Please note that SJEAS is in the middle of slightly redefining and narrowing its focus and renewing its editorial board. As I mentioned in the “Editor’s Note” to the fall 2018 issue (volume 18 no. 2), SJEAS is particularly keen to welcome contributions that treat pre-twentieth century topics on East Asia in the humanities writ large, where East Asia is construed as the “Sinographic Cosmopolis” (my term, following Sheldon Pollock’s work on the “Sanskrit Cosmopolis” and ways of theorizing vernacularization in Europe and South Asia) or “Sinographic Sphere”—any part of East Asia that traditionally used sinographs and Literary Sinitic, and therefore most emphatically including Vietnam (which earlier was not explicitly within the purview of the journal). There is a growing body of research that tries to denationalize (in the way, say, that the field of “Classics” in Europe and North America is now thoroughly denationalized) the study of this vast premodern translocal cultural formation from various new theoretical and methodological perspectives, and especially to study it comparatively, while engaging with research in not just one but two or more East Asian languages.
In terms of time coverage, “pre-twentieth century” is in fact too restrictive and thus the journal accepts submissions that cover the period up to 1945, as we would like to include in our purview not only the Sinographic Cosmopolis during its formative period and heyday, but also the period of its dissolution under conditions of contact with the west and/or Japanese imperialism. By the same token, we are increasingly inclined to turn away from contemporary topics, as well as from research that does not engage with scholarship published in at least one East Asian language. Articles, for example, on contemporary China or North Korea (a popular topic these days) are best referred to any number of other excellent journals that focus more on post-1945 and contemporary issues. By the same token, articles submitted that fail to engage with scholarship from East Asia, however brilliant, will also not be entertained, while East Asian scholars submitting work that fails to include robust engagement with relevant western-language scholarship (scholarship in English, at least) will either be declined or asked to revise and submit after engaging with the relevant work in western languages.
Topics of central interest to SJEAS include history, language, literature, (historical) linguistics, religion, philosophy, philology, art and art history, archaeology, intellectual history, etc., as long as they fall within the purview of the humanities. Another field that has been emerging as quite promising is that of translation studies and translation history in the East Asian region, and the new editorial board envisions SJEAS publishing exciting work in this emerging field too. SJEAS is keen to highlight the research achievements of colleagues doing cutting edge research in China (broadly construed), Japan, Korea, and Vietnam. Many colleagues in these places are doing important and fascinating work that deserves to reach a broader audience in English, but please note that the written academic English of submissions needs to be at a very high level before the journal can justify putting additional editorial resources into improving contributors’ articles.
Ross King, Editor-in-Chief