Balkanistica is back! And we expect to be around for some time to come.
Technically, Balkanistica really hasn't been gone that long. The last issue of Balkanistica, volume 8, appeared only three years ago, as volume 6 of Indiana Slavic Studies (volume 44 of the Indiana University Russian and East European series). Spiritually, though, Balkanistica has been away much longer. Although volume 8 was published in 1993, many of the papers contained therein, those from the third joint international conference on Bulgarian studies held in Boston, were written in 1982 or earlier, over thirteen years ago.
Moreover, many of us no doubt assumed that Balkanistica had "closed up shop" altogether by the 1990s, since it was no longer functioning as a regularly published journal. Indeed, volume 7 of Balkanistica had appeared almost a decade earlier than volume 8 - in 1985! In effect, Balkanistica was out of business by the early 1990s: Balkanistica's primary editor-in-chief for most of its years, Kenneth E. Naylor, Jr. of The Ohio State University, passed away in 1992; and it took two successor editors - Frederick B. Chary of Indiana University-Northwest and John D. Treadway of the University of Richmond - to get volume 8 to press, ultimately with a new, one-time publisher, The Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures at Indiana University. Slavic Publishers, Inc., with a major assist from Charles Gribble, had faithfully published the first seven volumes of Balkanistica: volumes 1 (1974), 2(1976), 3(1978), 4(1980), 5(1981), 6(1982) and 7(1985) (see the end pages of this volume for a listing of their contents and other information).
Balkanistica made quite a name for itself over the years. I had heard good things about Balkanistica way back in the early 1980s, when I was a graduate student in Slavic and Balkan linguistics at The University of Chicago. By then, Balkanistica was already almost a decade old and was providing one of the scarce outlets for publishing scholarly works on Balkan topics. When Balkanistica folded, so did great opportunity for Balkan scholars. But we aim to change that.
Balkanistica has a new supporting organization - the South East European Studies Association (SEESA), formerly known as the American Association for Southeast European Studies (AASES); a new editorial board - Christina Kramer of the University of Toronto, Jim Augerot of the University of Washington, Paul Michelson of Huntington College, Victor Friedman of the University of Chicago, Grace Fielder of the University of Arizona, Elinor Depalatovic of Connecticut College and Charles Gribble of The Ohio State University; a new General Editor - Donald L. Dyer of The University of Mississippi; and a reaffirmed mission - to be the journal for quality scholarly work on the Balkans.
Although the first two "new" volumes of Balkanistica will contain selected conference proceedings - this volume presents twenty-two papers delivered at the Fifth Joint Meeting of Bulgarian and North American Scholars held in Pittsburgh in May of 1994; and volume 10, as now planned, will present papers to honor Zbigniew Golab, formerly of the University of Chicago, many of which were earlier given at conferences - Balkanistica expects to publish volumes of individually submitted manuscripts which have been passed by a double-blind refereeing system. On occasion, however, there will be other volumes devoted to selected conference proceedings and memorial volumes, as well as "thematic" volumes that contain interrelated papers focusing on a particular Balkan country or a certain discipline.
As the new General Editor of Balkanistica, I can tell you that I have one simple goal: to publish the best scholarship we can find on Balkan studies. Although the goal seems simple enough, achieving that goal will not be. I know I have some big shoes to fill as editor, and I also know that until we do what we have said we will do, Balkanistica will not truly be back. But Balkanistica has a good supporting cast this time around and, I am confident, the hopes and prayers of Balkan scholars throughout the world. So I believe that we will make it.
Special thanks for getting Balkanistica going again are due to Christina Kramer, who successfully pushed the concept of revitalizing Balkanistica; and to Dennis Hupchick, who made this volume a reality by being there and being "ready to go" when we needed him most.
Sincerely, Donald L. Dyer
General Editor, June 1, 1996
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