With Academe magazine now in its hundredth volume, it seems an appropriate time to look back on the history of the AAUP’s periodicals.
The AAUP was founded in January 1915 and published the first Bulletin of the American Association of University Professors, which included what is now called the Declaration of Principles on Academic Freedom and Academic Tenure, in December 1915. In the early years, the Bulletin included reports, policy documents, and information on membership development and chapter formation. The journal began listing an “editorial committee” on the masthead in 1927, and around the same time, it began to include essays and book reviews.
Editorial contents took up an increasing proportion of pages in the decades that followed. At the same time, editorial oversight became more structured, with members of the national office staff assigned to roles as editors and associate editors. (The current structure, in which feature articles are solicited by a faculty editor who works in the field and most of the editing and production work is handled by a managing editor in the national office, dates back to the early 1970s.)
Academe came into existence in 1967. Originally a newsletter, it ran short updates on chapter activities and developments in the national office. Academe appeared alongside the Bulletin until 1979, when the two publications merged as Academe: Bulletin of the AAUP.
The new Academe published regular news items together with articles, reviews, and AAUP reports. The debut 1979 issue featured cover art for the first time, and, as Academe went through a number of redesigns in the decades that followed, it came to look more like a magazine and less like a journal. The tone shifted as well, although Academe continued to include Association reports in a separate section.
The AAUP separated the magazine’s editorial contents from the reports in 2010 with a title change to Academe: Magazine of the AAUP and the revival of the Bulletin of the American Association of University Professors. This time, the Bulletin was an annual publication that collected the previous academic year’s reports, which were now being released online before they appeared in print. In its first two years, the new Bulletin was mailed to members as a supplement to Academe; beginning in 2012, the Bulletin took the place of the September–October issue, appearing (as the March–April salary survey had for many years) as a special issue of Academe.
The slideshow below provides a visual overview of this publication history, with each slide marking a new cover design. These covers reflect not just the gradual evolution of the Bulletin and Academe but also a century of changes in typographical and stylistic taste.
Online media have driven the most recent changes to the magazine. Academe is now available in a purely electronic format for readers who choose to opt out of the print subscription, and the online edition of the magazine regularly features articles that are not included in the print edition. The most substantial recent change, however, is the development of the blog you are reading now. Since its launch in 2012, Academe Blog has grown rapidly, offering new ways of connecting the AAUP with its members and with members of the broader public.
Keep an eye on Academe Blog in the coming months for other posts about the AAUP’s history and its centennial.