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Guidelines for Commentators

The published commentaries in Fragments are intended to foster dialogue between different disciplines and subfields of the historical field. In general, we anticipate that there will be three published commentaries for each of the papers, with each commentary running roughly 2,000-3,000 words. Typically, the commentators will be scholars working in different disciplines or in other subfields of history. The commentaries are not intended to be book reviews or reviews of the article or surveys of the literature of the commentator's discipline or subfield. Rather, it is our hope that they will go beyond summary and simple evaluation of the contents of the article, and engage in a dialogue with the article on the issues it raises. In other words, when possible the three commentaries would serve, individually and collectively, to expand the scope and import of the article. Matters that the commentators may consider include but are not limited to: What implications does the article's argument or methodology have for the commentator's own historical subfield or discipline? How are the issues raised in the article relevant for understanding the commentator's archive, or how could they be made relevant? Conversely, how might the archives, methodologies, and historical experiences of the commentator reshape the issues or questions posed by the author? What new perspectives might the commentator's archive bring to the questions or general problems raised by the author?