Announcement and CFN: Digital Reviews Initiative
The editors at Panorama have been engaged in ongoing conversations about how we can work to support digital scholarship, virtual initiatives, and data-driven art history projects. Our aim, in part, is to combat the systemic devaluation of digital work in the field and to support colleagues who are actively creating academic projects and resources that do not fit the mold of “traditional” art history scholarship.
The landscape of scholarship and practice is changing rapidly, but our discipline has been slow to keep up. Normally, journals like ours review traditional print books or physical museum exhibitions. This limited view of scholarly practice marginalizes the significant work that goes into born-digital resources and data-driven art history projects. While museums, especially during the pandemic, have had to adopt digital formats, academia has been reluctant to recognize digital publishing or digital humanities in meaningful ways, especially in promotion and tenure. How can we encourage institutions and scholarly audiences to accept the digital as an equally valid interface for the delivery of scholarship, one that is often more accessible to broader publics? How can Panorama support broader structural shifts in our field toward the acceptance of digital publishing, digital scholarship, and digital art history (DAH) methods? Similarly, how can we acknowledge and celebrate these many co-authored and team-driven endeavors, which buck the current of single-author productions? Might we review single author and multi-author DAH projects, digital exhibitions, and digital initiatives and publications, while also recognizing that these are vastly different areas? How could we formulate critical responses to such projects that shine a light on work that is sometimes underrecognized in a respectful, engaging, and productive manner? Beyond this, how might we cultivate critical reviews that are useful to both tenure-stream colleagues and those outside the tenure stream?
At Panorama, we see this as an ethical responsibility aligned with similar conversations happening elsewhere about accessibility and inclusion. As an open-access, born-digital journal, we are uniquely positioned to address and promote this broader shift. Therefore, we aim to shift the scholarly culture by creating a new area of the journal focused on digital and data-driven art history initiatives. In doing so, we hope to support core scholarship within the field that is happening virtually and through digital and data-driven methodologies. We aim to review such projects on the same grounds as books and exhibitions, and to spotlight initiatives and projects that may not be widely known. Potential methods to promote this may include creating an index of ongoing digital projects on American art (broadly defined); creating an area of the journal dedicated to scholarly reviews of virtual projects and DAH initiatives; mini-spotlights on DAH methods and tools or individual platforms and resources; and the appointment of a Digital Reviews Editor, who spearheads such content coverage.
To that end, we are thrilled to announce a call for a new Digital Reviews Editor, who will work with us to envision what this new area of the journal will look like, including determining its scope and goals. We seek a motivated colleague who is engaged with digital practices and data-driven methods and who will contribute to conceptualizing and leading this new section. Collaboratively, we aim to do the necessary work of supporting and expanding knowledge of and recognition for digital projects and DAH initiatives happening in American art history, public history, and museums. Nominations and self nominations are welcome. Please read the Call for Nominations below.
Finally, we hope that you—our readers—will chime in and tell us about your experience with digital resources, data-driven art history projects, and virtual platforms. Questions include: What do you think about when it comes to the digital? What scholarly digital projects have you excited or rethinking what art history can be or should do? What digital resources and repositories do you think readers should be aware of? Which new DAH resources, tools, and projects have you encountered or are you working with? How can we raise awareness of digital platforms and tools that might promote greater inclusivity and access to art historical scholarship and resources? What limitations— institutionally, financially, practically, or technically—have you encountered in conducting DAH research or adopting data driven art history as a method? What ways do you think Panorama can work to promote DAH methods and initiatives as equal scholarship? Where do you see the future of the discipline moving when it comes to DAH, digital publishing, and virtual platforms?
We invite you to write to us and share your ideas and thoughts on this topic. Letters to the editor, which respond to this prompt, may appear in our Talk Back section. See our submission guidelines for “Talk Back” for more information about how you can write to us and have your voice heard!
We look forward to pushing the boat out with you, to engaging in conversations about digital initiatives and DAH methods, and to expanding what traditional scholarship might be and do within our field.
Jackie, Naomi, and Keri
Co-Executive Editors, Panorama
NEW DIGITAL REVIEWS SECTION
Call for Self-Nominations/Proposals
Panorama seeks a Digital Reviews Section Editor who will work with us to envision what a new area of the Journal dedicated to DAH and Digital Scholarship will look like. Their role will include conceiving of the section’s scope and goals and then guiding the section as its sole editor. We therefore seek a motivated colleague who is engaged with digital practices and data driven methods and who will contribute to conceiving and then leading this new section. Our aim is to appoint someone to this role by September 2021 and premiere the new section, with commissioned content, in June of 2022.
Reporting to a team of three Executive Editors, section editors commission content in their area, provide authors with guidance in terms of editorial development, and ensure that they are following Panorama’s style guide. They also receive our regular digest detailing things happening at Panorama and participate in monthly conference calls. During those calls, we take tabs on upcoming issues and work together to shape strategic planning for the journal. Finally, editors promote the journal through their outside activities, including encouraging feature submissions and participation in colloquia and other areas. These are volunteer positions.
The ideal Digital Reviews Section Editor candidate will be organized and detail-oriented individuals with an excellent record of scholarship and experience with DAH methods and scholarship and digital initiatives. The incoming editor would commit to serve from Fall of 2021 through December 2024, with the option to continue. Nominees must be members in good standing of AHAA. Please send a CV and statement of interest by August 1, 2021 with the subject line “DIGITAL EDITOR NOMINATION” to email@example.com.
Cite this article: Jacqueline Francis, Naomi Slipp, and Keri Watson, “Announcement and CFN: Digital Reviews Initiative,” Panorama: Journal of the Association of Historians of American Art 7, no. 1 (Spring 2021), https://editions.lib.umn.edu/panorama/article/digital-reviews-initiative.