New Journal: University of Chicago Press and Bard Graduate Center Announce West 86th

The University of Chicago Press and the Bard Graduate Center (BGC) have announced a partnership to publish West 86th: A Journal of Decorative Arts, Design History, and Material Culture.

The new biannual journal, which takes its name from the BGC’s New York City address, will be an international forum for research exploring the content, meaning, and significance of objects in their cultural and historical frameworks. It replaces Studies in the Decorative Arts, which the BGC had published for 17 years.

As with its predecessor, West 86th will maintain the highest standards of scholarship and technical production. It will present an open and interdisciplinary approach, seeking the valuable input of design, art, and architecture historians; scholars of film, fashion, and material culture; as well as archaeologists, sociologists, and anthropologists. The aim is to analyze objects from a wide variety of perspectives in a forum where shared and differing approaches are respected. Content will include scholarly articles, review articles, and primary source translations, along with book, catalogue, and exhibition reviews.

“The visual and material history of all cultures has never been more prominent in academic life, yet this field of study remains fragmented and problematic,” said Dr. Paul Stirton, Associate Professor at the BGC, who will serve as the journal’s editor-in-chief. “It is the aim of West 86th to be an inclusive forum that encourages scholarship from across disciplines of objects from all cultures and all time periods.”

West 86th will publish in print and online twice yearly, beginning in spring 2011 with volume 18:1 (picking up where Studies in the Decorative Arts terminated). The online edition will incorporate supplemental digital material integral to the articles. Online subscriptions will include recent back issues of Studies in the Decorative Arts.

For subscription information, please visit the West 86th Web site at


Scholars interested in the decorative arts, design history and material culture are invited to submit material that explores the content, meaning, and significance of objects in their cultural and historical frameworks. The journal embraces all aspects of design, including engagement with:

-Designers, artists, craftworkers, and makers

-Style, taste, and consumption

-Design, technology, and industry

-Dress and fashion

-Customs, manners, and rituals

-Architecture and landscape design

-The vernacular and popular culture

There are no restrictions as to media, culture, era, or geographic location.

West 86th has an international advisory board of consulting editors and a rigorous double-blind review system. For more submission information, visit: or

Contact: Kevin Stacey / 773-834-0386 /