Academic journal article Legacy: A Journal of American Women Writers

Announcement

Academic journal article Legacy: A Journal of American Women Writers

Announcement

Article excerpt

  We do not want merely a polite response to what we thought before,
  but by the freshness of thought in other minds to have new thought
  awakened in our own. We do not want stores of information only, but
  to be roused to digest these into knowledge.
F. [Margaret Fuller]. "A Short Essay on Critics."
Dial 1.1 (1840): 5-11. Google Books.

The epigraph above prods us to remember the potential inherent in the genre of the review. The best reviews, as Margaret Fuller explains, display "freshness of thought" and can be a mode of "knowledge" production, not mere summary or evaluation. Guided by Fuller's vision, the editors of Legacy have been giving careful thought to the review section as the journal embarks on its second twenty-five years.

The value of the traditional review format that Legacy has used to date is undeniable. Short, single-book reviews have important uses for readers by providing an overview and evaluating the quality of new scholarship in the field, keeping readers current on recent publications, and guiding personal book purchases and library acquisitions. Legacy reviews have the added characteristics of being unusually cordial and encouraging of the work of scholars within our community. In addition, those who write reviews perform an important service to the profession and demonstrate their own authority in their fields of expertise. Yet the short form of these reviews can sometimes seem like a straitjacket, limiting the process of thought and knowledge production Fuller describes.

To address this concern, Legacy announces two new directions for its review section: 1) The word limit for traditional reviews will be slightly lengthened from seven hundred fifty to one thousand words, allowing for a more substantive measure of a book's importance to its field; 2) The journal will experiment with alternative review formats. …

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