As Lesley Wheeler—and others—reminded us in last cycle’s Process blog, the model of the solitary academic has always been an inadequate and misleading one. All editors know this: collaboration is built into every stage of our process. We rely, for peer review, on the good will and shared standards of the community; we navigate, with authors, the sometimes rocky waters of line editing; we develop, increasingly, and by design, editorial formats that foster discussion—with the hope that our journals come increasingly to resemble the complex, fervid, deeply networked fields we serve.
More and more, too, we augment and facilitate the circulation of ideas through the shared aetheric pool of social media. In this season of the Trump-tweet, it’s been something of a consolation to see my feeds full of the latest cover of M/m, reproduced and reshared to modernists around the globe, all six or fewer degrees of separation from guest editor Aaron Jaffe. (Aaron’s modernist-era equivalent may have been the “multimedial” Lawrence Atkinson, connected—so Nathan Waddell shows us in a new article exclusive to Print Plus—to an international host of modernist coteries.)
If Aaron’s special issue on Modernist Inhumanisms—itself jointly conceived with fellow contributors Kate Marshall and Julian Murphet—represents a time-honored collaborative format, Print Plus offers a chance to extend that collaboration beyond the boundaries of that singe issue. We invite you all to comment on the provocations of Aaron’s introduction, featured here, or to respond at greater length to any aspect of the issue in our Discussions forum. Later this cycle we will be offering up yet another collaborative venture, the second of our Print Plus clusters, this one organized by Benjy Kahan around the question “What is Sexual Modernity?” Both of these exciting and contentious collections of essays point to the fuller implications of collaboration in our field—also deeply significant in during time of political polarization—that we, by our very calling, produce knowledge, make meaning, through creative disagreement.
This month, too, marks the launch of a collaboration close to home—the opening of our new office at Northwestern University, and the advent of a new co-editor, Christopher Bush. Chris brings to the journal an expertise in non-Anglo literatures that will allow the journal the global reach and voice to which it’s always aspired. We see this as an opportunity, too, to develop new systems of cooperation that will give the journal both range and focus: though articles will be divided between offices for peer review, and we will alternate responsibility for issue production, we will work together to shape each print issue, helping to ensure editorial consistency—and in the future, smooth editorial transitions.