postmedieval: a journal of medieval cultural studies, a scholarly journal co-edited by English Associate Professor Dr. Eileen Joy, won the Association of Learned and Professional Society Publishers’ (ALPSP) Award for Best New Journal of 2012.
This is the journal’s second award in just two years. In 2011, the journal won the PROSE Award for Best New Journal in the category of Humanities and Social Sciences.
postmedieval was founded by Joy and Associate English Professor Myra Seaman at the College of Charleston, who both serve as editors for the publication and as founders of the BABEL Working Group, a hierarchy-free scholarly collective.
Although Joy is honored to have received the PROSE award, receiving the ALPSP award has been a landmark event for postmedieval.
The ALPSP award is international, which means that postmedieval competed with around 80 journal entries from around the world, and in the final round, the journal competed with three other finalists, all of which were science journals–one in cancer research, one in physics, and one in ecology and evolutionary biology.
“A journal in medieval studies beat those three journals out for Best New Journal in the world for 2012,” says Joy. “We’re particularly proud of this because medieval studies has been viewed as the least useful discipline within the humanities.”
postmedieval, published by Palgrave MacMillan, is a cross-disciplinary journal that strives to, as written on the journal’s website, “bring the medieval and the modern into productive critical relation.” To Joy, medieval studies provides extremely useful scholarship because the past is an essential part of defining humanity.
“Our argument is that the past is always with us, right beside us, folded into our modern times in ways we do not always notice,” Joy says.
This being said, Joy argues that the past, even the medieval period, which is viewed as “least useful,” will always be unavoidably linked with people today.
“Some of the ways the past is with us are…negative and lead to things like religious warfare, human trafficking, racial discrimination…Some of the ways in which the past is beside us and folded into us can be…enlightening and positive,” Joy explains. “Our job [at postmedieval] is to sort out what those relationships are, but you can’t say there isn’t a relationship with the past.”
postmedieval aims to teach its readers, with contributions from scholars around the world, that the medieval time period can show humanity who we were and are and why these two concepts come together as one to pave the way to our future.
“Our journal’s mission is to make that relationship more explicit and to say, if you’re trying to confront contemporary problems like raciscm, like post-humanism, like disability, like human rights, you are going to need to figure out what the inextricable relations are between the past and the present,” Joy says, “because we inhabit both of those worlds simultaneously everyday…The future might have something to do with knowing what that is.”
To read about This Week in CAS’s past coverage of postmedieval’s PROSE award, please click here.
Filed Under: English Language & Lit