Beginning in December of 2014, Common-place—a premier online journal of early American history and culture sponsored by the American Antiquarian Society—will be produced and edited by an interdisciplinary team of scholars at the University of Connecticut. Common-place is one of the most widely read publications on early American history and culture, with about 35,000 unique users per month.
Associate Professor of English Anna Mae Duane and Associate Professor of History and Connecticut State Historian Walter Woodward, both from UConn, will co-edit the journal. This marks the first time that an interdisciplinary team from literary and historical studies will lead the publication.
“From its inception, Common-place has expanded the definition of and approaches to early American history and culture, and broadened its reach to include both scholarly audiences and the public community of thought,” says Paul Erickson, Director of Academic Programs at the American Antiquarian Society. “Formally acknowledging our interdisciplinary approaches at the editor level is a natural evolution of that ongoing process.”
“Walter and I are genuinely excited about working together on Common-place,” says Duane. “Its often edgy, always thoughtful, and richly engaging approach to presenting early American history is an inspiration and motivator to both of us. Our goal is to insure that Common-place remains an innovative publication that people will look to for history of interest, creativity, and excellence.”
In addition to the editorial team, UConn Associate Professor of Digital Media and Design and Director of Digital Humanities Tom Scheinfeldt will work with colleagues and students in the School of Fine Arts Digital Media Center (DMC) to redesign the journal’s online presence. The team will work in collaboration with Common-place editors and the American Antiquarian Society to update the website’s design and upgrade its technical infrastructure, which will stabilize back issues of the publication and improve the user experience for readers.
The journal was founded in 2000 by historians Jill Lepore, the David Woods Kemper ’41 Professor of American History at Harvard University (then at Boston University), and Jane Kamensky, Mary Ann Lippitt Professor of American History at Brown University (then at Brandeis University). Since that time, Common-place has been housed at the American Antiquarian Society and published in partnership with Florida State University and the University of Oklahoma.
“The University of Connecticut is pleased to be the new editorial home of Common-place,” says Jeremy Teitelbaum, dean of UConn’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. “It is a superb publication that reflects many of the best innovations in the rapidly evolving worlds of academic publishing and civic engagement. We have been pleased to draw together a team of University scholars to continue and expand on these approaches.”