Incubation, birth and growth: Observations on the first 20 years of Target


Twenty years in the life of an academic journal is justification enough for stocktaking, be it ever so tentative; the more so as, in the case at hand, the anniversary coincides with a major change of editorship. I would also like to think that the time is ripe for some patting on the proverbial back, even if it is I who is both doing the patting as well as offering the back to be patted. In what follows, a series of half-baked observations evolving around Target’s first twenty years will be made towards a sociocultural account of the journal and its evolution in time, which, if and when completed, will no doubt constitute an important part of the history of our discipline, which is something we still miss.

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I have always been of the opinion that academic periodicals, certainly those that wish to make a difference, should not simply accompany a field of study, documenting its activities (which they certainly do). They should also take part in shaping the evolution of the discipline in question; whether concretely, by putting forward areas, topics and questions for study and discussion, or more abstractly, by instigating a general scholarly atmosphere for others to bask in and possibly absorb.

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