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Which future for the Journal of Belgian History?

Study day on the occasion of the 10th anniversary of the JBH

In spring 2012 was published the first issue of the new Journal of Belgian History (JBH), which is a fusion of the predecessor of the current JBH (Belgisch Tijdschrift voor Nieuwste Geschiedenis / Revue Belge d’Histoire Contemporaine, 1969-2011, published by the Jan Dhondt Foundation of Ghent University) and the Bijdragen tot de Eigentijdse Geschiedenis / Cahiers d’Histoire du temps Présent (BEG/CHTP, 1996-2011, published by CegeSoma). This fusion in 2012 was accompanied by a new layout, a new website with interactive content and the addition of colour illustrations.

Ten years later, it is clear that the journal is a real success. In the course of this period, 142 articles were published - 48 of which in thematics issues – as well as numerous proceedings, contributions to the “debates” column and summaries of doctoral theses. The quality and diversity of the content is indeed impressive, and the contents of the coming issues are already lined up: mission accomplished!

But despite its success in the scientific field, the JBH can be criticised for being somewhat of a dinosaur within the current editorial landscape. Are paper editions indeed still pertinent in an era of free online access to publications? Is a journal with a general editorial line still viable in these times of increased specialisation? To which extent a journal that has ‘Belgian contemporary history’ in its French and Dutch titles is actually still contemporary? Which role can such a journal still play in these times of transnational historiography, of the predominance of English-language publishing and of federalised scientific landscape? On the other hand, could we consider that all of the above challenges could paradoxically let the JBH stand out in its uniqueness. On the occasion of this ‘anniversary’ conference, we shall have a look at the past, but even more turn towards the future. A panel of historians shall examine national history and historiography form various perspectives. The conference shall be rounded off with a debate about the future of the JBH within an editorial landscape undergoing deep transformations.



9.30am: Welcome

10.00 am : Tien jaar BTNG 2.0 : een evaluatie - Nico Wouters (CegeSoma/State Archives)

10.20am : Reflecting on National and Transnational Histories  - Daniel Laqua (Northumbria University, Newcastle)

10.45am : L'histoire de Belgique dans les universités. Réflexion sur l'évolution des programmes, des approches et des attentes - Catherine Lanneau (ULiège)

11.10am : Coffee break

11.35am : Zin en onzin van nationale geschiedschrijving. En bij uitbreiding van een tijdschrift als het BTNG - Maarten Van Ginderachter (UAntwerpen)

12.00 noon : Lunch break

1.00pm : La culture et l'histoire belges au XXIème siècle: analoge en digitale studies van het Belgienzentrum en op het platform BelgienNet - Sabine Schmitz & Yves Huybrechts (Belgienzentrum-BELZ, Universität Paderborn)

1.25pm : Musées. Lieux et représentations de l'histoire de la Belgique? - Chantal Kesteloot (CegeSoma/State Archives)

1.50pm : Geschiedenisdidactiek over de taalgrens heen - Tom De Paepe (UGent) (unconfirmed)

2.15pm : Round table : Welke toekomst voor (een tijdschrift zoals) het BTNG ? / Quel avenir pour une revue d'Histoire contemporaine de Belgique? / Which future for a journal such as the Journal of Belgian History?
Host : Michael Auwers (CegeSoma/State Archives)
Panel : Sébastien Dubois (State Archives), Jeffrey Tyssens (VUB), Bruno De Wever (UGent) et Christoph Brüll (C²DH - University of Luxembourg)

3.15-4.30 pm : Reception