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Newfoundland Studies celebrates two decades

(L-R) Dr. Ronald Rompkey, Dr. Jim Hiller and Managing Editor Irene Whitfield

Twenty years in existence, the journal Newfoundland Studies is continuing to evolve. With a new editor, assistant editor, chairman of the board, board members and external advisory committee, Newfoundland Studies is reorganizing in a big way.

“We have taken very deliberate steps in the past year to reconfigure everything regarding Newfoundland Studies while still maintaining its original goals,” said Dr. Ronald Rompkey, chairman of the journal’s editorial committee and English Department faculty member. “The idea is to give Newfoundland Studies a fresh look, some new ideas and some new readers.”

The purpose of the interdisciplinary journal is to represent the culture, history, folklore, heritage and politics of Newfoundland and Labrador. The editorial committee is working to ensure future numbers will include an array of articles from various disciplines, a notes and comments section, increased illustrations and articles of broad interest related to contemporary issues of debate.

Another of the journal’s most recent steps toward restructuring is the role of its external advisory committee. In working toward a publication that, while still being academic, will appeal to a wider readership, this committee will act as a sounding board for ideas, providing necessary advice on forthcoming issues. Composed of both academics and cultural figures in the community, its members range from academics from outside the province, such as Carleton University and the Université de Moncton to new representatives from Labrador and Sir Wilfred Grenfell College.

Dr. James Hiller, History department faculty member, became the journal’s current editor in January 2003, succeeding Richard Buehler, who has been involved with the journal since its inception. Referring to the ongoing reconfiguration, Dr. Hiller was quick to praise the former editor for his dedication to the publication. “We are not deviating from what was achieved in the past because it is a journal which has achieved quite a good reputation,” he said. “It is our hope that the new structures will provide new ideas, new direction and new authors.”

Dr. Hiller always welcomes manuscripts from both new and previous authors. Since Newfoundland Studies is a refereed journal, all academic submitted articles are distributed to qualified people in the field for examination before publication.

Dr. Rompkey was keen to point out that while the journal consists of academic writing based upon research, it is not aimed at the specialist reader. “We are not trying to attract someone who has spent his/her whole life doing research in Newfoundland studies,” he said. “It is for anyone who is broadly interested in the subject.”

At the same time, Dr. Hiller would also like to see the academic subscriber base broaden, “There are a lot of people out there who should be subscribing but are not. There is definitely a market beyond the market we currently have.”

Newfoundland Studies is published twice a year, in the spring and fall. It regularly publishes special theme numbers which include topics such as Confederation and the new early modern Newfoundland: the eighteenth century. To find out more about Newfoundland Studies, or to subscribe, visit www.mun.ca/nflds/.


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