Humanist Discussion Group

Humanist Archives: May 3, 2022, 10:49 a.m. Humanist 35.678 - in praise of edited collections

              Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 35, No. 678.
        Department of Digital Humanities, University of Cologne
                      Hosted by DH-Cologne
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        Date: 2022-05-02 08:25:37+00:00
        From: Simon Burrows <>
        Subject: Re: [External] [Humanist] 35.677: the interdisciplinarian's friend

I agree whole-heartedly with Willard. When I want a diverse and engaged overview
of a topic I often prefer edited collections.

My own career has been built on them, and the projects involved have opened up
new angles to my research and been vital to the network building that fed into
my later work in digital humanities.

Co-editing collections allowed me to get on top of each of the disparate topics
in which I have produced such collections - the press and the public sphere in
Europe and North America 1760-1820; Cultural transfers in the long eighteenth
century; the worlds of the celebrated French cross-dressing diplomat-spy the
Chevalier d'Eon; and finally, on Digital Humanities and the transformation of
Eighteenth-Century Studies.

Editing such collections helps to establish standing in field and address key
issues from a greater range of transdisciplinary perspectives than other forms
of publishing, and writing the introductions to such collections is a highly
effective means of crystallising and revising one's own thinking.

I am at a loss as to why strategic and well-crated edited collections held in
such low regard in scholarly assessment exercises, or so difficult to place with
the top academic publishers. Fortunately the advantages of pursuing the genre
outweigh this consideration, and I continue to recommend to younger scholars
that they should consider (co-)editing collections at an early stage despite the
drawbacks you identify.

In digital humanities, an interdisciplinary and collaborative field par
excellence, I would argue that the most celebrated edited collections have
generally contributed more to the field than most monograph studies.

Look forward to seeing whether others agree.

From: Humanist <>
Sent: Monday, 2 May 2022 6:10 PM
To: Simon Burrows <>
Subject: [External] [Humanist] 35.677: the interdisciplinarian's friend

Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 35, No. 677.
Department of Digital Humanities, University of Cologne
Hosted by DH-Cologne<>
Submit to:

Date: 2022-05-02 07:57:26+00:00
From: Willard McCarty <>
Subject: the interdisciplinarian's friend

When I was subject to the winds of decanal judgment, I'd hear much from
those even more thus subject about the inadvisiability of publishing in
and, by implication, depending on edited collections. My consistent
experience as a compulsively interdisciplinary explorer, however, has
been that such collections (e.g. the one whose editors are in a
previous message today advertising for submissions) are an invaluable
aid to scholarship, particularly the adventurous kind that strays beyond

What is your experience?

Willard McCarty,
Professor emeritus, King's College London;
Editor, Interdisciplinary Science Reviews; Humanist<>

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