Gender, Place and Culture welcomes new editor Dr Katherine Brickell

Dearest readers, today we are excited to introduce you to our new editor, Dr Katherine Brickell, who has kindly shared the guest blog post below.

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I am very honoured to become an editor of Gender, Place and Culture. I first started reading the journal during my undergraduate studies in the early 2000s when I took Ann Varley’s course at University College London (UCL) on gender and geography. I haven’t stopped reading it ever since! I hope that my contribution to the journal will continue to inspire other feminist geography scholars-in-the-making.

I am a social, political and development geographer based in the Department of Geography at Royal Holloway, University of London since 2008. My current research agenda supported by a Philip Leverhulme Prize (2017-2019) is focused on the development of ‘feminist legal geographies’. Through a related monograph and article co-writing with Dana Cuomo, I hope not only to raise the profile of feminist legal geographies in critical social geography but also to further the penetration of feminist spatial thought into legal scholarship. My monograph is currently in preparation for the Wiley RGS-IBG Series entitled Home SOS: Gender, Violence and Law in Cambodia. It focuses on two ‘SOS’ calls, domestic violence and forced eviction, and explores the agency and futility of law in women’s lives as a means of redressing these injustices.

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The book builds on research I led between 2012-2015 which took a multi-stakeholder approach to the study of law as a leverage mechanism to address domestic violence in Cambodia. The study showed the structural constraints that need to be overcome to enable women’s access to justice (see the infographic project report here). This research will be published as a background paper in UNWOMEN’s flagship report (2018) Progress of the World’s Women. Participatory video workshops with rural and urban communities in Cambodia formed one component of the research and built on experience of similar workshops in Vietnam. My paper entitled “Participatory video drama research in transitional Vietnam: post-production narratives on marriage, parenting and social evils” was published by Gender, Place and Culture in 2014.

I am current Chair of the RGS-IBG Gender and Feminist Geographies Research Group.

Further information about my work can be found here and via updates on Twitter.

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Gender, Place and Culture Welcomes New Managing Editor: Dr. Pamela Moss

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Happy new year to all our readers! Today’s post comes from our new Managing Editor, Dr. Pamela Moss. We are very pleased to share her blog entry as we head into 2017.

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As of the beginning of this year, I assumed the role of Managing Editor at Gender, Place and Culture (GPC). I’m taking over from Peter Hopkins who was in the position for three years. We follow in the footsteps of wonderful feminist scholars who have volunteered their time over the years to promote feminist scholarship in geography and build a legacy for feminist geography within the discipline.

I come to the role with some experience as a GPC Editor. As part of my transition back into geography, after having been away for a number of years in interdisciplinary studies, I applied for, and enthusiastically accepted, the role of Editor at GPC. It is hard to believe that it has already been three and a half years! I have learned a great deal working with GPC colleagues. I must thank Robyn Longhurst, Peter Hopkins, Lynda Johnston and Avril Maddrell for welcoming me into the position. Much of my hands-on training came from Jenny Lloyd and Carl Thompson who held the crucial position of Editorial Assistant to the Managing Editor. Maral Sotoudehnia has now taken over from Carl, and she tirelessly continues my training in a supportive manner. I’m getting to know the rest of the editorial team – Kanchana Ruwanpura and Katherine Brickell as Editors, Marcia England and Nathaniel Lewis as Book Review Editors, and Anna Tarrant and Lisa Dam as Social Media Editors.

There is obviously much excellent feminist geography work going on for since my time at GPC, the journal has doubled in size – from 6 to 12 issues per year! As editors, we have tried to figure out effective ways to get this work published. Most recently, the journal has introduced three new publishing formats for GPC: Interventions, Book Review Essays, and Multimedia Contributions. General Descriptions of each can be found here. Interventions are similar to Themed Sections, but the contributions are shorter and organized around one problematic. Book Review Essays can either be an author reviewing more than one book or a group of authors engaging with one book. Multimedia Contributions are accompanied by a short essay explaining the contribution the piece of media makes to feminist geography (see an example here at the bottom of the page).

Even with these changes, the journal will continue to be organized around what I see as its central, most basic value – generating a supportive and intellectually engaged environment for publishing feminist work in geography. Editors seek out leading scholars to provide critical readings of manuscripts. These scholars deliver informed and detailed reviews that assist authors in developing and enhancing the scholarship manifest in the submissions. The feedback, offered in the generous spirit of intellectual expansion (although when you first get reviews as an author, this isn’t necessarily the first thing that jumps in your mind!), gives the authors some direction during the revisions. Editors support authors through the process, especially those going through the process for the first time or are early on in their careers.

I am looking forward to managing the journal. I see my role as one that facilitates the gathering and distribution of feminist scholarship in geography. If you ever have a question about the journal, the review process, or aspirations for publishing, please contact me. I am happy to be part of a conversation.

Let me close with an invitation. On behalf of the entire editorial group, I invite you to submit your work to GPC. For you – all of you – are key in continuing the strong tradition that has made GPC what it is today.

Gender, Place and Culture Appoints New Editor: Dr. Kanchana N. Ruwanpura

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Dr. Ruwanpura (centre) working together with Y3 undergraduate students to help a refugee drop-in centre on a field trip to Athens, Greece

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!

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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.[1] 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. 

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[1] Professor Liz Bondi is still at the University of Edinburgh, but attached elsewhere within the University rather than the Institute of Geography.