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Eras Journal Edition Twelve

Editorial

We are proud to present Issue 1 of the twelfth edition of Eras, the fully refereed online journal edited and produced by postgraduates from Monash University’s School of Philosophical, Historical and International Studies.

With more than the usual number of submissions this year we have decided to publish the successful articles in two issues. While the current issue features quite a diverse collection of writings, reflecting the School’s increasingly diverse interests, the second will be more focused, presenting vignettes on post-World War II Korea, East Germany, Ireland, Nigeria and the USA.

Eras’ raison d’etre is to provide an international forum for current and recently completed postgraduates to present their research on topics related to the disciplines of the School. While Philosophy is new to us this year, and we are delighted to include one article with a philosophical focus, the School has been home to the Centre for Studies in Religion and Theology for some years, and so it is pleasing to see religion being well represented in this Issue. Equally pleasing for a journal with its roots in historical studies, is the fact that the five articles span four centuries.

Suzette Blom takes readers to pre-revolutionary France and introduces them to two Jewish divorce cases. These cases – one each from the Ashkenazi and Sephardic communities – reflect, and so reveal, French assimilation policies of the time.

Jumping forward a century, Alyn Hine explores the genesis of early Arabic periodicals, investigating the strong Russian influence, identifying significant players, and touching on the magazines’ legacies.

A further century elapses to bring us to the present day, and Dahlia Martin’s research which reveals that Malaysian Muslim, university-educated urban youth self-identify as Muslims rather than Malays. Martin explains that this is contrary to the preferences of the prevailing political parties who prefer to promulgate the view that the religious identifier of ‘Muslim’ and the ethnic identifier of ‘Malay’ are synonymous.

Slipping back to the eighteenth century, Stanislav Sýkora approaches George Washington through the lens of philosophy, investigating the founding father’s interest in Classical Greek and Roman philosophers and demonstrating the ways in which he took these philosophies to heart.

Our final article is intentionally provocative. Adam Timmins advocates the relevance and usefulness of applying Kuhnian concepts to historiography – particularly those concepts relating to ‘normal’ and ‘extraordinary’ science – and calls for a change in contemporary historical practices.

In addition to refereed articles, this issue includes a number of reviews of recent publications and we would like to express our thanks to those publishers who provided us with free review copies.

The publication of Eras is very much a collaborative process and this year’s committee members Natasha Amendola, John D'Alton, Darren Dobson, Hannah Fulton, Emmeline Healey, Andrew Junor, Kate Lowry, Linden Lyons, Al Shanks, Kathy Shaw, Barry Sturman, and Ben Suelzle have all provided much appreciated support. While the longer-serving editors have contributed predominantly by providing advice on issues that arise from time to time, the newer members have focused more on the business of editing – reading articles, locating referees, and liaising with succesful authors. I would especially like to thank Darren Dobson for his tireless work in the first half of the year, and John D’Alton for taking over responsibility for the reviews in the second half of the year. Thanks also to Kerrie Alexander for publishing the edition on the web, and to the entire staff of the School of Philosophical, Historical and International Studies for their advice and support.

Over and above a committee of editors, a refereed journal relies heavily upon two groups from the scholarly world for its survival – authors to submit articles, and academics to act as referees. Many thanks to both groups, but particularly to those academics who went beyond the call by providing lengthy reports that enabled the relevant authors to progress his or her research much more rapidly than would otherwise have been the case.

We are also grateful to all of the past editors – without your passion for postgraduate publication there would be no Eras, and we would not have had the opportunity to learn the craft of the editor – a craft that widens our horizons and can only make our own writing better. Enjoy Issue 1 of Edition 12; we believe it to be a very stimulating collection of writings and look forward to bringing Issue 2 to you early in 2011.