FORUM was founded in 2005 by a group of postgraduate students in the School of Language Literature and Culture at the University of Edinburgh. The founding members consisted of Lisa Otty, Claire Altree, Joseph Hughes, Frauke Matthes, Matthew McGuire, Beth Schroeder and Keith Hennessey Brown (website creator and manager). The primary motivations for these founders to create a postgraduate journal was the desire for learning and developing new or existing academic skills as well as for developing and fostering a sense of community and exchange primarily within the Edinburgh LLC postgraduate community but also further afield. Whilst FORUM has grown and adapted over the years, it also stays true to the original values of the founding members who founded FORUM in the spirit of learning, inclusiveness, openness and fun!
The intertwining of learning aspects with social or community aspects has been a crucial and enduring tenet for FORUM. FORUM was conceptualised as space in which to help postgrads develop and gain confidence in their academic skills within a congenial and supportive atmosphere. Indeed, FORUM has not only developed a reputation for publishing articles of high academic standards but it has also earned a reputation for being a warm and welcoming place to send in your first ever academic article for publication. FORUM also aims to enhance links and exchange between postgraduate journals.
William Christopher Brown, a lecturer at the University of Minnesota and previous contributor to FORUM, recently drew attention to the importance of postgraduate journals and the positive effect which FORUM in particular had on his experience of publishing his research in his article ‘Developing Professionally through Graduate Student Publications’:
‘Of all of the CFPs for journals that I found, I kept coming back to a then-new peer-reviewed online journal called Forum: The University of Edinburgh Postgraduate Journal of Culture and the Arts. [...] Recognizing a connection between my own research interests at the time and the interests of my peers at another institution allowed me to push beyond the psychological blockages. Instead of focusing on myself and my own apprehensiveness at the idea of publishing, I began to think in terms of communicating with peers I had never met. I no longer viewed my writing as a part of the classroom or as a potential line on a curriculum vitae. Instead, I viewed my writing as an opportunity to connect with others.’
For more see William Christopher Brown , ‘Developing Professionally through Graduate Student Publications’, In Progress, 2 (2012) <http://inprogressjournal.net/inprogressjournal.net/Developing_Professionally.html>.
FORUM has also been a wholly online and open-access journal since its inception in 2005.
Yanbing Er, Jessica Legacy, Victoria Anker, Laura Chapot, Lizzie Stewart, James Leveque, Barbara Vrachnas, Dorothy Butchard, Elysse Meredith, Siobhan Fitzgerald, Ally Crockford, Lena Wanggren, Silvia Villa, Jack David Burton, Jana Funke, Kim Treharne Richmond, Ana Salzberg, Claire Altree, Clare Bielby, Keith H Brown, Sally P Henderson, Joseph Hughes, Matthew McGuire, Frauke Matthes, Lisa Otty, Beth Schroeder, Hanna Sommerseth.