CfP Serendipities -- Journal for the Sociology and History of the Social Sciences

New journal

Serendipities — Journal for the Sociology and History of the Social Sciences

Call for Papers


Serendipities is a new interdisciplinary journal published as an open access, peer reviewed, online only periodical. It is devoted to sociological and historical studies of the social sciences in their broadest meaning. While its title pays homage to Robert K. Merton and his insistence that the development of any scholarly activity is influenced by unanticipated and anomalous instances, the journal does not expect contributors to follow a narrowly defined program. Rather it seeks to encourage the use of a variety of concepts, methodologies and theories to study the trajectories of the social sciences. The pertinent time span ranges from the pre-history of the several disciplines, through to the period of their formation and their consolidation (or their decline). Papers are welcome from any theoretical or methodological perspective that covers any of these periods. Case studies or investigations of longer lasting developments, papers focusing on a single scholar or on groups, schools, and research trends are equally appreciated by the journal so long as they conclude with more or less generalizing insights. Purely descriptive studies are not disallowed, but the emphasis of the journal is on the presentation of findings in a way that makes them applicable to other cases, periods, disciplines, and fields. Papers that translate concepts and insights from research fields (sociology of science, criminology, stratification etc.), social studies of sciences or philosophy and history of sciences into the sociology and history of the social sciences are also relevant to Serendipities’ remit.

The social sciences emerged in different scientific cultures under different descriptions. That granted, we delineate the social sciences as an intellectual domain that today comprises sociology, political science, economics, management, anthropology, social psychology, geography, and all the offspring of these older fields, for instance, social policy, social work, demography, criminology, area studies, peace and conflict research etc. Contributions from or about the humanities are appreciated too, provided their significance for the social sciences is clearly documented.

Some of the topics that the editors hope to see covered in Serendipities are the development of methodologies and research techniques, the institutionalization processes of disciplines and research directions, the “traveling of ideas” from one scholarly culture to another, the role of funding
agencies, and the relation among the social sciences, the state, and social movements. Finally, the interaction of social science with publics and different kind of clients is a matter of great interest to the journal. From a methodological point of view, we particularly invite submissions that engage with the still underdeveloped field of sociological semantics, prosopography, and advanced quantitative and qualitative approaches to analyze the personnel of the social sciences.

Serendipities attempts to cover not only a broad variety of disciplines but also an array of scientific cultures. This means that we welcome submissions from all corners of the world without regard to the disciplinary affiliations of their authors. We will accept traditional research articles, but also unconventional papers. Given the fact that Serendipities will appear as an online journal we will not impose word-count limits; nevertheless, we ask authors to write as concisely as possible

We accept submissions in English, French, German, and Spanish for reviewing but will ask those authors whose articles are accepted to provide an English version for publication. Stylistic and orthographic copy-editing will be provided.

Serendipities publishes three kinds of texts: Articles will appear whenever one is ready. The book review section will cover new publications from and in any language, and function both as a forum for critical evaluation of new books and as a platform for those who are not able to read them in their original. A third part will be an archive section where items from the past are made visible to the scientific community, e.g. letters, unpublished manuscripts, administrative documents etc., together with short commentaries on the significance of the documents.

Serendipities will start in 2014. For old-fashioned lovers of book-like printed journal issues we will offer an annually print-on-demand version of the journal at cost price.


Peter Baehr (Lingnan University, Hong Kong),
Fernanda Beigel (Universidad Nacional de Cuyo, Mendoza, Argentina),
Christian Fleck (University of Graz, Austria),
Andreas Hess (University College Dublin, Ireland),
Laurent Jeanpierre (Université Paris 8, Vincennes-Saint-Denis, France)
George Steinmetz (University of Michigan, USA)

Associate and Book review editors:

Matteo Bortolini (University of Padua, Italy)
Marcia Consolim (Universidade Federal de São Paulo, Brazil)
Christian Dayé (University of Graz, Austria)
Daniel Huebner (University of Chicago, USA)
Kristoffer Kropp (University of Kopenhagen, Denmark)
Albert Tzeng (Institute of Southeast Asian Studies, Singapore)

International Advisory Board:

Richard Bellamy (University College London, United Kingdom)
Mark Bevir (University of California, Berkeley, USA)
Peter Breiner (State University of New York, USA)
Peter Burke (University of Cambridge, Emmanuel College, United Kingdom)
Hamilton Cravens (Iowa State University, USA)
Paul H. Erickson (Wesleyan University, USA)
Jean-Louis Fabiani (Central European University, Budapest)
Lian Greenfeld (Boston University, USA)
Johan Heilbron (Erasmus University, Rotterdam and Centre de sociologie européenne, Paris)
Dirk Kaesler (University of Marburg, Germany)
Michèle Lamont (Harvard University, USA)
Wolf Lepenies (Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin, Germany)
Sergio Miceli (Universidade de São Paulo, Brasil)
Philip Mirowski, (University of Notre Dame, USA)
Helga Nowotny (President European Research Council, Austria)
William Outhwaite (Newcastle University, United Kingdom)
Margaret Schabas (University of British Columbia, Canada)
Cherry Schrecker (University of Nancy, France)
Peter Simonson (University of Colorado, USA)
Pierre Singaravélou (Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne, France)
Friedrich Stadler (University of Vienna, Austria)
Eleanor Townsley (Mount Holyoke College, USA)
Stephen P. Turner (University of South Florida, USA)
Gary Wickham (Murdoch University, Australia)


Provisional Correspondence E-mail:

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