The Cultures of History Forum welcomes original contributions that fit within its geographical and thematic scope. If you know of an interesting ongoing exhibition, public debate or (history-)political development that you want to write about or that you would like to see discussed in the Forum, please contact us or send a short synopsis to one of our editors: Dr. Eva-Clarita Pettai or Dr. Juliane Toman.
The Cultures of History Forum is a rather hybrid publication platform, somewhere between a blogjournal and a more regular scholarly journal. Its focus is on the intersection between academic history and the public negotiation of historical knowledge in the countries of the former communist region in Europe. Please take a moment to read the following guidelines in order to make sure your article will be accepted and promptly processed.
General remarks about contributions published by the Cultures of History Forum
In the EXHIBITIONS section, we publish reviews of permanent or temporary exhibitions in museums of the region. They ask how historical knowledge is being staged in museum environments, what aesthetic and curatorial strategies are being used and how knowledge is being transmitted to the visitor. The articles also consider the individual museum’s historical, geographical, cultural and/or political context that may have informed curatorial decisions.
In the DEBATES section, we publish critical reflections on ongoing or recent public debates or controversies that touch upon often difficult or complex historical issues that have greater implications for society. The aim is to document these debates and to provide readers without knowledge of the local languages with both a clear sense of the historical issues that are at stake and an understanding of the arguments, actors and agendas involved in such debates.
In the POLITICS section, we publish articles that focus on recent legislation, policy decisions or judicial acts that impact, or aim to impact public commemorative practices and other forms of representation of the past in the public sphere. The articles provide the necessary historical and political-institutional backdrop to this form of top-down intervention and seek to give a well-balanced and fair account of the debates and arguments involved as well as of the possible consequences.
General Style and Structure of Articles
All articles should be aimed at an international, non-specialist readership with a keen interest in the history, politics and societies of the former communist region. Authors can assume some basic knowledge of the main historical trajectories of the 20th century in this region among their readers yet should assume only limited awareness of national (and regional) specificities or of particular academic debates in the field. Articles should therefore be written in an accessible style, providing the necessary historical and political background, while avoiding technical jargon or the use of highly abstract concepts and theories. Moreover, texts should not exceed 4000 words (including references) in length.
Especially in the DEBATE and POLITICS sections, articles should begin with a recent event or incident, a strong statement or quote that can serve as the entry point to laying out the topic and why the particular debate/law/policy move is relevant. Being an online publication, this introduction is extremely important as it is the only chance to “hook” the reader into continuing, rather than clicking away to another site.
All texts, but especially the museum reviews, should be accompanied by at least four or five meaningful images/pictures. Authors are encouraged to keep this in mind while writing and, if possible, provide their own pictures with explanations. Where no such pictures are available, they should point us to possible sources and, ideally, help us find the right images and acquire the necessary publication licenses. Alternatively, we will look for freely available footage in the various online repositories.
Readability of the articles shall be supported by keeping referencing and discussions of academic studies in the field to a minimum; rather, we encourage you to make good use of hyperlinks which allow readers to go directly to the websites of relevant institutions and organizations, or directly to primary sources (like open access government documents, legal texts, official or NGO reports, statistical data etc.). Still, where individuals are quoted, or information and claims are taken from media sources or academic literature, this should of course be indicated and properly referenced in endnotes (up to 15 such endnotes are acceptable).
Other Practical Matters
All texts are going through a two-step in-house peer-review process. In a first step, the submitted text is being reviewed by one of the managing editors in close correspondence with the author. Only when the initial revision process is concluded, the article is sent to the executive editors as well as, occasionally, to selected editorial board members for review. This revision & re-submission process can take several weeks. The final version of the article is copy-edited by native English-language speakers before going online. The Cultures of History Forum follows the general guidelines of New Oxford Style Manual (2012).
In order to speed up the editing process, authors are asked to respond to revision requests within a reasonable timeframe (2 weeks max). Upon acceptance of the final version, you will be asked to send us a short biographical note (up to 80 words) that indicates your affiliation/position as well as current research projects or other relevant activities.
Where authors have supplied us with their own pictures, they are asked to send us, in a separate email, permission to use the pictures for the online publication of the article in the Cultures of History Forum.