Publication by UB Professor and Alumnus Receives National Award from Council of Editors of Learned Journals

Release Date: January 11, 2002

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- CR: The New Centennial Review, the theoretically inflected interdisciplinary journal of the Americas, has received the Council of Editors of Learned Journals' (CELJ) Phoenix Award for Significant Editorial Achievement for 2001.

CR is a reinvention of the Centennial Review, a highly respected publication founded in 1957 that nevertheless was virtually moribund when its editorial leadership was taken over last year by David E. Johnson of Buffalo, assistant professor of comparative literature at the University at Buffalo, and Scott Michaelsen, associate professor of English, Michigan State University, both UB alumni.

The journal publishes work across a wide range of disciplines by scholars exploring the concepts of culture and identity politics in the Americas throughout a number of historic eras. It includes cultural and ethnic studies, border and borderland studies, anthropology, sociology, postcolonial studies and the like.

Johnson defined the journal's goal as seeking to publish "philosophically inflected interventions, provocations and insurgencies that trouble the limits of the potentialities of the Americas. We also encourage more global and theoretical work with implications for the Americas."

The editors expect CR to define the roles of UB and Michigan State as leaders in the emerging field of hemispheric and global American studies.

In presenting the award Dec. 27 at the annual conference of the Modern Languages Association, Michael Cornett, vice president of the CELJ, praised the quality of the publication's editorial quality, redesign, refocus and greatly expanded length. He also noted the risks taken by the editors in making such significant changes to a proven journal with a longstanding reputation.

"It is a good example of well-formed boundaries opening up new freedoms," he said. "The editors refocused the former journal's aim from writing on the interrelations among academic disciplines that was neither specialist nor popular, to comparative studies of the Americas, with an emphasis on 'the futures of the Americas.' This loosely defined topic with clear conceptual borders has, as the judges think, begun a keenly interesting comparative experiment."

Cornett also praised the journal's three new editorial advisory boards, two made up of faculty across disciplines representing UB and Michigan State and a third comprised of scholars from other institutions.

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