By Julie Spraggon
The IHR Conference Series is a central part of the Institute’s publishing programme. The series comprises edited collections of essays, many of which originated as themed papers presented at a conference.
The 15 volumes in the Conference Series, published between 2012 and 2020, span the early medieval period to the late-twentieth century. International in subject and authorship, the Conference Series covers a wide range of historical disciplines and approaches, including methods and historiography.
New Conference titles will be published in 2020-21. We’re also keen to hear about new proposals for essay collections — especially if your conference has been reshaped or cancelled on account of the current situation.
In a recent post on this blog, Peter Webster, discussing his new book on The Edited Collection: Pasts, Present and Futures, described edited collections as ‘communal and conversational endeavours’. The IHR’s Conference Series has since its launch in 2012 attempted to be just that, as well as an opportunity for scholars to communicate and promote their research, with the ideal of bringing the lively and diverse experience of the best academic conferences to a wider audience.
About the Series: Open Access and interdisciplinary
As part of our commitment to the dissemination of work and the advancement of scholarship, in 2017 the series became fully Open Access, and all volumes are now freely available from first publication on JSTOR and the OA platform of our publisher, the University of London Press. The 15 IHR Conference volumes are available Open Access both as full books and at the individual chapter level, making research easier to share or include on student reading lists.
Books in the IHR Conference Series also continue to be available to purchase print on demand in the original handsomely produced hard back, full colour format, as well as in low-cost ebooks editions. We are dedicated as with all our publishing to maintain a high quality of editing and production.
The volumes in the Conference Series are derived mainly from papers given at academic conferences or workshops. However, we welcome and consider all substantial edited collections, as for example our highly popular Festchrifts for Pauline Stafford (2016) and the Medieval Londoners collection for Caroline Barron (2019).
What we look for in a Conference Series volume is work that significantly contributes to scholarship in a particular field. We cover all areas of history – geographically, chronologically and methodologically, and particularly encourage interdisciplinary approaches.
For example, our 2019 volume on Gender in Medieval Places, Spaces and Thresholds ‘brings together experts in drama, archaeology, art history, material culture, manuscript and literary studies, and historical research, whose insights speak to one another in exciting and productive ways’.
We also support contributions from early career researchers, perhaps organizing their first conference, and editing their first collected volume, as well as producing collections from established scholars. Examples of ECR-led works include another recent title, Empty Spaces: perspectives on emptiness in modern history, which developed from an IHR conference exploring the historical construction and purpose of unpopulated spaces.
A call for new proposals
We believe that the work produced in conferences is of great value, and we appreciate the huge amount of effort that goes into the organization of these events. In the current circumstances, with a large part of the academic world in lockdown, the Institute and its publishing team are still here to support conference organizers and participants.
We therefore encourage those who’ve managed to hold recent conferences digitally — as well as those who have had to delay or even abandon events — to continue submitting collected papers for our consideration, along with scholars developing ideas for themed sets of essays.
In this way we look forward to maintaining and enhancing the IHR’s reputation as a leading publisher of the edited collection.
If you do wish to submit a proposal for an IHR edited collection, our publishing guidelines are available here.
We’re also happy to discuss ideas prior to a submission: please direct any queries to firstname.lastname@example.org
A Conference Series chapter, daily via Twitter
Each weekday morning, we’re currently tweeting a free Open Access book chapter (one of 250 available) selected from our IHR Conference Series titles. Available via https://twitter.com/ihr_history #VirtualIHR
Dr Julie Spraggon is Head of Publications at the IHR and executive editor of the Institute’s journal, Historical Research.