BRANCH is an experiment in a new form of publication: scholarly analyses of disparate events of the period, 1775-1925, which are plotted on a timeline using the Mellon-funded SIMILE widget. Unlike dry chronologies that simply list dates with minimal information about the many noteworthy events of a given year, BRANCH offers a compilation of a myriad of short articles on not only high politics and military history but also “low” or quotidian histories (architecture design, commercial history, marginal figures of note, and so on). I have also asked contributors to question the very notion of ‘event’: what should constitute an event worth mentioning in a timeline of the period?
BRANCH exists on its own at branchcollective.org; however, articles from BRANCH will also be published in RaVoN with each issue, allowing the essays to be archived by Projet Érudit and RDF-encoded for inclusion in nines.org.
Thanks to its site structure, BRANCH offers an innovative approach to history itself, suggesting that any given bit of historical information can branch outward in often surprising directions. Rather than provide a linear timeline of history from the perspective of the victors, BRANCH provides a history that comes closer to what Walter Benjamin famously termed jetztzeit or “the time of the now,” an impacted history that explores the messy uncertainties and possibilities of any given historical moment.
Dino Franco Felluga
BRANCH General Editor