Seeking an editor for the Journal of the Early Republic

Craig Thompson Friend's picture
Call for Volunteers
February 10, 2018
Pennsylvania, United States
Subject Fields: 
American History / Studies, Humanities

The Society for Historians of the Early Republic is seeking an editor for the Journal of the Early Republic, a quarterly publication committed to the best scholarship on the history and culture of the United States during the early republic (1776–1861). Since its beginning thirty-seven years ago, the journal has carved out a unique and important position in the landscape of historical publications, fostering a rich conversation among specialists of all types who share an interest in the period’s history, in all of its complex dimensions. The JER strives to provide healthy and creative discourse among new and veteran scholars, across a variety of historical topics, including culture, gender, race and ethnicity, class, religion, economic development, law, and politics.

We are willing to entertain proposals for a single editor or a pair of co-editors. Editor(s) must be active members of SHEAR at time of appointment and throughout tenure. The successful applicant(s) will serve as editor(s)-elect for a transition period through July 2018. The term of appointment will begin 1 August 2018, and will extend for five years with possibility for renewal. The editorship carries no stipend, but financial support for travel and other related expenses is available. The position requires support from the editor’s home institution, which generally includes course release and some level of administrative assistance, typically in the form of a graduate assistant. In return for supporting the editor’s contributions, SHEAR recognizes the editor’s home institution as a sponsor of the journal on the masthead and in official communications.

The editor is supported by two book review editors, a Surveying the Fields editor, and an editorial board representing a broad range of specializations in the study of the early American republic. In short, the editor is responsible for intellectual content and literary grace but has considerable administrative support in place. The editor also coordinates with a social media editor and the editor of The Panorama, the online presence for the JER. The journal employs a managing editor who maintains its physical office in Philadelphia, substantially reducing the amount of support requested from the editor’s institution. The managing editor retains custody of the files, proofs the printer’s pages, and keeps the wheels turning. Our publisher, Penn Press, employs a copy-editor for final manuscript preparation and handles production and distribution. SHEAR’s administrative office maintains membership records including subscription records.

In general, the editor is responsible for the intellectual content, quality, and timeliness of the journal issues as well as the overall success of the journal by encouraging submissions, reading incoming manuscripts, soliciting referees, evaluating referees’ reports, writing decision letters, working with authors to develop and improve submissions, and editing for content, accuracy, and clarity. We check footnote citations (thus the graduate assistant) as far as possible for accuracy and integrity. The constitutional duties of the editor are:

  • Performing all responsibilities associated with the management of the Journal of the Early Republic, including relations with the Journal’s host institutions, authors, the Editorial Board, direct supervision of any editorial staff, and coordination with any publishers, vendors, or other parties contracted to produce and distribute the Journal.
  • Recruiting and appointing, with the advice of the President and Advisory Council, members of the Editorial Board to assist with the development of content for the Journal
  • Recruiting and appointing, with the advice of the President and Advisory Council, a Book Review Editor for the Journal.
  • Appointing an annual prize committee for Best Article Prize.
  • Representing the Journal in all deliberations of the Society as an ex-officio member of the Advisory Council and Executive Committee.
  • Reporting to the President and the Advisory Council, and submitting an annual report to the Council.

Because the vacancy was unanticipated, we face tight time constraints. We will begin accepting applications on 1 February 2018 and will continue until the position is filled. Should you decide to apply, in your application, we would like to see:

  • Curriculum vitae, highlighting scholarly expertise in the field and editorial experience.
  • Vision Statement, no more than 5 pages, describing challenges and opportunities, a vision for the journal, continued development of online presence, and objective milestones for evaluation.
  • Description of Institutional Resources addressing the feasibility of serving as editor in light of the institutional resources likely to be available. Preliminary statements of institutional support from the applicant’s Chair and/or Dean are requested.
  • Names and contact information for three references.

If you have any questions about the requirements of the position, wish to discuss your particular interest in it, or plan to apply, please reply to

Contact Info: 

Craig Thompson Friend, President, SHEAR

Contact Email: