It’s only fitting that one of the few doctoral programs in the nation to focus on transatlantic history should have its own journal. But what is also noteworthy is how the Department of History academic publication is mostly student-run.
Traversea: Journal of Transatlantic History debuted last year – a joint effort by the Transatlantic History Student Organization (THSO) and the department – and published its first peer-reviewed volume in December. A website and word of mouth has helped the journal gain popularity among history students and academicians, said Isabelle Rispler, a doctoral student and co-editor.
“It’s the only journal that focuses on transatlantic history,” she said. “In our first issue we wrote the definition on transatlantic history.”
Transatlantic history “pertains to the interconnectedness of human experience and cross-cultural encounters of Europe, Africa, and the Americas (North and South) from 1500 to the present,” according to the online journal’s website. The editors recently posted a call for papers for the second issue; the deadline is April 1. Rispler said submissions are open to all subjects related to transatlantic history, and papers in other languages are welcomed. “English is not the only language in transatlantic history,” she said.
Rispler said more students from THSO have been recruited to assist as editors and reviewers. She said running Traversea has given her new insight into research publishing, and she’s hopeful the journal will last for some time.
“I hope it will continue as long as the [Transatlantic History Ph.D.] program exists,” she said. “I see how important it is, how the process works. It’s interesting to see it from the other side.”
The second volume will publish next fall.
(Story by James Dunning, COLA Communications)