This week has seen the launch of Modern Languages Open, an open access publishing platform for scholarly research in all modern languages and their cultures – one of the most exciting aspects of the project is that it brings a more global perspective to a field that has traditionally defined itself in relation to Europe and its diasporas. As Gerda Wielander’s commentary argues, modern languages as a discipline has been under threat for some years, and in the face of this we need to articulate more clearly the significant contribution we make to the global understanding of peoples and cultures. MLO enables us to do this by offering an innovative forum in which to bring researchers together in new ways and advance knowledge. The range of articles published for the launch is an indication of the scope MLO will achieve.
I’m proud to be involved with MLO as section editor for Russian and East European languages and very pleased to present three articles showcasing new research in nineteenth-century Russian literature as part of the launch material. My thanks to authors Benjamin Morgan, Muireann Maguire and Elizabeth Harrison for their hard (and speedy!) work on the articles; to Katherine Bowers for organizing the symposium at Darwin College in February 2014, Cambridge, at which earlier versions of the papers were given, for her help with the editing and for writing the introduction to the cluster; and to Clare Whitehead for her careful reviews of the articles.
I would like to encourage readers to register as reviewers – the more people who contribute their expertise to MLO the better it will be – and, of course, to submit articles. All languages and cultures of the Russian and East European area are covered, and we are still looking to add a few new members to the section’s editorial board, particularly to cover the Baltics and parts of Central and Southern Europe, so if you are interested, or know someone who might be suitable, please get in touch.