Wednesday 1 March 2017 marked the launch of the inaugural issue of Brief Encounters, an open access peer-reviewed postgraduate e-journal, run entirely by doctoral researchers from across the Consortium for the Humanities and the Arts South-East England (CHASE).
The launch was held at the London Transport Museum and featured talks from some of the contributors to the first issue, who showcased the Journal’s diverse range of subjects and uncovered some of the academic ‘encounters’ that they have experienced so far in their careers.
CHASE Director Dr Denise deCaires Narain, said: “At a time when research in the Arts and Humanities feels somewhat embattled, Brief Encounters confidently establishes that graduate students across our CHASE institutions are energized by a diverse range of intellectual encounters and that they remain open to thinking creatively and critically across disciplinary, geographical and theoretical boundaries. The essays gathered with such elegant assurance in this inaugural edition of Brief Encounters are suggestive, provocative and informative in equal measure - a welcome antidote to the current climate of border-controls and walls.”
Professor Pamela Cox (University of Essex), a member of the journal’s steering committee said “Brief Encounters is a very good example of how interdisciplinary approaches work in practice. Researchers can gain so much when they engage with work outside their own area. It’s also helping to break new ground in terms of the format and style of traditional academic journals, especially through its Creative Encounters section that promotes practice-based and multi-media projects in the arts and humanities.”
Co-founding and senior editors, Emily Bartlett (University of Kent) and Nicole Mennell (University of Sussex) on behalf of the editorial team said: “Brief Encounters was founded to showcase the research of CHASE-funded and affiliated individuals undertaking research in the arts and humanities. By publishing ‘brief’ but still academically rigorous pieces of 500 to 4,000 words, the journal provides individuals with the opportunity to publish in an alternative format to the longer articles often required by academic publications. Due to its online existence, Brief Encounters also allows individuals to publish innovative multi-media work within a ‘Creative Encounters’ section, such as video-essays, musical interpretations and photography (to name but a few possibilities). Brief Encounters is an open access journal, which is free to read and accessible to all with no registration required. This ethos supports the dissemination of knowledge to a global readership and encourages the exchange of ideas outside of traditional academic circles. It is our hope that Brief Encounters inspires academic and creative encounters between individuals separated by geographic and disciplinary distances, which will lead to unexpected journeys, within our first issue and beyond.”
The launch coincides with a call for submissions for their second issue, which closes on Wednesday 31st May 2017. The Editorial Board “seeks contributions that reflect the diverse and multifaceted nature of the consortium. We especially encourage submissions that explore ideas within the early stages of research or which challenge existing interpretations.”
Incoming Senior Editor, Jade Lee (SOAS, University of London) says; ‘It’s been a rewarding and engaging experience working with such a diverse group of academics across different disciplines and institutions. I am very much looking forward to building on the exceptional foundations that Emily, Nicole and the whole board have built. As part of this I would like to particularly focus on expanding and diversifying the ‘Creative Encounters’ multimedia section of the journal since I feel this is an area of real innovation and is not something I have seen in other publications.’
Brief Encounters welcomes submissions from across the Consortium, from researchers at member institutions as well as from colleagues working at CHASE’s many cultural partners.
The first issue of Brief Encounters can be viewed here: briefencounters-journal.co.uk/BE/issue/view/1
The current call for submissions can be viewed here: briefencounters-journal.co.uk/BE/pages/view/call-for-submissions