What better way to end 2016 then to read the latest issue of Gender, Place and Culture? There are interesting articles and book reviews spanning the globe, including Asia, Europe, and South America to name a few. This issue also marks the first twelfth issue as we moved from publishing 10 issues per year to 12 — a sign of growth in feminist geography!
We are excited to share a guest blog entry from one of our new editors, Dr. Kanchana N. Ruwanpura, who has been in the position for six months. Thanks to Dr. Ruwanpura for sharing this entry about her experience as an editor so far!
I have been transitioning into my new role as an editor of Gender, Place and Culture (GPC) since the summer and it is nearing six months, without me having a chance to have penned an intervention into our great blog! On the up side, the past few months has also given me a flavour of the role – what it entails and what joys and frustrations it brings and may bring down the line.
I was attracted to apply for the editorial post in GPC because I had recently had an article published and had a great experience through the review process. So when searching on google, quite by chance stumbled upon the advert placed by GPC. Perhaps hoping for a similarly serendipitous outcome, I applied for the role – with some trepidation and uncertainty – not knowing if I would make the cut. My uncertainty stemmed not just from my relatively novice status in the academic hierarchy, at that point still a Senior Lecturer in Development Geography at the Institute of Geography, University of Edinburgh, but also because while I am a feminist scholar, I am no geographer by training!
As a social scientist, initially trained in (heterodox) economics and then Development Studies, my transition as a geographer was through on-the-job training and began a decade ago with an array of amazing colleagues at the University of Southampton (2006-2013). When I made the application, my new academic home was one of the birthplaces of GPC – the University of Edinburgh – and where one of the journals founding editor – Liz Bondi – used to have a home within the Institute of Geography. Being involved in GPC was also a chance to keep the Institute of Geography’s critical human geography credentials in place, in whatever small way. In any event, for multiple reasons, to be appointed to the leading feminist geography journal as an editor was a real honor and privilege!
And so serendipitously, I have been appointed one of the new editors of Gender, Place and Culture, and have learnt so much about the feminist academic community that makes GPC what it is. I have learnt about the willingness and openness of some colleagues to generously give their time to review papers, while I have learnt of refusals, silences and incommunicado of others – making this editorial work at times fulfilling and at other times frustrating; wishing all my peers were aware that our academic work is seeped in reciprocity and collegiality. I have learnt of the difficulties entailed in making difficult decisions around rejections and major revisions, and the value of patience in working together with colleagues to get a positive outcome. A work of highs and lows – and more to come, I am sure.
While this learning process has been on the whole enlightening, my frustration also stems from learning how our editorial work gets valued (or not) at our home institutions; a concern for colleagues from various academic homes. So, even as my home institution, the Institute of Geography, University of Edinburgh, gets recognition, when we academics, feminist scholars included, make it to be as editors of leading journals in our fields, I also find that in the 21st century that this largely voluntary work is yet to be recognized internally with our academic homes as part of our workload. The underlying feminist concern of what counts and what does not as valuable academic work, however, is still to make headway…and so our feminist work remains to be done.
 Professor Liz Bondi is still at the University of Edinburgh, but attached elsewhere within the University rather than the Institute of Geography.
The editorial team of Gender, Place and Culture is pleased to announce an annual award valued at a maximum of US$1,500 for new and emerging scholars. The award is targeted at emerging researchers in feminist geographies who are trying to establish research careers and create research momentum. The purpose is to support the research programme of promising feminist geographers and to give an impetus to their careers. The applicant should be involved in independent research and not be merely part of a larger group’s research project. Priority for this award will be given to current graduate students or faculty members within three years of receiving their PhD who are situated in partially or poorly funded positions, who work in departments where little or no money is available for conference participation and who have no recourse to grants from funding agencies such as the Economic and Social Research Council in the UK and the National Science Foundation in the USA or equivalent (if you currently hold one of these grants or have just completed one you will not be considered eligible for this award).
This award is intended to be used for attendance at an international conference of your choice, at which you will present a paper on a topic relating to feminist geography. The successful applicant is expected to use the award within one year of its receipt.
Applicants are asked to submit the following:
an abstract of the conference paper (250-300 words) and conference information including, if possible, confirmation of acceptance of your paper;
a paragraph outlining how your research contributes to feminist geography;
a proposed budget (for accommodation, travel, conference fees, per diem, etc.);
and a cover letter including your contact details (mailing address, email, and telephone number).
Please send your applications to the Managing Editor, Pamela Moss (firstname.lastname@example.org), by 27 January 2017. A decision on the award will be made within 4 to 6 weeks of this deadline. Within one month of attending the conference, the successful applicant is expected to submit receipts as well as a one page report.