The International Journal of Naval History Interest Group on Facebook

Chuck Steele
International Journal of Naval History

From its inception, the International Journal of Naval History has endeavored to “provide a pre-eminent forum for works of naval history researched and written to demonstrable academic standards.” In a sense, the IJNH was created to give naval historians an intellectual home. Considering the slight numbers of historians engaged in researching and writing about war at sea, compared to those concerned with other fields of history, it is not surprising that naval historians constitute a small band of brothers and sisters. Undoubtedly, there are naval historians in the ranks of Britain’s Society for Nautical Research, the North American Society for Oceanic History, the Society for Military History, and the handful of professional associations and institutes devoted to naval affairs. However, those whose primary interest is the history of conflict at sea have remained a distinct minority within those larger groups. 

Part of the IJNH‘s mission is to “stimulate and promote research into naval history and foster communication among naval historians at an international level.” In addition to creating a forum for scholarship on its webpage, the IJNH has seized upon the reach of social media to build a global community. There are over 1700 followers/members of the IJNH Facebook page, and its appeal spans across the seven seas (almost). While most group members are from the United States, every continent, other than Antarctica, is represented in the community. Indeed, the page has demonstrated that naval history, like the oceans, is a global common. 

The main objective of the IJNH‘s social media presence is to sustain and stimulate an audience for the scholarship appearing on the webpage. However, it is also hoped that by engaging with as many people as possible, some followers might be inspired to read more actively and turn their attention to researching and writing for themselves. After all, the IJNH will “welcome any scholarly historical analysis, focused on any period or geographic region, that explores naval power in its national or cultural context.”

With the intent to appeal to as many students of naval history as possible, the editors at the IJNH seek news items for regular posting on Facebook from as many places as possible. The editors understand that history is a means to connect people across time and over great distances. To this end, the editors encourage community members to post historical content that is of interest to them. Part of history’s appeal is that its study often allows people to see themselves in the stories they share. The only restriction to this solicitation being that the content is confined to stories of the past—prognosticators and prophets can find many other pages better suited to their interests.

Click here to JOIN the interest group on Facebook.

(Return to December 2020 Table of Contents)

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