Editor sought for SHARP’s Book History journal

Founded in 1991, the Society for the History of Authorship, Reading, and Publishing (SHARP) is the leading international organisation for the study of the history of the book, broadly defined. It has around 1000 members from a wide range of disciplinary and institutional backgrounds, including academics and independent scholars, librarians and archivists, publishers and booksellers, and holds regular conferences across the world. In addition, it runs a vibrant email discussion list (SHARP-L), the online SHARP News, and Lingua Franca, the journal of book history in translation.

Book History, the Society’s annual journal, was established in 1998 as ‘a new journal for a new kind of history’, to quote the introduction to the first volume, and its intention was to ‘offer new perspectives and innovative methods’. The founding editors were Jonathan Rose (Drew University, USA) and Ezra Greenspan (Southern Methodist University, USA). In 1999, the journal was selected as the ‘Best New Journal’ by the Council of Editors of Learned Journals. It is published by Johns Hopkins University Press.

Following the recommendations of SHARP’s Board on Publications Policies and Practices in September 2018, editors will serve a six-year term (with a lifetime maximum of two terms). As a consequence, Jonathan Rose is stepping down, and in recognition of his two decades of service and leadership as Book History editor, he, along with co-founder Ezra Greenspan, who stepped down after sixteen years’ service in 2014, will be credited as honorary ‘Founding Editors’ in future issues of Book History.

The Executive Council of SHARP is consequently seeking a new editor to work alongside the two remaining current editors, Beth le Roux (University of Pretoria) and Greg Barnhisel (Duquesne University) from the beginning of 2019.

Applicants should have an established expertise in the field of the history of the book, broadly defined, and share SHARP’s commitment to expanding its international character, including Book History’s ambition to publish the best scholarship in the field of the history of the book from across the globe. We welcome applicants who are willing to embrace innovative publishing solutions and align our flagship publication with our other digital initiatives, and to consider Book History’s role in scholarly communications in the future.

The Society is keen to solicit applications from both senior and junior scholars. Experience of editing is essential; experience of using an editorial management system would be desirable (Book History uses ScholarOne). Fluency in English is a requirement; fluency in other languages would be an advantage. Applicants will need to demonstrate that they have sufficient institutional support (release time and incidental expenses) to take on the role.

We anticipate, once appointed, that the new editor will join Beth le Roux (https://www.up.ac.za/en/information-science/article/1913738/professor-elizabeth-le-roux) and Greg Barnhisel (https://www.duq.edu/academics/faculty/greg-barnhisel) at the beginning of 2019. Among the three editors there should be diversity in terms of subject and period expertise, geographic representation, and methodological and disciplinary background. As such, applicants should provide in their application letter an indication of their areas of research expertise.

Editors will be expected to provide an annual report to the SHARP Executive Council via the Director of Publications and Awards.

Application procedure

Applications will be assessed by an Appointments committee, chaired by Claire Squires (University of Stirling, Scotland), SHARP’s Director of Publications and Awards, and which includes senior members of the Society and one of Book History’s current editors as a non-voting member (Ruth Panofsky, Ryerson University, Canada; Susan Pickford, Sorbonne-Université, France; Samantha Rayner, University College London, England; and Beth le Roux, University of Pretoria, South Africa).

Applications should consist of an application letter and a curriculum vitae, to be sent by email to Claire Squires (claire.squires@stir.ac.uk) to arrive no later than 5pm (UK time) on Friday 16 November. The candidate should also ensure that two letters of recommendation, specific to the post, are supplied to Claire Squires by the same deadline.

Informal queries should be directed to Claire Squires. Applicants will be notified of the committee’s decision early in the new year.