Much has changed in the last three decades, and not all for the better. Indeed, when Germano-Slavica felt obliged to change to an annum publication in the early 1990s for economic reasons, Dr. Dyck quite reasonably expressed the fear that this meant the journal's death-knell. It is true that, as in so many quarters of academia, the resources available to journals--and particularly to specialized journals such as Germano-Slavica--have shrunk. It is also apparent that the demographics of both our readership and our potential contributors have changed somewhat; and it is possible, though by no means certain, that here too shrinkage has occurred.
Some things, however, have not changed much at all. A brief message from the founding editor at the beginning of Germano-Slavica's inaugural issue bears repeating in part here:
One of the most significant trends in the humanities during the past decade [i.e., the 1960s and early 1970s] has been the phenomenal growth of cross-cultural or comparative studies. The importance of transcending the limits of the primary "vertical," mono-cultural orientation of the past in favour of a broader, "horizontal," bi-cultural or even multi-cultural view is now as well established as it is apparent. It is hoped that as a periodical, devoted to comparative studies in the fields of Germanic and Slavic literatures, cultures, and languages, Germano-Slavica can serve as a focal point for significant contributions towards the better understanding of these peoples and their interrelationships.
I met Bill Dyck only once, and briefly. Sadly, he passed away in April 1998, a mere eight months after I moved to Waterloo to take up a post in what was then the Department of Germanic and Slavic Languages and Literatures. At the time, nobody could have foreseen that I would someday become the fifth editor of the journal that he had founded a quarter of a century earlier. Nonetheless, this is now my third issue as editor; and I believe that "the importance of transcending the limits" that Dr. Dyck mentions above is now even more apparent than ever. I offer the journal's continuing existence and ongoing viability as evidence. Germano-Slavica is unique in its focus on the intersection of Germanic and Slavic cultures, and unusual in its frequency as an annual journal--in which form, despite Dr. Dyck's misgivings, it has now survived for over a decade.
As ever, my thanks go to my predecessor and now Associate Editor, Robert Karpiak; to the indefatigable editorial board and reviewers; to my department head, Michael Boehringer, and his predecessor, David G. John; to the University of Waterloo Faculty of Arts and its Dean, Robert Kerton; and to Jan Weber and the staff at UW Graphics. Thanks are also due to all those who support the journal by their generous donations, by subscription, and by contributing articles, notes and reviews. It is thanks to all of these people that, as you can see, Germano-Slavica continues to appear after three decades--and will again next year.
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|Author:||Malone, Paul M.|
|Date:||Jan 1, 2003|
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