St. Catherine University Professor Named Editor of the Journal of Indo-European Studies

Emily West, Associate Professor

Emily Blanchard West, PhD, has recently assumed the position of editor of the Journal of Indo-European Studies.

Emily Blanchard West, PhD, Associate Professor of Classics and History, has recently begun serving as editor-in-chief of the Journal of Indo-European Studies (JIES). West’s title as editor of this recognized journal, will appear on the masthead of the Fall/Winter 2020 issue. 

This peer-reviewed journal has a mission dedicated entirely to understanding “the exchange and synthesis of information relating to the origin and evolution of the Indo-European language family and to the anthropology, archaeology, mythology and general cultural history of the Indo-European-speaking peoples.” West has been publishing the majority of her work in the JIES and sub-editing for years, so she has always felt this journal is close to her heart. "This is a completely unexpected and unlooked-for honor,” West said. “I had no idea that my work had made this much impact or that I would ever be considered for something of this magnitude at this point in my career.”

A trip to India during her college years with her grandmother laid the foundation for West’s interest in the deep similarities between classical and Hindu mythology and the languages they were transmitted to us in. During and after her time at graduate school, she continued her work in oral tradition as well as Sanskrit. West now teaches a range of courses from Classics, English, Fine Arts, to History, which includes the Hindu mythology class she leads to Nepal every two years for St. Kate’s through UMAIE. To West, this editorship solidifies her feelings towards St. Kate’s of getting to teach across multiple departments at once because there is no one-way approach to Indo-European studies. “It takes a really special place where there are so many areas you can teach in,” West said. 

The JIES editor does not serve for a fixed term, but for as long as he or she wishes.  This is rare among most journals from professional societies, where there is commonly a five-year term to serve as editor. “Being asked to edit a long-standing journal with a stellar reputation and a global reach is one of the highest recognitions of scholarship and expertise” Tarshia Stanley, PhD, Dean of the School of Humanities, Arts, and Sciences said.