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About the journal

Commonwealth Essays and Studies is a peer-reviewed scholarly journal devoted to the study of postcolonial literatures, covering all periods and genres. Commonwealth was first published in 1975 by the Société Française d’Études du Commonwealth (created in 1971), now the Société d’Étude des Pays du Commonwealth (SEPC). The editor of the first issue established contacts with the Association for Commonwealth Literature and Language Studies (ACLALS, founded in 1965), so the journal had an international dimension from its beginnings.

Since 1983, the journal has been published twice a year; every other issue is devoted to the proceedings of the yearly Société des Anglicistes de l’Enseignement Supérieur (SAES) thematic workshop on “New Literatures,” and is guest-edited by the chair(s) of the workshop. The other yearly issue proposes a specific topic, or focuses on a single writer considered worthy of special attention. International specialists are invited to contribute. The articles published are original work. Each issue also welcomes interviews and reviews on literary topics. Thus, the editorial policy of this international journal, which is published in English, is both to circulate broadly the work of academics based in France (SAES issue) and to stimulate international collaborations (special issues).

The evolution of the journal’s content reflects the conceptual shift from Commonwealth studies to postcolonial studies, and the present interest in the effects of globalisation on English-language literature. The journal also shifted from paper to digital publication in 2019, to maintain its profile as a valued international contribution to the study of literature in English.

Since its beginnings the journal has been successively edited by Robert Mane (U. of Pau, 1976–1978), Michel Fabre (U. Paris 3, 1979–1982), Jean-Pierre Durix, with Carole Froude-Durix as associate editor (both U. of Dijon, 1983–2005), Marta Dvorak (U. Sorbonne Nouvelle – Paris 3, 2005–2011), and Claire Omhovère (U. of Montpellier, 2011–2017). The current editor is Christine Lorre-Johnston (U. Sorbonne Nouvelle – Paris 3).

The editorial team is elected during the general assembly of the SEPC, which takes place once a year in early September, when the SAES holds its regular meetings before the start of the academic year. Since 2005, the Editor and the Reviews Editors, and since 2019, the Editorial Director and Associate Editor have been elected for six-year mandates that can be renewed if needed. To be eligible, candidates must be members of the SEPC and have at least two years of experience as members of the Editorial Board. The Editorial Board and the International Advisory Board are open (there is no limit to the number of members that compose them) and diverse: the researchers and academics who participate regularly in the review process are invited to become members of the Editorial Board (for colleagues based at French institutions) or of the International Advisory Board (for international colleagues), with the aim of representing the diversity of the field of postcolonial and Commonwealth literatures and cultures. Members leave the committees when they no longer wish to participate in the review process.

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