A note from Beth W. Kamunge, one of our New and Emerging Scholar Award winners

 

In todays post, Beth W. Kamunge tells us a bit about her research and future plans. Beth is a 3rd year doctoral researcher at The University of Sheffield’s (UK) department of Geography. As one of our new and emerging scholar award winners she also gives potential future applicants some advice about submitting for the award in future!

A bit about Beth’s research

The original contribution to knowledge that my research project offers, is the empirical and embodied exploration of black women’s food experiences, which have so far been relatively ignored by feminist scholars. At the beginning of my project I was curious as to what new insights black women’s food-related experiences could provide to contemporary debates in food politics. I spent a year having food-based dialogues with 12 self-identifying black women in Sheffield (UK). These dialogues included shopping for food together mostly in City Council markets, street and farmer’s markets, and independent grocery stores; sessions of cooking together lasting between 3 to 7 hours at a go; sharing meals; and hanging out at allotments for participants who grew their own food. In the end I found that there was a lot to be gained in how we think about ‘local’ food as a pathway to social justice; the devaluation of food knowledges; and kitchens as alternative spaces for knowledge production. Studying food is by definition an interdisciplinary project. Whilst I have drawn upon and contributed to feminist geographies of food, I have also brought in work from Black-Feminisms, Philosophy, Sociology, Politics and Literature.

Future plans

I am at the point of my PhD where I am not thinking too far beyond just finishing it! I have on the whole quite enjoyed doing it and I am looking forward to seeing what my thesis looks like at the end. Beyond that point, I would like to have an academic career, still around Black-Feminist food politics. I would be particularly keen to focus in on one of my PhD chapters and construct a research project around it. I have been heavily involved in the Critical Race and Ethnicities Network (CREN) in the last 3 years. We have held symposiums, workshops and two conferences. Currently we are doing a 3-part Black-Feminisms seminar series (May, June, and July 2017) to mark the end of CREN. But I would be interested in carrying out anti-racist feminist activisms in different iterations throughout my academic career.

Advice for future applicants to the New and Emerging Scholar Award

I think it’s been really helpful for me to think about academic work as being at various stages of being ‘unfinished’. I was having a conversation with Dr Derrais Carter (Assistant Professor, Portland State University) where I said there was something I hadn’t applied for, because I didn’t feel ‘ready’. And their response was “the ellipses of our work is always implied”. That’s something I found really helpful in dealing with perfectionist tendencies. Also, at the beginning of 2017 I read an article (via Twitter) of a writer who made it their goal to receive 100 rejections. To be honest it did sound extremely bizarre (who wants to get rejected 100 times!), but after reading it, it made a lot of sense. Their logic was that to get 100 rejections, means they have submitted their work at least 100 times rather than being too afraid to try. The piece had resonance because it was about not waiting to do that one ‘perfect’ application, but sending out 100 ‘good-enough’ applications and seeing what happens. In the end they say they got to 47 rejections, but with I think 6 big acceptances including a prestigious fellowship, book contract and so on that made it all worth it. So that’s how I made my intention for 2017 to be the year to “submit” my work even when I don’t think it’s ‘perfect’. So far, I have submitted 10 things, 3 of which were rejections (and 1 of which had really good constructive feedback that I was quite pleased with) but 7 acceptances including 3 awards that I wouldn’t have gone for otherwise. So, I guess it works! Just go ahead and submit.

On that note, I would like to thank Gender Place and Culture for the award and the opportunity to present my research at the upcoming RGS-IBG conference in London (August 2017).

Volume 24, Issue 2 now available

Volume 24, Issue 2 is now available online. This issue includes a viewpoint by Ann Bartos about food politics, two book reviews, and articles covering a range of fascinating topics that are advancing feminist geographies. Enjoy!

Viewpoint 

The body eating its food politics: reflections on relationalities and embodied ways of knowing

Ann E. Bartos

Articles

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.

Rapid Response call: Emergent Spaces in the Women’s March: Intersectionality and Inclusion

Feminist Geographers Speak Out!

We are seeking papers that talk about the generative spaces brought forward by the Women’s March. These spaces are to bring out the positive aspects of solidarity that lie alongside the restrictive aspects of the US state administration. We are interested in the experiences of feminist geographers as they make sense of the growing reactions to the people who are popularly taking up space in the discussions about policy. We see the Women’s March as the embodiment of the voices that need to be heard. We are interested in inclusion – voices, bodies, viewpoints – and intersectionality – identity, relationships, spatialities.

What has the Women’s March unleashed? What resistance is happening? What are the possibilities? We have received inquiries about these emergent spaces on campuses, in parks, on the streets, in classrooms, and as a globalizing phenomenon. We have also been part of email exchanges, Skype calls, and meetings over coffee about how to support colleagues that are targeted in exclusionary state practices. Discussions about the Boston meeting at the AAG have forced us to think about the politics of boycotts, what supportive spaces mean, and what a feminist politics looks like. Include a project in your course for students to write what they are going and how they are inspired. These spaces are where things are happening, and we invite you to write about them.

