Wednesday, April 22, 2009

GW MEMSI congratulates the BABEL Working Group for postmedieval

A major new journal in medieval cultural studies has been born. GW MEMSI congratulates Eileen Joy, Myra Seaman, Holly Crocker, and the BABEL Working Group.

The press release appears below.


Palgrave Macmillan and the BABEL Working Group
announce the launch of
postmedieval: a journal of medieval cultural studies

“The future of the past has arrived. Nothing quite like this journal exists: ambitious special topics issues, interdisciplinary investigations, cutting edge theory, new approaches to medieval texts and culture. The BABEL Working Group has been transforming the practice of medieval studies for quite some time. This publication will extend that influence into new realms. postmedieval is more than a journal: it's an event.”

Jeffrey Jerome Cohen
George Washington University

Palgrave Macmillan, the academic and professional publishing division of Macmillan Publishers Ltd, announced today that it will launch a new journal in medieval cultural studies in collaboration with the BABEL Working Group.

postmedieval: a journal of medieval cultural studies is a cross-disciplinary, peer-reviewed journal in medieval studies that aims to bring the medieval and modern into productive critical relation. The journal will work to develop a present-minded medieval studies in which contemporary events, issues, ideas, problems, objects, and texts serve as triggers for critical investigations of the Middle Ages. Further, it is concerned to illuminate the deep historical structures that underlie contemporary thought and life, as well as the ways in which both past and present provoke each other. Finally, postmedieval seeks to demonstrate the important value of medieval studies and the longest possible historical perspectives to the ongoing development of contemporary critical and cultural theories that remain under-historicized.

postmedieval is co-edited by Eileen Joy (Southern Illinois University Edwardsville) and Myra Seaman (College of Charleston). Holly Crocker (University of South Carolina) joins them as book reviews editor.

The first issue of postmedieval will be published in April 2010. The journal will initially be published three times a year, with two themed and one open issue per volume. The launch issue, co-edited by Eileen Joy and Craig Dionne, will be a special issue on ‘When Did We Become Post/human?’; issue 1.2 will feature a cluster of essays on Bruce Holsinger's The Premodern Condition; and issue 1.3 will be a special issue on ‘The Animal Turn’, co-edited by Peggy McCracken and Karl Steel.

David Bull, Journals Publishing Director at Palgrave Macmillan, said:
“We are very happy to announce Palgrave Macmillan’s first journal in medieval studies, following the success of Palgrave Macmillan’s agenda-setting New Middle Ages books series. We look forward to working with Eileen, Myra and Holly to enable this new journal to reach its full potential.”

Palgrave Macmillan's extensive experience of journals publishing will bring immediate benefits to postmedieval, which will be available both in print and as a fully-capable e-journal.

Critical reaction to postmedieval: a journal of medieval cultural studies

“This new journal sees the ebb and flow of the ‘medieval’ thoroughly imbricated in the project of defining the ‘contemporary.’ postmedieval: a journal of medieval cultural studies celebrates scholarly contingency and combustible notions of a usable past that is dedicated to a widely imagined, even utopian, future.”

Bonnie Wheeler
Associate Professor and Director of Medieval Studies
Southern Methodist University

Series Editor, “New Middle Ages” Book Series (Palgrave Macmillan)

“I do believe that medievalists need cultural studies, and I like the prideful assertion that we have plenty to offer cultural studies in return. Medievalists have welcomed lots of critical tendencies over the years, and have augmented them too; but postmedieval has a delightfully indigenous feel, a sassy suggestion that we, as medievalists, don’t only join but initiate important discussions.”

Paul Strohm
Anna Garbedian Professor in the Humanities
Columbia University

Author of: Social Chaucer (Harvard, 1989; reprint 1994), Hochon’s Arrow: The Social Imagination
of Fourteenth-Century Texts
(Princeton, 1992), Theory and the Premodern Text (Minnesota, 2000),
and Politique: Languages of Statecraft Between Chaucer and Shakespeare (Notre Dame, 2005)

“Stuart Hall once asked: “Against the urgency of people dying in the streets, what in God’s name is the point of cultural studies?” To answer: postmedieval: a journal of medieval cultural studies will be one serious rallying point for a more connective, capacious, politically invested, socially attuned, historically aware, and ethically committed cultural studies. This innovatively structured, ambitious, provocative and excitingly open project to develop “new critical humanisms” showcases precisely why we need the BABEL Working Group, why we need an intellectually alive community of scholars from the humanities, social sciences, “hard” sciences, and the arts, why we need intellectually generous, “active collaborations” between medievalists who need to be “more present-minded” and presentists who need to be more medieval-minded. postmedieval promises to be a truly alterdisciplinary journal, a space of endless surprise and importance, politically engaged and responsive, willing to work with and across diverse media and an array of modes of critical engagement. In these difficult times for intellectual life, postmedieval provides the most hopeful sign for genuinely transformational enquiry and for developing new critical vocabularies with a deep regard for the past, the present and the future.”

Michael O’Rourke, Dublin

Co-editor (with Katherine O'Donnell), Love, Sex, Intimacy and Friendship Between Men, 1550-1800
and Queer Masculinities, 1550-1800 (both Palgrave Macmillan).
Series Editor, “Queer Interventions” Book Series (Ashgate).

Publication details
postmedieval: a journal of medieval cultural studies
2010, Volume 1, three issues per year

Print ISSN: 2040-5960
eISSN: 2040-5979

Web (from 1 May 09):

For further information, please contact:
Laura Ingle
Product Manager
Palgrave Macmillan, Houndmills,
Basingstoke RG21 6XS, UK
Tel: +44 (0)1256 302959 x 3038
Fax: +44 (0)1256 330688

About Palgrave Macmillan
Palgrave Macmillan is a global academic publisher, serving learning and scholarship in higher education and the professional world. It publishes textbooks, journals, monographs, professional and reference works in print and online. Its programme focuses on the Humanities, the Social Sciences and Business. As part of the Macmillan Group, it represents an unbroken tradition of 160 years of independent academic publishing.

Macmillan is owned by The Holtzbrinck Group, which is one of the few international publishing houses to remain in family ownership. Companies in the Holtzbrinck Group retain the advantages of private ownership - stability, continuity and the ability to take the long-term view of investment and growth - while benefiting from the strengths of a global company trading in a range of media.

About the BABEL Working Group
The BABEL Working Group, founded in 2004, is a collective of scholars (primarily medievalists, but also including persons working in other areas, such as early modern and Victorian studies, critical and cultural theory, film and women’s studies, and critical sexuality studies) in North America, the U.K., and Australia, who have been working to develop new cross-disciplinary alliances between the humanities, sciences, social sciences, and the arts in order to formulate and practice new “critical humanisms,” as well as to develop a more present-minded medieval studies.

Official Press Release: 22 April 2009


Eileen Joy said...

Thanks for helping to spread the word, Jeffrey!

Jeffrey Cohen said...

It's not an event without word being spread!