- Editorial Preface
The Harvard Journal of Asiatic Studies has changed. A glance at the cover reveals that clearly enough. After nearly eighty years of unadorned gray, it bears an illustration. A much more significant change is the absence of Joanna Handlin Smith’s name from the masthead for the first time in a quarter century. A distinguished historian of Ming and Qing China, Dr. Smith joined the Journal in 1989 and served as its Editor from October 2003 until her retirement in September 2014. HJAS flourished under her able leadership as a venue for the best humanistic scholarship on East Asia.
HJAS’s audience has changed, too. Journals are more important than ever as a medium of intellectual exchange. Not long ago, only scholars who were already committed to the study of East Asia would have thought to pick up HJAS. Now, thanks to the advent of digital repositories, such as Project Muse and JSTOR, humanists and social scientists working on all parts of the world—and in all parts of the world—enjoy ready access to the Journal’s rich content. In the coming issues, you will see more changes to HJAS as we experiment with forms of scholarly communication beyond the freestanding monographic essay and promote work that challenges traditional disciplinary and geographical boundaries. We encourage authors to speak beyond their immediate constituencies but to do so without compromising the standards of rigorous scholarship and deep erudition that readers expect in HJAS. What will not change is the Journal’s focus on the humanities and humanistic social sciences or its commitment to the study of premodern as well as modern East and Inner Asia. [End Page v]