UConn Welcomes Common-Place

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 UConn scholars, beginning with issue 15.2 of the publication, due out December 2014.

Associate Professor of English Anna Mae Duane and Associate Professor of History and Connecticut State Historian Walter Woodward will co-edit the journal, which is one of the most widely read publications on early American history and culture. This marks the first time that an interdisciplinary team from literary and historical studies will be heading the journal, which was founded by historians Jill Lepore (then at Boston University) and Jane Kamensky (then at Brandeis University) in 2000. Since that time, Common-place has been housed at the American Antiquarian Society and published in partnership with Florida State University (under the editorship of Ed Gray) and the University of Oklahoma (under the editorship of Catherine Kelly).

“Walt and I are genuinely excited about working together on Common-place,” said Anna Mae 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. ”

“From its inception,” noted Paul Erickson, Director of Academic Programs at the American Antiquarian Society, “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. Formally acknowledging our interdisciplinary approaches at the editor-level is a natural evolution of that ongoing process.”

In addition to the editorial team, Associate Professor of Digital Media & 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. In close collaboration with the editors and American Antiquarian Society, the DMC will update the website’s design and upgrade its technical infrastructure, stabilizing its back issues and improving the user experience for readers.”

“The University of Connecticut is pleased to be the new editorial home of Commonplace,” says Jeremy Teitelbaum, dean of the University of Connecticut’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.”

Common-place (htts://common-place.org) currently reaches 35,000 unique users per month. Both the University and the AAS are eager to embrace the opportunities that their partnership will provide to engage in innovative digital humanities scholarship, to deepen the journal’s engagement with the interdisciplinary community of early American scholarship.