I am delighted to introduce The Middle Ground Journal’s eighth issue, Spring 2014. The Middle Ground has published uninterrupted for four years since its establishment. The Middle Ground Journal has pioneered the format of weekly publication, adopting a hybrid between that of a traditional academic journal, while utilizing the form of a web-journal. The special forum of articles, case studies, and reviews on borderlands studies outlined below represents the journal’s continued commitment to develop special, thematic forums of interest to the world history and global studies communities. My special thanks to our guest editor, Professor Benita Heiskanen, and The Middle Ground’s Contributing Editor, Professor Andrae M. Marak, for developing and editing this special forum. A great deal of thanks, too, to our Assistant Editor Jeanne E. Grant for lending her expertise towards the final editing process of this forum. It is with this special forum that we begin our Spring 2014 issue.
The Middle Ground Journal has continued to innovate and develop as an open-access, scholarly teaching journal. I was honored to have been invited to present the experience of The Middle Ground during the 2014 American Historical Association annual conference in Washington, DC. The journal continues to receive excellent support from our host, The College of St. Scholastica, as well as The Midwest World History Association, and The World History Association. We will continue to develop research articles, essays on teaching, and reviews of books and other artifacts. Finally, our North Star Project – collaboration between the journal, our graduate and undergraduate student interns, and K-12 classes has continued to flourish and to expand. We have had student writers reporting in from such locales as Mongolia, Venezuela, Micronesia, Japan, Tanzania, Northern Ireland, Peru, The Philippines, India, Finland, Ecuador, Ghana, Russia, and China. I invite you to follow the progress of these projects on these pages, and to propose collaborative projects with The Middle Ground by contacting me directly. My profound gratitude to the dedication and hard work all of our editors, our students, and to our many generous supporters.
Hong-Ming Liang, Ph.D.,
Chief Editor, The Middle Ground Journal
Assistant Professor of History and Politics, The College of St. Scholastica