The Backbone Journal: What Does the International Black Community Have to do with the W. Montague Cobb Collection?

full name / name of organization: 
Howard University- W. Montague Cobb Research Lab

The W. Montague Cobb Research Laboratory based at Howard University is dedicated to enhancing the international prominence, research portfolio, and instructional opportunities through providing innovative opportunities for advanced study of the biological and archaeological materials housed therein. The Cobb Research Laboratory mission is to maximize the research potential of the collections contained within the Laboratory and train a new generation of scholars. As a result the Cobb Research Laboratory aims to be the pre-eminent professional resource for interdisciplinary research on the Cobb Collection of human skeletal remains, the New York African Burial Ground remains, and the other assemblages of key research resources. Our initiation and publication of The Backbone is a means of fulfilling this mission.

The Backbone encourages research publications on the biological, anthropological, sociological and political realities of the African American history in the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries in the Cobb Collection or New York African Burial Ground. Creative submissions in the literary and visual arts are also welcomed expressions to tell these very important stories. The Backbone offers scholars the opportunity to connect with the rare collection of historical and clinical data that expose the physical impact of racism, sexism, and poverty as consistent with the life and works of the eminent Dr. W. Montague Cobb.

Articles for submission should be sent via email in Microsoft Word document format as an attachment to the journal editor, Chioma Oruh at For more information please contact Ms. Oruh at 202-806-5019, or Cobb Research Laboratory administrative assistant Ms. Sherese Taylor at 202-806-5252 or Along with your article, please include a brief biography highlighting your relevant previous publications and other accolades. Articles for publication consideration in the inaugural issue are due to the editor by September 21, 2014. The journal is peer-reviewed and will be published online.

The first issue of The Backbone is scheduled for Fall 2014. Contributors are encouraged to investigate any topic that has relevance to either the Cobb Collection or the New York African Burial Ground, two major projects currently housed in the Cobb Research Laboratory. As an interdisciplinary journal, the contents will uniquely include, we anticipate, well researched articles from the humanities, social sciences, natural sciences, and even biomedical articles.

Articles should utilize the Chicago Manual of Style citation format and should begin with a 250 word abstract and conclude with a short two line biography of the author. Also, please include a list of at least 3 words, for indexing purposes. Articles should range between 1000-3000 words and should mention, within the first paragraphs of their article, how their article is pertinent to the mission of W. Montague Cobb Research Laboratory.