NOTCHES is a peer-reviewed, collaborative and international history of sexuality blog that aims to get people inside and outside the academy thinking about sexuality in the past and in the present. Since its launch in January 2014, NOTCHES has attracted over 200,000 views, been profiled on About.com’s Sexuality site, the History News Network, and Freshly Pressed three times by WordPress. NOTCHES is sponsored by the Raphael Samuel History Centre, and we are committed to the centre’s mission of “encouraging the widest possible participation in historical research and debate.” Our goal is to create a collaborative and open-access blog that is intellectually rigorous and accessible, historical and timely, political and playful.
We engage with histories of sexuality across all regions, periods, and themes. Posts are only limited by the interests and specializations of our contributors, who explore topics as varied as human sexual experience. NOTCHES is likewise strengthened by the diversity of our contributors, who come to the blog from a range of professional and personal backgrounds.
NOTCHES accepts submissions on histories of sex and sexuality across all regions, periods, and themes. We especially welcome blogs that discuss non-modern and/or non-Western histories and experiences. Posts are only limited by the interests and specializations and interests of our contributors. Bloggers might be informed by contemporary issues, historicize current events, or reflect on seminars, museum exhibitions and conferences.
We expect contributors to think broadly—and boldly—about histories of sex and sexuality. Bloggers outside the academy, and outside of the discipline of history, are especially welcome to participate, so long as the posts are historically-minded. While the editors very much value interdisciplinarity and encourage contributors to make connections with present-day concerns and themes (including those in the news media), the blog is at its heart historical, and posts should reflect a historical or historiographical perspective.
We encourage timely blogs, and can publish these on an accelerated schedule to accommodate their time-sensitive nature. For examples of the kind of topics we publish and the tone we wish to achieve, please read through existing posts.
NOTCHES has an expectation of intellectual rigor combined with public accessibility. All post should be engagingly written, accessible to a wider public, and imaginative in their approach and scope. When writing for NOTCHES, language must be clear and free from jargon, and concepts, people, and theories hyperlinked or briefly explained for non-experts. Limited suggestions for further reading are fine, and hyperlinks are required when other authors’ works or ideas are directly mentioned; use hyperlinks where possible instead of footnotes. Posts must also be submitted with at least one relevant image (see Image Policy) that is either the author’s own image, in the public domain or for which the author has secured permission.
We welcome unpublished submissions (1000 -1500 words) from professional historians, independent scholars and graduate students. Submissions should focus on a particular topic or theme and may examine histories of sex and sexuality across all regions and time periods. Writers may choose to introduce historical questions and research to a wider public, to historicize current events and / or to introduce audiences to debates in the field. The best posts connect detailed discussion of a specific event, person, or trend to broader historical and contemporary themes. Above all, we seek posts that are simultaneously intellectually rigorous and accessible to a wide readership.
Archives of Desire
Archives of Desire posts illuminate the history of sexuality by showcasing how we can interpret primary source documents and objects. Writers select a single source to show how anything from a memo to a newsletter, a manuscript to a stained glass window can be analyzed to strengthen our knowledge of sex and sexuality in the past and present. Archives of Desire is historical research in action.
Submissions should briefly (300 – 500 words) analyze a primary source and explain its historical, historiographic and/or pedagogical significance.
Some questions you might focus on include:
- What does this primary source uniquely help us understand about a historical moment?
- How does it challenge or confront persistent or dominant historical narratives?
- How does analysis of this primary source employ new or unusual methodological tools?
- How can this source be used to teach our students or the general public about the complexity and diversity of the sexual past?
NOTCHES Dispatches are submissions from our readers that include critical accounts of conferences, symposia, and workshops in the history of sexuality. They support of our commitment to fostering a public and widespread discussion of the history of sexuality within and outside of the academy by offering insights into the most current activities and events in an exciting and dynamic field. Dispatches are 1000-1200 words in length.
If you are interested in being considered as a contributor to NOTCHES, please contact NotchesBlog@gmail.com with your areas of interest, a short bio, and a pitch for or draft of an unpublished Original Blog, Archive of Desire, or Dispatch submission.
We look forward to hearing from you!
Image credit: Tomlinson Chair Manufacturing Co. Spindle carver bed posts – showing whole machine in operation. Photo by Lewis Hines, c.1942.