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Calin MurguThird-year history major Calin Murgu holds up a copy of the inaugural edition of The Great Lakes Journal of Undergraduate History.

New journal recognizes undergraduate history research

Calin Murgu figured it was about time all the great historical research being done by his undergraduate colleagues was given some more permanent recognition.

“A lot of it just gets written up in papers, handed in and read by professors, assigned a grade, and that’s it,” said Murgu, a fourth-year history major. “We just felt that there wasn’t enough attention placed on the works of undergraduates and that there are times when there is some really good research that’s happening.”

So in order to give it the acknowledgement he believes it deserves, he helped launch The Great Lakes Journal of Undergraduate History, and is the editor-in-chief of its inaugural issue.

The journal’s editorial staff put out a call for articles and received about a dozen submissions, ultimately selecting five articles for the first edition: two from UWindsor, two from the University of Guelph and one from the University of Waterloo. The content covers a broad range of subject matter, from racial discrimination in education in Windsor and Sandwich in the 19th century, to witch hunts in early modern Germany.

History department head Miriam Wright said the project was truly a student-led enterprise from start to finish.

“We were just really impressed that they took this initiative on their own,” she said of the students. “They ran with it and they should be commended for embarking on such an ambitious project.”

Publishing the journal opens doors of opportunity for undergrads and demonstrates that research is not the exclusive domain of professors and graduate students, she added.

“They can be part of the scholarly conversation,” she said.

Partially funded by the department and by the Student Life Enhancement Fund, the journal was produced with the assistance of faculty advisors Marshall Bastable and Adam Pole, as well as graduate students from UWindsor and Queens University as associate editors. An editorial board made up of three UWindsor graduate students and three undergrads also helped.

Murgu said the journal will continue to function as an online journal, but will publish a print edition once a year.

“Hopefully it goes on for a long time after I’m gone,” he said.

An event to celebrate the launch of the new journal will be held on Oct. 23 at 3 pm in the Oak Room, Vanier Hall. The campus community is welcome to attend.