The Carryall: US Cultural & Intellectual History Forum

new online project in development.

…criticism has been the great American lay philosophy, the intellectual conscience and the intellectual carryall.

— Alfred Kazin

In development, The Carryall: US Cultural & Intellectual History Forum will provide a digital venue for writing in US cultural and intellectual history, broadly conceived to include local, national, and international vantage points and perspectives.

Currently there is no journal, either online or in print, that focuses explicitly on US cultural and intellectual history. As new forms of digital publishing emerge from the heyday of blogging, we seek to create a place for scholarship and writing in US cultural and intellectual history as rigorous, sophisticated, adventurous, exciting, and accessible fields of inquiry. We view US cultural and intellectual history as consisting of diverse, interdisciplinary voices that contribute perspectives on how ideas and culture matter historically, both in and beyond the United States. We do not wish to reproduce “exceptionalist” views of the US or strongly attach scholarship to the needs of one nation-state; instead, The Carryall considers materials, topics, and themes that are local, regional, national, or transnational in orientation.

Our intended audience is both scholarly and public—and often exists at the boundary between specialized knowledge and a general interest readership. We publish in multiple modes, both traditional and experimental, from peer-reviewed essays to long-form writing, short-form features, book reviews, forums, literature reviews, commissioned essays, conference reports, correspondent reports on news from the field, interviews, lesson plans, annotated document features, annotated bibliographies, columnists, a podcast, and more. We begin with a special emphasis on roundtables about particular books and topics.

We offer our writers extensive editorial development to help bring their scholarship and writing to fruition. Additionally, qualified participants can participate in the shaping of The Carryall as contributing editors, correspondents, and in other positions related to their particular areas of interest and expertise. We look for opportunities to make effective use of the digital medium for multimedia presentation and interactive dimensions that enhance the delivery of sharp, effective historical arguments and compelling narratives as well as primary source material in US cultural and intellectual history. In the spirit of public intellectualism, our online journal is open-source and freely available rather than existing behind an expensive paywall or subscription fee.

At our home institution of SUNY Brockport, The Carryall helps students train in the fields of digital editing, scholarly editing, and digital history through coursework and internship/apprenticeship opportunities. See Syllabus—The American Mind: What Were They Thinking? US Intellectual History Seminar and Digital Editing Practicum, Fall 2021 and the resulting “Book Roundtable: Kevin Mattson’s We’re Not Here to Entertain that students helped to research and edit, published at the Society for US Intellectual History Blog.

If you have questions about The Carryall, please contact editor Dr. Michael J. Kramer, mkramer@brockport.edu.