Letter from the Editor

Dear Compass User,

What first attracted me to Literature Compass was its great potential. I was a pilot editor in the earliest days of the journal, more than a decade ago. Over the course of the subsequent decade, most recently under the editorship of Regenia Gagnier, the journal has more than realised its potential through a combination of an unparalleled range of expertise (18 international section editors) and its commitment to the fullest potential of the electronic medium. We all know of and use other literature web resources, but they tend to be more limited in concept: journals catering to particular periods, genres, or authors, and searchable databases of texts.

Literature Compass has much broader horizons: a state-of-the-art site with the section editors providing expert coverage of every period – in effect, nine searchable journals for the price of one, each edited by distinguished specialists supported by editorial advisors. There is also a new kind of core content: the ideal Compass article is an intervention in the field or subfield, showing its present state and direction in the future. While our authors are leading researchers, we do not publish detailed primary research but rather an author’s position on the field or subfield. As a Compass article must be accessible to international and interdisciplinary scholars, teachers, and interested users, we call it research with a public face.

For the academic community Literature Compass is very good news: it gives desktop access to the driving ideas, current issues and controversies that enliven our discipline and fuel our research. And since this is a site by the community for the community it generates a strong sense of dialogue and engagement. From a contributor’s point of view Literature Compass has the huge advantage over a print journal of publishing a peer-reviewed and fully citable article within eight weeks of acceptance.

2009 saw the launch the Compass Global Circulation Project, a global map and dialogue on how Anglophone literature has been moved, translated received and inflected by historical contexts of cultural contact: I am delighted that Regenia Gagnier retains day-to-day involvement with Literature Compass through her continuing editorship of that ground-breaking project. A forthcoming highlight for 2014 is a special issue on the Global Middle Ages, edited by Geraldine Heng and Lynn Ramsey. I am always open to new ideas for forums and special topics and may be contacted at d.amigoni@keele.ac.uk

Yours sincerely,

Professor David Amigoni
Keele University, UK
Editor-in-Chief, Literature Compass