CFP: Editors and the Editing of Scientific Periodicals: Constructing Knowledge and Identity in the Late Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries

A workshop hosted by the Institute of Intellectual History, University of St Andrews

September 7 – 8, 2017

Deadline for abstracts: 30 June

Organisers: Anna Gielas and Dr Aileen Fyfe

Scientific periodicals have been important means for scholars to communicate observations and findings, claim credit, and build communities since the late seventeenth century. From the 1770s in the German-speaking lands and in France, and from the 1790s in Britain, a flood of new periodicals were established. In contrast to the long-running periodicals sponsored by learned institutions, these new periodicals were independent, and had to try to make their way on a commercial footing.

Their editors were men of science as well as outsiders, arriving at scientific editing from different walks of life. So, who were these individuals, why did they edit and what did their editorship entail? Our workshop will shine light on the shadowy figure of the editor and draw attention to the diverse ways in which the editorial role could be performed.

More broadly, our two-day-workshop is an investigation into the cultural significance of the learned editor. It aims to foster a deeper understanding of the editor’s current role as the gatekeeper to the printed page and, thereby, as a key actor in the process of constructing academic reputations, careers, and knowledge.

This workshop will analyse the rich variety of editorial processes and strategies used in different places, times and contexts. As well as studies of particular editors or journals, we are keen to encourage papers that make comparisons, e.g. between editorial practices at different journals, or between earlier and later editors of the same journal. We are interested in anyone who was performing an editorial role, regardless of whether they were formally called ‘editor’ (or its cognate).

Agreed speakers include: Dominik Huenniger (Goettingen), Jon Topham (Leeds), Sally Frampton (Oxford)

Questions that we would like to address include:

* What personal goals or motives encouraged individuals to become scientific editors?

* How did the editors’ goals inform their strategies for their periodical? (e.g., discipline, format, periodicity, genre of content, intended audience)

* What did ‘being an editor’ actually involve (e.g., excerpting from other periodicals, or soliciting contributions)?

* How did editors work at a distance, especially transnationally and trans-linguistically?

* How did editorial strategies differ across generations?

* How (well) did editors engage with the book trade (e.g., negotiate with publishers, printers, distributors)?

* How did editors work with or for other interested parties (e.g., scientific societies and academies, universities, government institutions)?

* How did editors engage with, or create, a community of contributors and/or readers for their journals?

We hope to publish an edited volume of essays based on the contributions to the workshop.

Interested scholars are encouraged to submit a 200-word proposal and one-page curriculum vitae to Dr Aileen Fyfe [email protected] by June 30, 2017.

You will be notified of the acceptance of your paper by July 15, 2017.

Others who are interested in attending can also register interest with Aileen Fyfe, as above.