For the first time, Bowdoin Art Society will accept submissions from universities in the United Kingdom (UK) for its online database and journal, the “Bowdoin Journal of Art,” which will make the publication the only international collegiate journal for undergraduate students studying art history. 

“If you published an essay that contributes new insights in a particular field of art history, it’s an incredible opportunity to have your work shown to a larger audience,” President of the Bowdoin Art Society Tom Rosenblatt ’16 said.

Bowdoin Art Society published its first edition of the Journal last spring after noticing the lack of opportunities for undergraduate art history students to publish and share their work. 
According to Rosenblatt, Dartmouth College had previously published a similar journal, but discontinued about five years ago due to lack of student interest.

Despite the five-year gap, the “Bowdoin Journal of Art” received over 30 submissions from students at a variety of schools last year, including Bowdoin, Stanford, Colgate and Middlebury. This year, Bowdoin Art Society sent emails to the top 180 American universities and 20 UK universities inviting art history majors and minors to submit. According to Arianna Cameron ’16, the head of the Journal and coordinator and social media manager of the Bowdoin Art Society, the Journal has already received 50 submissions, including five from the UK. The submission deadline is the end of December.

The Journal allows for students from different backgrounds to contribute their ideas to the field of art history, as well as see what other undergraduate students are learning through the online platform of the Journal. 

Cameron and Rosenblatt both hope that the Journal will connect art history students. According to Rosenblatt, one of the problems with the “Dartmouth Journal of Art” was the lack of accessibility as a physical publication not reproduced in an online medium.

“I think it would be interesting to see the different writing styles, just compare the way British students are writing compared to American students,” Cameron said. “I think it would be really cool for students from both countries to be able to use each other essays in their own work, and I think it would maybe…show how the different cultures go about assessing art and about writing essays in general.”

The Journal also relates to Bowdoin Art Society’s larger mission to promote the arts community at Bowdoin and to contribute to developments in the international art scene. The Journal accomplishes both of these missions, as it brings together an international body of students and promotes both Bowdoin and undergraduate work.

“Until you’re a respected member of academia, you’re not going to be able to be published,” Rosenblatt said. “In my mind, students can still produce substantial, interesting things. Anyone reading the paper should note that it was a student who produced it.”

In addition to accepting submissions from the UK, the Bowdoin Art Society is developing the group’s process of putting the publication together , including editing the email inviting students to submit and revising the process for selecting the committee to peer review and select the essays.

“Our goal this semester is to just really improve what we have already,” Cameron said. “The whole journal is extremely new. It’s a really new thing. It’s the only one in the country. This is our second go at it, and I already think it’s doing so much better than it did before.”

Both Rosenblatt and Cameron are excited about the changes to the Journal and it’s future. 
“I’m really looking forward to expanding not only the Journal of Art, but also Art Society and really incorporating the two in this bigger mission to represent both works of art and essays of undergraduate students not only at Bowdoin, but at universities around the world,” Cameron said “I think it’s something that’s been neglected so far, so I think it’s really cool that we’re doing this.”