Critical Edition Update

Critical Edition of Whitehead quarterly update, fall 2023

It has been a momentous quarter for both the Critical Edition of Whitehead and the Whitehead Research Project. The headline news, as we previously announced, is that the Critical Edition is now being funded through the National Endowment for the Humanities’ Scholarly Editions and Translations program. This NEH grant will provide $350,000 over a three-year period starting on January 1st, 2024 and expiring on December 31st, 2026. It will fund staff wages and allow the hiring of two graduate student editorial assistants for ten hours a week, thirty-one weeks per year. This isn’t an easy grant to get; we’ve applied for it numerous times over the years, and we’re extremely pleased that the project has finally gained this recognition and support. The grant does require $50,000 in matching funds, so ongoing support of the community is welcome and needed.

Other changes have been going on behind the scenes. Following the launch of the Whitehead Encyclopedia, there was a need for some type of editorial board that would assure the quality of new articles. Rather than create an entirely new body, we took the opportunity to reassess our structure and combine the CEW’s board with the WRP’s board—along with a few new members—into a single Editorial Advisory Board that will advise on all the WRP’s projects, including the CEW, the Whitehead Encyclopedia, and the Whitehead Research Library. You can read about the members of the new board here.

Speaking of the Whitehead Encyclopedia, the board has already begun peer reviewing submissions for new articles over the past few months. Since the last update, an article on C. H. Waddington by Leemon McHenry has been published, and several others are in the works and will likely be posted by the end if the year, including one on Whitehead and Aristotle.

Sadly, one of the members of WRP’s board, Helmut Maaßen, passed away recently. An expert in Whitehead’s aesthetics, Maaßen was originally slated to edit the third volume of Whitehead’s Harvard lectures (HL3), including the notes of his friend and former Whitehead student Dorothy Emmet. You can read more about Maaßen in this obituary written by Randall Auxier and George Lucas. He will be missed.

We are closing in on the finish line for the second volume of Whitehead’s Essays and Articles (EA2), and plan to submit it to Edinburgh University Press by the end of November. After EA2’s completion, the NEH grant period will start on January 1, at which point we will turn our attention to editing HL3, as well as beginning initial transcription of the CEW’s first volume of Whitehead’s monographs, which will include Science and the Modern World, Religion in the Making, and Symbolism.

The work of searching for, transcribing, and editing archival materials is time-consuming and costly. Even with the new grant, we still have decades of work ahead of us, and there is no guarantee that future NEH support will be forthcoming. If you are able to support our work with a donation, it would be much appreciated. Just follow this link.

Brian Henning, Executive Editor
Critical Edition of Whitehead
Professor of Philosophy,
Gonzaga University
Joseph Petek, Associate Editor
Critical Edition of Whitehead