and with great joy and appreciation for this opportunity.
I invite all of you to submit your work. We are grateful for research articles, essays on teaching, and reviews of books and other artifacts, particularly ones you have used as a student or teacher (or both). If you have a project to propose, please do not hesitate to write to me at MiddleGroundJournal (a) Gmail.Com .
Thanks to everyone for all of your guidance and support.
Chief Editor, The Middle Ground Journal
Fall 2011, Duluth, Minnesota. U.S.A.