Watch This Space: Print Plus One Year On

A year ago, Modernism/modernity, amid excitement and trepidation, launched this platform with the aim of renewing and enlivening the journal and extending its reach—making it possible to include a range of media as integral parts of articles, to introduce innovative new formats for publication and new modes of collaboration, to respond in real time to compelling events, to continue conversations (and take issue) across platforms, to grow and change in response to the needs of our scholarly community.

Since a key part of these developments, for me, has been the effort to render more transparent the historically occluded operations of the journal, it seems only right, a year on, to take stock of what we’ve done and what we still hope to do. First, some good news: the Print Plus platform is now fully indexed by the MLA Bibliography as part of Modernism/modernity. This includes all direct-to-digital elements, including blogs and reviews.

The Numbers, and Beyond

In the past year, we have run:           

  • seven direct-to digital peer-reviewed articles, and four advance articles from the print journal. Several of these, including Nathan Waddell’s piece on Lawrence Atkinson and Asato Ikeda’s, on Japanese “Fascist Modernism” have been able to include a range of illustrations—including color—that would not have been possible in the print journal. Two, Ruth Meyer’s print-issue article on Fantômas and Jacqueline Shin’s Print Plus exclusive on The Third Man, have featured embedded film clips (we’re still waiting for our. We expect to keep running (on average) two exclusive articles as well as one print issue teaser during each issue cycle, perhaps more over the summer months.
  • two peer-reviewed cluster forums, on Teaching Modern Poetry and Sexual Modernities. We are hoping to see these exciting peer-reviewed fora, modeled on the roundtable, on the platform more frequently over the coming year: currently two are being revised after peer review and two more should be submitted by May, with three others in development and two about to be announced.
  • 20 posts as part of four curated blogs—Process, The Discipline, Field Reports, Aesthetic Turns—and one more, In These Times, launched two months ago as a forum for discussing the urgencies of scholarship-as-activism in our hostile and vertiginous moment. We are still hoping to launch a sixth blog, on archives.
  • four exclusive and five reprinted book reviews in our What Are You Reading? forum, half engaging with recent work and half in our new Re/discoveries section. There is still a lot of room for expansion in this area of the site; we are looking to increase coverage of translations, editions, handbooks, companions, and other materials.

What’s Missing?

As we begin to work with JHUP on our second phase of site development, we’ve already identified ways in which Print Plus can be made more adaptable to the needs of both readers and contributors—more conducive to collaboration, more flexible in terms of how media can be accessed and viewed. We are looking ahead to integrating software that will make tagging and cross-indexing a much more vital part of the operations of the site.

But we are most anxious to hear from you about what you’d like to see developed, what kinds of content and functionalities would bring you to the site—not merely to read or to research, but to add your voice, to comment, contribute, discuss. Let us know!

Debra Rae Cohen