In Book IV (43) of his Meditations, Marcus Aurelius, the Stoic philosopher and AD Roman emperor, wrote that “Time is like a river made up of events which happen, and a violent stream; for as soon as a thing has been seen, it is carried away, and another comes in its place, and this will be carried away too.” The trajectory leading to the present-day Portuguese diasporic community bears this sense of being part of a time of continuous change. As such, it is a reflection upon the ‘rivers and streams’ of change, permeating a discursive construction of a ‘community,’ that kindles the publication of this journal. It is in this context, that the taking up of any specific discursive form ought to challenge the way we study and write about our diaspora, especially when we have entered a period of reconstruction and regeneration in which we seek new forms of collaborative frameworks and interdisciplinary knowledge.
The creation of the Interdisciplinary Journal of Portuguese Diaspora Studies (IJPDS) provoked a range of positive responses from colleagues, academics as well as friends worldwide, and how gratifying it is for us, the two executive editors, to initiate and mark a shift forward toward opening a discursive space in the scholarship for a more nuanced dialogue on the Portuguese diaspora. Since electronic publishing seems to be the obvious way of the future, an online academic publication—intertwined with a print version—of IJPDS not only brings us easier access to one another’s scholarship, but it also ensures its global availability in a more timely manner.
While the studies on the Portuguese diaspora have increased across a variety of disciplines, journals in the field have focused, for the most part, on a specific discipline or thematic area of research practice; therefore, much remains to be gleaned from an interdisciplinary focus. Innovative and interdisciplinary forms of scholarship are necessary to keep in time with fast-paced changing conditions. A broader dialogue involving Portuguese and non-Portuguese scholars spread around the globe, has engendered a kind of collaboration and research relationships that can bring numerous benefits to our diasporic research goals and understanding. IJPDS contributes to this dialogue by providing an interdisciplinary and polyphonic forum that encompasses the Portuguese diaspora communities across borders. This project draws on the support of an interdisciplinary as well as an international Advisory Editorial Board. Within this framework, we also rely on the imprimatur of peer review, where peer evaluation is tied to academic rubrics, establishing, therefore, the research articles’ value to the field. At least three members of the peer review panel act as peer readers for each submitted text. A further but equally important objective for the executive editors is that the original works published in IJPDS generate an interest for dialogue, cross-fertilization, as well as research and creative partnerships.
After its inauguration in the fall 2012, the journal continues to publish works that explore diaspora scholarship in interdisciplinary fields of research. The journal’s online site has received over one hundred thousand visitors and the print version of the journal has crossed geographic boundaries. Issue SIX of the InterDISCIPLINARY Journal of Portuguese Diaspora Studies is scheduled to appear in the fall/winter 2015.
Irene Maria F. Blayer and Dulce Maria Scott
Brock University│Anderson University