We would like to invite you to contribute to the Special Issue “History from Scratch – Voices Across the Planet“, published as one of the first issues of the newly launched open access journal Histories, published by MDPI (https://www.mdpi.com/journal/histories).
‘Rethinking’ was a great intellectual trend of the 1990s: History, and the humanities and social sciences in general, were expected to be self-reflective and distrustful of conventions, continually breaking new ground. In our field, in 1997, this debate resulted in the launching of the journal “Rethinking History”. The journal was assigned to a small group of historians in the United Kingdom and the United States. Ever since they have made an effort to produce a conventional (subscription) journal with non-conventional (postmodern) objectives.
The starting point is rather different with Histories, launched in 2020 by MDPI. The journal was born digital and open access, as our age has certainly become more global (as tragically shown by the coronavirus pandemic). A true effort can be made to go beyond the UK–US research communities. This Special Issue will collect voices from all continents except the Antarctic. In the meantime, postmodernity has dissolved and we are back to modernity (or heading towards post-post-modernity, as some say). There is no imperative of ‘rethinking’ history at every corner and end. Instead, we can—in this particular occasion with the launch of a journal—invent it from scratch, and imagine the field as we would wish it to be, or precisely not wish it to be. Therefore, as a contributor, you are invited to choose aspects and points of the historical field and profession that catch your attention and that you would highlight for a larger audience.
Possible aspects and points
- Purpose of doing history: response to (particular) social, environmental or political concerns, creating historical consciousness for a group or in general, personal curiosity, or self-affirmation, etc.
- Role of (particular) models, theories, philosophies, ideologies, or avant-garde provocations for historical practice; the importance of historical methods (source criticism, discourse analysis, data mining, etc.).
- Role of academic conventions and restrictions of the historical field, usefulness or uselessness of interdisciplinary or transdisciplinary approaches.
- Particular subjects, social groups, chronological periods, or geographical areas historically under-researched or over-researched.
- Role of (various forms of) writing or presenting history: in journals, social media and internet platforms, museums, with reenactments, films and videos, video games, etc.
- Professional situation and career prospects of historians, the position of the historical discipline in universities, academia, and/or the public sphere.
- Particular wishes for the development of the new open access journal Histories.
- Combination of mentioned points or other aspects not mentioned.
Information on submission: https://www.mdpi.com/journal/histories/special_issues/history_scratch
Jon Mathieu, University of Lucerne, Switzerland