- Editor’s Introduction
This season of renewal brings with it a new look and other changes to Studies in the Novel. The most significant of these is our new publishing partnership with the Johns Hopkins University Press, a partnership that will allow the journal to continue to thrive amid sweeping changes in academic publishing in the years ahead. It is also an honor to introduce the journal’s new editorial advisory board, a distinguished roster of scholars whose work highlights the breadth and diversity of traditional and contemporary approaches to scholarship on the novel.
From its inception in 1969, Studies in the Novel has been dedicated to building a scholarly community around the world-making potentialities of the novel. To commemorate our distinguished history, the Spring issue features an updated cover. Tradition and innovation come together in this design, which retains the original cover’s iconic insignia, the fluttering pages of an open book. The insignia of the open book recalls all the possibilities that the reading of novels has long evoked: imaginative flight, broadened horizons, the opening up of new vistas for critical reflection and of new opportunities for deepened engagement with the world. As scholarship on the novel continues to demonstrate, the genre is one of profound aesthetic, imaginative, and social force, which is uniquely capable of promoting empathy, aesthetic innovation, political resistance, and a richer awareness of history.
I would like to take a moment here to reflect on the history of the journal’s mission to publish “critical and scholarly articles on the novel with no restrictions on either chronology or nationality of the novelists studied” in order to recognize Studies in the Novel’s significance as a forum for leading-edge scholarship on the novel. Within the journal’s first decade, it could rightly claim to have fulfilled the ambitions of its founding editor, University of North Texas professor of contemporary literature James W. Lee, who envisioned a journal of international scope and influence. The past and present members of its advisory board, as well as its authors and contributors, have hailed from 48 states and 40 nations, representing more than 240 academic institutions worldwide. Studies in the Novel receives more than 200 article submissions each year, of which approximately 20 to 24 are accepted for publication. [End Page v] Academic and literary luminaries whose work has appeared in Studies in the Novel include Erskine Caldwell, Judith Fetterley, James Olney, Joseph Heller, Anthony Burgess, Donald Pizer, George Hutchinson, Larry Reynolds, Michael Gilmore, Marianna Torgovnick, Wai-Chee Dimock, Robert Hemenway, Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick, Pericles Lewis, Henry Louis Gates, Jr., Patricia Meyer Spacks, Michael Hollister, Michelle Burnham, Susan Gallagher, Alan Rauch, Eric Savoy, and Christina Milletti. For more than 40 years, an essay’s publication in Studies in the Novel has represented a mark of distinction for scholars at every stage of their careers.
This history reflects the skill, dedication, and hard work of numerous scholars and editors. Studies in the Novel has flourished under the guiding vision and dedicated leadership of four editors: James W. Lee (1969–1975); John Smith (1975–1993); the late Scott Simpkins (1993–2003); and Jacqueline Foertsch (2003–2012). Beyond publishing special issues on significant novelists, these editors have brought forth field-changing issues in each decade of the journal’s history: African American Authors (1971); The Commonwealth Novel (1972); Women and Early Fiction (1987); Queerer Than Fiction (1996); Terrorism and the Postmodern Novel (2004); Postcolonial Trauma Novels (2008). Recently, Studies in the Novel published ground-breaking new scholarship on Young Adult Fiction (2010) and Willa Cather (2013), and in Fall 2015 we will publish a special issue on Science Fictions.
For nearly five decades, Studies in the Novel has staked its reputation upon publishing incisive scholarship on the canon-forming novelists that have shaped the genre’s rich history. At the same time, the journal has persistently broken new ground by promoting new theoretical approaches and, most recently, under the editorial leadership of Jacqueline Foertsch, by adopting a broader international scope and pursuing a deeper engagement with the contemporary novel as a form of social critique. As the journal’s new editor, I am fortunate to have this track...