U.S. Intellectual History Blog

Potential Addition To Our "Journals Of Interest" List

I’m ashamed to report that I only just learned of this publication a few weeks back: History of Intellectual Culture. Here is some background from their website:


History of Intellectual Culture is an international peer-reviewed academic electronic journal that provides a forum for publication and discussion of original research on the socio-historical contexts of ideas and ideologies and their relationships to community and state formation, physical environments, human and institutional agency, personal and collective identity, and lived experience. The journal highlights the viability and vibrancy of intellectual history as a scholarly field, presents new perspectives for research and analysis, and promotes critical discussion among researchers, scholars, and students across disciplines.

ISSN 1492-7810 Home site: http://www.ucalgary.ca/hic/


At first I thought HIC was focused on Canada. Based on the books they review and the opening statement above, apparently not. I noticed that many feature articles were on Canada, Australia, and Britain. That may simply be a function of the fact that the University of Calgary hosts HIC, per this 2001 “Introduction” (the journal’s first issue) written by Paul J. Stortz and E. Lisa Panayotidis. Here are some excerpts from what they wrote:


A few years have passed since our call for the continuation of interdisciplinary critical research in the field of higher education (Stortz 1995). While teaching and undertaking research at the University of Calgary, we realized the need for a forum for the publication of original research that would facilitate critical discussion on topics pertaining to colleges and universities in historical context. …

In envisioning the mandate of this journal, issues such as the role of the professor on campus and in society were of specific importance. Are professors in historical context one or all of: social commentators, academic researchers, disseminators of public knowledge, community and public intellectuals, or civil and state servants? What are the various historical and social contexts of the professoriate’s organization and activity? How did the professors negotiate these often conflicting identities?

The scope of a journal on the history of higher education and the professoriate, although certainly workable, was ultimately inadequate. The question inevitably came back to the symbiosis of the “ideas” of the professoriate and the university-the outlook, practise, organization, role, indeed the very justification for the professors’ and university’s existence. What did the professoriate embody which reflected the role and product of the university itself? …

One possibility, a convergent subjective ethos, was intellectualism. What better describes the ephemera of the university in theory and practise than intellectualism, and who best purveys this product than the professors? This was a jumping-off point to an even broader conception of the journal’s mandate, that intellectualism itself is susceptible to deconstructionism and analysis. Where do the roles of professors, universities, and the intellectuals intersect? Do professors hold exclusive jurisdiction over intellectualism? Do intellectuals not also hold court as class- and gender-based labour, public advocates, industrial leaders, politicians and bureaucrats, professionals, economic and social leaders, family members, and individuals identified with a particular ethnicity, lifestyle, philosophy, and occupation? Can intellectuals be defined as any group or individual who lay claim to formal or informal argument or other forms of epistemological methodologies and cultural knowledges? Clearly, intellectualism goes beyond academic boundaries and borders. Faculty in Canadian universities create and work within intellectual cultures, but others in society also have claim to intellectual discourse. Why not include the non-academic as well?

A journal which was first conceived to publish research on issues of higher education and professors was now satisfactorily and optimistically evolved into a forum for work on the nature and culture of intellectuals and intellectualism in society. When developing the journal’s mandate, we wanted to stress the history of ideas and the tangible and intangible environment and matrices in which ideas, thoughts, debates, language, and narratives were created, disseminated, and discussed. The journal takes the stand, we think quite reasonably, that all ideas are highly fluid, temporal, and contextual: that ideas are not transcendent but are very much a creation of person, place, time, agency, gender, ethnicity, experience, circumstance, perspective, discipline, motivations, predisposition, and identity. How one conceives and perceives an idea is fundamentally unique to each person.

Basing our argument on the existence of myriad relational contexts of intellectualism, we saw a lacuna in scholarly communication in the culture of intellectual movements, manifestations, and discourse. The focus of the journal is not just the ideas themselves but the historical contexts in which the ideas were generated and played out in institutional and interpersonal forms. What were the socio-historical forces that drove various intellectual thought and constructs?

This gradual broadening of concept from higher education to intellectualism led us to create History of Intellectual Culture as a peer-reviewed journal primarily concerned with social, political, cultural, gender, ethnic, and multicultural historical methodology, philosophy, and theory, and also with Canadian Studies; communication; community; institutional and state formation; rural, urban, and international development; heritage; literacy; language and linguistics; economics; science and technology; religion; international relations; law; education; sociology; political science; social geography; popular culture; and the arts. …

In the end, our mission is predicated on efficaciously combining research, teaching, practise, student and general interest, and technology as partners in an effort to encourage and publish original work on intellectualism in all its cultural, disciplinary, and historical contexts. We sincerely hope that HIC perennially succeeds in this ultimate goal.


So, even though HIC’s editorial board is primarily Canadian, it appears to me that they would accept articles from folks working on U.S. intellectual history. This seems to be good news.

If I’ve gotten something wrong here, I hope either someone from HIC or elsewhere will let us know. Have any USIH readers tried to submitting to HIC? – TL

2 Thoughts on this Post

  1. I sent the note below yesterday to one of HIC’s editors


    Dear Professor Paul Stortz,

    I’m trying to gain a full understanding of HIC’s purpose and authors. Do I have everything right in [our post]? Can you confirm or correct my assertions in the post’s comments

    Most sincerely,


  2. Professor Stortz’s reply


    Hi Tim:

    Thanks for your email. You’ve got it correct–we do encourage and look forward to submissions from US scholars and researchers as well. The fact that we haven’t published many peer-reviewed papers (as opposed to Forum pieces and reviews, many of which are written by Americans and cover American topics) that deal specifically w American subject matter is a factor of the submissions we regularly get which by no design have come from authors outside of the United States.

    Our journal is going onto its 8th Volume, and gets substantial and wide readership. We were created and continue to be open-access so that minimal barriers exist for a potential world-wide critical audience for the papers in each issue. Our mandate is intellectual history but we publish in many sub-sets of historical methodologies and arguments, arguing ourselves that good and rigorous original historical scholarship and research is inherently intellectual in and of itself.

    Thanks again, and if you have any other questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

    Take care,

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