Journal of Studies in History & Culture (JSHC) is a peer-reviewed, open-access online journal. Founded by graduate students in the History and Comparative Literature Programmes at Jadavpur University and the University of Delhi, the journal was born out of the needs to provide a platform for interdisciplinary research to emerging scholars across the world. The objective of JSHC is to fill the lacuna in the field of graduate research given a dearth of independent research by graduate students in India and the absence of funding towards this. The journal hopes to promote originality in interpretation and encourages collaborative work based on primary sources. It also publishes constructive and critical reinterpretations of existing scholarship. Besides seeking high-quality work by graduate students, research scholars and research fellows, it also accepts reviews of recent works of scholarship.
Given the rise of linguistic sub-nationalism and the crucial problem of linguistic reorganization, interdisciplinary departments such as the Department of Comparative Literature at Jadavpur University were seen as sine-qua-non in post-Independent India. What had posed much of a challenge alongside monoliterary disciplines right from its inception in 1956, has remained the only department offering full-fledged degree programmes right from the undergrads. With economic liberalization and the onslaught of market dominated policies on higher education, the scenario only worsened with courses which had profitable and secure employment prospects soon becoming the mainstay. Perhaps one of the reasons we rarely find works on the history of medicine or literary history per se, from professional historians. There is also an institutional apathy towards funding interdisciplinary research.
Therefore we hope to foster greater understanding across disciplines, with not mere posturing but actual borrowing of tools to aid in researches. This does not entail dilution of methodological standards that singular disciplines adhere to, nor are we encouraging lowering of the standards which are often developed after years of academic research in particular departments. We are humbly trying to evolve a better understanding of each other. This in our own little way is an attempt at countering the fragmentation of departments. While hoping to maintain focus on praxis, future trajectories of academic disciplines as well as the economic factors which often become the deciding factor, would hopefully be a large part of our engagement here.
Since we hope to have present students, especially undergrads forming a large part of our readership, we intend to contribute in a little way towards conscientization. It might sound a bit audacious given that ours is a publication caught in the familiar linguistic quagmire. However, the choice of English, more than as a political decision, has been one based on accessibility.
JSHC is a biannual journal which would, however, offer a platform to emerging scholars as well as established academics for whom English is not the language choice. Though it might be problematic to give space to translations of original articles we would try and incorporate translations of shorter articles. Besides full length papers, book reviews we would also be having a special articles section where we would highlight a range of issues which includes bringing scholars from established disciplines to delve on various on the higher education scenario to thought-provoking viewpoints of the ones actively involved in changing the realpolitik. We would try to familiarize our readers with their ideas in our interviews section as well.