Digital Enlightenment Studies (DES) is an open-access, international, peer-reviewed online scholarly journal published by the Voltaire Foundation (University of Oxford), dedicated to the application and exploration of new digital methodologies and resources for the interdisciplinary field of eighteenth-century studies.
Why a new journal? Over the past decade, if not longer, digital humanities approaches to eighteenth-century studies have become more conspicuous as a distinct field of research. A growing number of projects, academic positions and curricula are strongly connected with digital studies in the Enlightenment, which have already gained considerable visibility and institutional purchase in the form of conferences, thematic volumes and published monographs. This ongoing development is supported by the rising number and quality of digitally available literary and historical eighteenth-century text collections and bibliographical databases, as well as by recent developments in computational methods for text analysis.
The launch of DES responds to this increasing availability of digitised and born-digital resources for the study of the Enlightenment and the transnational eighteenth-century Republic of Letters. The journal provides a publishing platform for various kinds of scholarship: from long-form articles to shorter notes, works-in-progress, project reports and reviews, all of which touch upon the development, application and critique of digital approaches to the Enlightenment in the broadest sense. It welcomes contributions from both early career and more established scholars in areas such as digital editions, building and exploiting corpora, database construction, linked open data, domain adaptation of methods, operationalisation of concepts, text annotation, and the interpretability, transparency and reproducibility of results. DES encourages submissions addressing all aspects of eighteenth-century studies approached using digital methods, as well as new eighteenth-century digital resources.
Building on the Voltaire Foundation’s long-established tradition, DES accepts work in either English or French, which in no way limits content to the francophone and anglophone spheres of Enlightenment. On the contrary, DES recognises the linguistic and geographic diversity of eighteenth-century studies and encourages scholars of all literatures and cultures to consider submissions. DES is published using open science standards to deliver journal content and peer-reviewed articles together with the code and data on which they rely.
The first issue of DES is planned for Spring 2023.