¶ 1 Leave a comment on paragraph 1 0 Welcome to the open Crowd Review for postmedieval’s special issue on The Middle Ages and the Holocaust, edited by Nina Caputo (University of Florida) and Hannah Johnson (University of Pittsburgh). This is the third Crowd Review for postmedieval, following on the heels of “Becoming Media” (Issue 3.1 in 2012, edited by Jen Boyle and Martin Foys) and “Comic Medievalisms” (Issue 5.2, forthcoming in 2014 and edited by Louise D’Arcens). This ongoing experiment is being assisted by MediaCommons (NYU), which is hosting the review site. Many thanks go to Kathleen Fitzpatrick and her crew at MediaCommons for this collaboration—and to all of you who have participated in previous crowd reviews and/or are taking part in this one. Needless to say, without the crowd, we have no crowd review.
¶ 2 Leave a comment on paragraph 2 0 All of the articles in this crowd review were initially solicited by the issue’s editors, Nina Caputo and Hannah Johnson, and have received multiple editor reviews and author revisions. In addition, the articles have already been accepted for publication by the editors of postmedieval (Eileen Joy and Myra Seaman). As a result, this crowd review constitutes a second level of external review, with the implicit understanding that all comments offered are provided to assist the authors in strengthening their articles—in terms of methodology and theory, evidence and sources, structure and organization, styles and modes of address, and the like. This Crowd Review is thus a form of collective editing and even co-composing of material already deemed fit for publication—material that, like all work worthy of publication, could benefit from a multiplicity of perspectives, amateur to professional, non-specialist to specialist. As Jen Boyle and Martin Foys wrote in their “Editors’ Vision Statement” for postmedieval’s first Crowd Review of our special issue on “Becoming Media” (see HERE),
Why not invite a crowd? The concepts and frames of webby/webbies are likely to produce some anxiety. The “web” has become somewhat of a pejorative among some professionals, evocative as it is of the crowd on the street and “average” Joes and Janes. The concept of the crowd to some might seem particularly inimical to academic institutions or professionalism. Crowds imply mobs. Crowds imply amateur opinion, cajoling, and yelling. But crowds also now connect with activities like “crowdsourcing,” an open call for collaboration among a large group of informed participants interested in exploring, creating, or solving. And crowds also change things. The crowd potentially embodies an exciting challenge to the isolation and insularity of traditional academic organizations, as an opportunity to experiment with the re-structuring of professional and disciplinary affiliation.
¶ 4 Leave a comment on paragraph 4 0 The Crowd Review for “The Middle Ages and the Holocaust” will run from Thursday, 20 March through Wednesday, 21 April. You can find out more about how to read and comment on these essays by following the links in the Table of Contents on the right or by going directly to “How to Use this Site.” And if you have any questions or concerns about how to participate, please contact either Eileen Joy (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Myra Seaman (email@example.com) directly.