Of PROSE and Palaver

Thank goodness for the vagaries of academic publishing, which often result in M/m’s January issue coming out late enough in February to allow me to deliver one more barrage of news under the rubric of “2018.” (As if we hadn’t heard enough from that year—I know.)

Though some of you may have heard this news through other media, I thought it was important to acknowledge here on the Print Plus platform itself the honor that we have just been accorded by the Association of American Publishers: the 2019 PROSE Award for Innovation in Journal Publishing. Conceiving, designing, building, and sustaining this platform—not to mention convincing change-resistant institutions of its rigor, vision, and utility—has, I have intimated all too often in this space, been an arduous process. It’s very heartening to see that vision and that labor recognized. Cognizant of the glut of awards shows in this season, I will keep the thanks brief: suffice it to say that without the support of the MSA board and the JHUP development team, mountains of extra work from Sunshine Dempsey and the rest of the editorial staff, and most of all, the extraordinary skill and acumen of Matt Huculak and, more recently, Emily Christina Murphy, this platform would not exist.

It’s particularly satisfying to receive this award just as we launch the first of a series of cross-platform initiatives, a multi-part collection of responses to the brilliant and controversial print Special Issue on Weak Theory we published in September. Edited by Paul Saint-Amour, whose introduction to the issue appears, open access, on Print Plus, the issue has prompted a range of responses appreciative, instrumental, impressionistic and/or contrarian; as this first grouping (with pieces by Madelyn DetloffDavid ShermanKate StanleyScott HerringYan TangAaron Jaffe, and Michael F. Miller) demonstrates, weakness certainly does not equate to (or produce) neutrality. We’re looking forward to running several more of these feisty groupings over the course of the next months.

But there has been much else recently on the platform that bears repeated visiting: we’ve run thought-provoking clusters edited by Rebecca Walkowitz (“What Is the Scale of the Literary Object?”) and David James (“Modernism’s Contemporary Affects”), and will soon bring you a timely forum, edited by Megan Quigley, on “Reading ‘The Waste Land’ with the #MeToo Generation.” Our most recent direct-to-digital article, Daniel Gomes’s “Archival Airwaves,” takes full advantage of the platform’s capacity for sound in order to trace the multifaceted and productive function of radio archives.

We’d love to hear your ideas about how we can continue to grow and (in all possible senses) become more responsive.

Debra Rae Cohen