These are the discussions we want to see in print. We want to pull together our thinking and not loses these thoughts as we continue our daily lives in parallel struggles. Any lengths – short blogs, and pieces that are singularly focused (1500-3000 words) and those of you who have been writing up analyses for some time, we want to hear from you, too (5000-9000 words). Some pieces we’ll send for review – and others we’ll post on our website https://genderplaceandculture.wordpress.com. Images, poems, videos – we welcome all forms of expression!

Speak out! Speak up! Let us hear from you.

Deadline: March 15 – with publication planned for April/May 2017

Please direct queries and submissions to Pamela Moss pamelam@uvic.ca  or Avril Maddrell avril.maddrell@reading.ac.uk

Women’s March Reference

Women’s March, 2017. Guiding Vision and Definition or Principles. [flyer] Available at:https://genderplaceandculture.files.wordpress.com/2017/02/1391c-wmwguidingvision26definitionofprinciples.pdf [Last accessed 28 January 2017]

 

Call for Rapid Responses: Emergent Spaces in the Women’s March: Intersectionality and Inclusion

The Women’s March brought together hundreds of thousands of supporters in Washington, DC, not only to protest the recent election in the US, but also to “affirm our shared humanity and pronounce our bold message of resistance and self-determination” (Women’s March on Washington, 2017). Conceived initially in November 2016 as a protest against the President-elect, the March took hold and spread across the globe. The day after the inauguration of the new US president, an estimated 4.8 million supporters marched and protested across the world. Participation was well beyond the boundaries of people who consider themselves activists. Sustaining the momentum of the movement is key in keeping these spaces open for resistance.

We seek to map out the emergent spaces, issues and strategies that the Women’s March has opened up for both those in the US under the current administration and those around the world facing similar ultra-conservative, ethnocentric, and nationalist upswellings.

Editors of Gender, Place and Culture welcome submissions that address the Women’s March. We encourage celebratory pieces of works as well as critiques. We thus invite submissions that take the form of creative writing, poetry, image essays, research agendas, strategy documents, policy analysis, viewpoints, polemics, and regular research papers. We call for shorter pieces (1500 to 3000 words) and longer analyses (5000 to 9000 words). We also request blogs, vlogs, and picture essays that once vetted will posted on https://genderplaceandculture.wordpress.com, as they become available.

Deadline – 15 March. Send queries and submissions to:

Pamela Moss pamelam@uvic.ca or Avril Maddrell avril.maddrell@reading.ac.uk

Submissions will be reviewed by the Editors, and where appropriate sent for peer review, with a planned publication of April-May 2017.

Works Cited

Women’s March, 2017. Guiding Vision and Definition or Principles. [flyer] Available at: https://genderplaceandculture.files.wordpress.com/2017/02/1391c-wmwguidingvision26definitionofprinciples.pdf [Last accessed 28 January 2017]

Gender, Place and Culture Welcomes New Book Review Editor, Dr. Marcia England

Dearest readers, today we are excited to introduce you to our new Book Review Editor, Dr. Marcia England, who has kindly shared the guest blog post below.
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I’m excited to be a part of the Gender, Place and Culture (GPC) team as the new Book Review Editor. My first article was published in GPC, so it holds a special place in my academic history.

 I am looking forward to understanding more about the field of gendered and feminist geographies. I teach a geography and gender based course at Miami University, so it will be exciting to see new texts as they come in and read scholarly critiques of them.  I think it could be really invigorating to my own work as well as teaching. I would like to contribute to GPC through the promotion of new perspectives that energize geography and involve the contemplation of different outlooks. This is something that really calls to me.

My research centers on gendered and feminist geographies and always has.  I publish primarily on topics that intersect with gender and media, but other interests include body geographies and feminist urban politics. My 2006 GPC article published on representations of body and the home in horror films entitled “Breached bodies and home invasions: Horrific representations of the feminized body and home” was cited in a GPC Reflections piece in 2008 and included in the 2014 GPC reader.  I recently submitted a book manuscript on how gendered geographies manifest in media entitled Public privates:  Geographies of mediated spaces. I am currently working on a new project on reproductive geographies and how assisted reproductive technologies affect the body and socio-spatial understandings of conception and pregnancy. This is a brand new field for me and I’m having fun delving into new literature.

The editorial team has been very welcoming and the transition hopefully will be smooth.

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.

Submission Guidelines Update

Main articles word limit returns to 9000 words (all inclusive).

The Editors and publishers have been working to balance the length of published articles with the timeliness of publication and Gender, Place and Culture is now in a position to increase the word limit to 9000 words.

Main articles should be consistent with the aims of Gender, Place and Culture as expressed on the aims and scopes page, and be approximately 3000-9000 words in length inclusive of all text (i.e. abstract/tables/references/figure captions/footnotes/endnotes). 9000 is a word limit rather than a requirement; we also welcome shorter papers. Viewpoint articles (maximum 3000 words) or editorials (maximum 2000 words) should not contain original research, but be critically engaging. Themed section articles have a word limit of 7000 words.

For a full set of guidelines, please read the Instructions for Authors page.