TRAFO – Blog for Transregional Research is one of the publishing formats of the Forum Transregionale Studien. It is an online, open-access platform for research connected to transregional studies. (For more about the other publication formats at the Forum, see here.)
Transregional studies pursue an open approach to promote the internationalization of the humanities and social sciences. They confront and connect different disciplinary and regional perspectives in research on common issues. Responding to increasing interdependence and specialization, transregional studies offer opportunities for collaboration between scholars with different regional/national/local perspectives and diverse disciplinary approaches on shared questions.
The TRAFO Blog intends to promote transregional studies. It is designed to reflect their open and inclusive character, to share and translate ideas and insights, and to connect different perspectives on specific topics. It also aims to provide wider access to academic research and ideas, both beyond academic institutions and to a broader audience.
If you’re interested in contributing, please submit either a finished text or a proposal of your topic to firstname.lastname@example.org. If you’d like to contribute to a specific format (see below), please specify this.
When writing your text or proposal, please keep the following points in mind:
- Length: Blog contributions should be shorter than academic articles. Aim for around 1,000–3,000 words. (For more on requirements for specific formats, see below).
- Style: You should write contributions in a style that is accessible to readers with other disciplinary or regional perspectives. Texts do not need to be polished and objectively neutral. They can be subjective, pointed, and preliminary. If you intend for your text to be read by people outside of academia, avoid scholarly jargon, explain technical and expert terms, and contextualize your questions whenever possible. Blog contributions can experiment with hypotheses, ask questions, and leave them unanswered. Above all, you should make use of the medium’s advantage and elicit responses.
- File types: Please send us your files in a standard text processing format, such as .doc, .docx, or .rtf. Please don’t send Google documents or pdfs.
- Author bio: A short paragraph about the author is published with each text. These are about 100–200 words. If there are external websites relevant to your bio, please link them in the text or send us the links.
- Citations: Although the blog is more open than academic or scientific articles, we ask that you cite your references. When directly quoting a source or referencing a specific part of a work, please give the page number or timestamp, wherever possible. We recommend using Chicago, but are open to any internationally accepted citation style. Regardless of the style selected, please ensure it is used consistently. (Of course, some things relevant to the topic may not yet be known, and some statements may be speculative. In these cases, you should specify uncertainty or formulate it as a question.)
- Images: Images invite readers to engage with the text. Therefore, we ask that you include at least one or two royalty-free pictures. Please make sure that you have the creator’s/owner’s permission to use the photo, or that the picture is royalty-free or in the public domain (CC license) and that we may use it. In cases where images are relevant to the contribution (e.g., you analyze visual culture or uses visual sources), you may submit more images, but we will only publish them if you have the rights to them. Images should have a short caption explaining, where possible, the content, medium, date, source, and creator of the image. Please send us separate image files rather than having the images in the word document.
- Multimedia: Videos and audio files can also be included on the TRAFO Blog. These may either be embedded or linked to. As with images, you must have permission to publish these. If you don’t have permission, a multimedia file can be linked to in the article as a reference.
- Language: Most texts on the TRAFO Blog are published in English or German. American or British spelling can be used for English contributions, but please use it consistently. We are also open to publishing in different languages, or publishing two versions of a text (e.g., in English and Ukrainian, or French and German). If you’d like to publish in a language other than English or German, please contact us beforehand.
- Editorial process: All contributions will be processed by an editorial team. We may give you suggestions in cases where the structure or argument is not clear. Texts also undergo language and style editing. If a text is edited beyond minor adjustments, you will receive the text to approve any changes and apply or respond to any possible feedback. No substantial editorial change will be undertaken without your permission.
- Text rights: Once a text is published on the blog, you are free to republish it elsewhere. In this case, we request that the other publication refers to the prior publication on the TRAFO Blog. If the other publication platform is online, we ask that they link to the original on the TRAFO Blog. Please also let us know about any republications.
Contributions are welcome to any of our following formats:
- Series: A series contains essays on common questions. These are addressed from either personal standpoints or particular positions, and written in an accessible way that contextualizes and opens the topic beyond the boundaries of disciplines and areas of expertise. Series are curated by individual scholars or editorial groups. They are reviewed or peer-reviewed by the editors and/or participants of the series. Some stem from writing workshops or from long-term editorial partnerships, or accompany the work of collective projects. These texts range from 1,000 to 3,000 words. For specific topics, see the “Recent Series” column on the blog’s landing page. If you’d like to contribute to a specific series, please specify this when submitting.
- Issues: What are current issues, ideas, themes or concerns that merit transregional debate and exchange, and why? The Issues format offers an opportunity to introduce, report, explain and contextualize academic events, and new and ongoing projects. These texts range from 1,000 to 3,000 words and are open in theme.
- Conversations: These are written or recorded interchanges on common questions by two or more participants who know each other’s work but may not share the same position, or disciplinary or regional perspective. These texts range from 1,000 to 3,000 words.
- Reviews: Reviews introduce new books, articles, special issues of journals, films, exhibitions, and music recordings that are of interest to transregional studies. These texts range from 1,000 to 2,000 words.
- 5in10: 5in10 is an interview format that introduces scholars and contextualizes their research interests through five questions answered in less than ten minutes of reading time.
- Comments: Comments take a position on current issues, events, and conflicts. They explain and contextualize, are informed by the scholarship and engagement of the author, and address questions of transregional concern. These can be up to 2,500 words, but we recommend a shorter text, around 1,000–1,500 words.
All texts are published through the Forum Transregionale Studien, but some are done in the context of an editorial partnership. You can see if there’s an editorial partnership in the tag above a text. We have published texts in such partnerships with the Merian Centre for Advanced Studies in the Maghreb (MECAM) and Europäische Zeiten/European Times – A Transregional Approach to the Societies of Central and Eastern Europe (EUTIM), among others, or within research programs at the Forum Transregionale Studien, such as Prisma Ukraïna, Europe in the Middle East – The Middle East in Europe (EUME), and re:constitution: Analysis and Exchange on Democracy and the Rule of Law in Europe. For more on this, you can also see the “Editorial Partners” section of our website.
Lastly, we welcome comments on published articles and invite lively and controversial discussions. To render the debates fruitful for all readers, the comments section will be moderated. We are interested in a constructive conversation and reserve the right not to publish contributions that fall short of this (e.g., impoliteness, double entendre, insults, spam, etc.).