28 April 2023

Call for proposals; DHS JDH Translations

As part of its globalisation initiative, the Journal of Design History invites proposals for its annual DHS-Sponsored Translation. Each year the Design History Society makes funds available for the translation of a significant and influential article or portion of a book of equivalent length, which has not yet been published in English. Texts proposed for the DHS JDH Translations scheme should have made a demonstrable contribution to the field primarily as historical analysis or critical commentary rather than as primary source material. DHS JDH Translations are published both online and in the print edition of the Journal.

Proposals should include the text to be translated, in the original language, and an introduction that explains the intellectual context for the text being written, its design historical significance, bibliographic history, and reception history including an assessment of the impact of the text. The introduction should make a supported case for the influence of the focal text, e.g., with reference to reviews and citations in secondary sources.

The proposal needs to state that the proposer has sought, and received, permission from the editor and publisher of the journal in which the source article appeared, or the publisher of the book in which the original text appeared, for the publication of a translation.

Proposers may wish to translate the target text themselves, or to use a professional translator; this should be made clear as part of the proposal. The Translators Association, which forms part of The Society of Authors, makes available to members a sample contract, and suggested rates of pay, as well as providing a database of experienced translators and the languages and genres within which they work. http://www.societyofauthors.or... Guidance on the financial aspects of the payment for the translation will be provided by the DHS Administrator, Dr Jenna Allsopp, designhistorysociety@gmail.com

While proposers can write the introduction and translate the original text themselves, if they choose to do so, proposals cannot be accepted from the author of the original text to be translated. This is important because the introduction needs to be an objective appraisal of the achievement, influence and legacy of the translated text.

The proposal is submitted via email to the DHS JDH Translations Editor, Prof Kjetil Fallan kjetil.fallan@ifikk.uio.no for consideration by the Editorial Board, and a decision made as to whether the EB wishes to encourage a submission. JDH EB meetings take place in March, June, September and December. In order to obtain the swiftest possible response from the EB, therefore, proposals should be submitted by one of the following deadlines: 10th February, 10th May, 10th August and 10th November each year.

If the submission of a DHS JDH Translation is agreed, the next steps for the proposer/author are:

  1. Ensure all relevant permissions have been secured including, in addition to permission from the editor and publisher of the journal, or publisher of the book, in which the original text appeared, permission from rights holders of all images to be included with the text.
  2. Translate the focal text, or work with a translator to do so. It is the responsibility of the
    proposer of the translation / author of the introduction to ensure that the translation is faithful to the original, reflecting data and interpretations, and that it does not introduce any new content or authors, or omit any content or authors.
    DHS – JDH Translations Guide Sheet 2
  3. Prepare the introduction and translation in the format stipulated for articles in our
    Information to Authors published online at https://academic.oup.com/jdh/p... as far as possible while retaining the integrity of the original text. The introduction and translation may each be accompanied by up to 7 illustrations, for which copyright permissions will be required.
  4. Translations must give proper attribution to the original publication in the introduction and as a credit line at the end of the translated text.
  5. Translators must be acknowledged in the credit line for the translated text.
  6. The translated text must be titled as follows ‘DHS JDH Translation:’ and then the title of the text.
  7. The introduction must be titled ‘Introduction to…’ and then the title of the translated text.
  8. Submit the introduction and the translation to the Journal’s online manuscript management system, Manuscript Central’s ScholarOne Manuscripts for peer review.

Peer Review Process

Evaluation of the translated text will focus on whether the text is suitably significant, and publishable in its present form because the original text will not be peer reviewed or revised in any way. The introduction will be sent out for peer review together, accompanied by the translated text for reference.

Peer review of the introduction will focus on how it contextualizes the translation for a new readership, with emphasis on its significance for the field. Introductions will also be subject to the standard questions JDH peer reviewers ask about originality, clarity of objectives and argument, whether the argument is adequately and appropriately supported, and the quality and clarity of the written English.

Published DHS JDH Translations with introductions which serve as examples are:

  • Kjetil Fallan, ‘Introduction to “110 Volts at Home: The American Lista” by Siv Ringdal’, JDH 27:1 (2014).
  • Tom Cubbin, ‘Introduction to “Problems of Soviet Design” and “The Production (Industrial) Art of the Future” by Karl Kantor’, JDH 29:4 (2016).
  • Fedja Vukić, ‘Rethinking the Environment. An Introduction to Matko Meštrović’s ‘Dizajn iokolina’ [‘Design and Environment’] from 1980’, JDH 30:2 (2017).


To discuss a proposal, please contact:
Prof Kjetil Fallan
DHS JDH Translations Editor


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