Journal of Critical Thought and Praxis (JCTP): Graduate students engaged in and redefining the discourse on social justice

Gabrielle Roesch-McNallyToday, we have a guest blog post from Gabrielle Roesch-McNally, editor of the Journal of Critical Thought and Praxis (JCTP). JCTP is an award-winning journal published through Digital Repository @ Iowa State University

Journal of Critical Thought and Praxis

Our History:

The idea for the Journal of Critical Thought and Praxis emerged out of a desire, on the part of many students, to create a space that would publish and encourage scholarship focused on critical and progressive research, practice and activism. JCTP launched their first issue in October of 2012 only a year or so after the idea was born and brought to life by a group of committed students and supportive faculty, namely Dr. Nana Osei-Kofi, current Director of the Difference, Power and Discrimination Program and Associate Professor of Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies at Oregon State University, who helped advise the students in their mission to create the journal.

Currently we have a powerful group of advisors helping to guide JCTP towards greater recognition and impact. Our Advisory Board includes:

  • Dr. Isaac Gottesman, Assistant Professor at the School of Education from Iowa State University
  • Dr. Abby M. Dubisar, Assistant Professor of English and Affiliate Faculty member in Women’s and Gender Studies
  • Dr. Susana M. Muñoz, Assistant Professor of Higher Education in the Administrative Leadership Department at the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee
  • Dr. Nana Osei-Kofi, Director of the Difference, Power, & Discrimination Program, and Associate Professor of Women, Gender, & Sexuality Studies at Oregon State University
  • Dr. Julie Todd, Affiliate Faculty for Justice and Peace Studies at Iliff School of Theology
  • Eboni M. Zamani-Gallaher, Professor of Educational Leadership and coordinator of the Community College Leadership Program in the Department of Leadership and Counseling at Eastern Michigan University

JCTP has published three issues so far with 25 published pieces that engage in themes of social justice as it relates to the field of education and beyond. Our journal was designed to be interdisciplinary in terms of academic discipline as well as standpoint. We encourage submissions from academics (primarily graduate students and junior faculty), practitioners and activists. We are also quite proud of the award given to the JCTP Founding Board, given by The American College Personal Association (ACPA) Commission for Social Justice Educators “Exemplary Social Justice Contribution by a Graduate Student” award.

What to Expect:

Our latest issue, due out in June 2014, will be focused on Food Systems and Social Justice, making linkages to a new field of research and highlighting social justice work done by graduate students and practitioners as well as faculty members from institutions across the country. The Special Issue will highlight a number of very interesting pieces. While final decisions are still being made we do know that we will be publishing around 8 original pieces. A few titles are included here as a sneak peek to give you a sense of the wonderful manuscripts that we will be publishing this June:

  • The Celebrity of Salatin: Can a Famous Lunatic Farmer Change the Food System
  • Students Creating Curriculum Change: Sustainable Agriculture and Social Justice
  • Valuing Smallholder Food Production-A Call for New Theories
  • From Academia to the Mainstream-Food has many colors (Book Review)

The works included in this Special Issue illustrate how JCTP has been able to move into a space of more interdisciplinarity by highlighting research and work from a diverse set of perspectives, including submissions from an Animal Sciences graduate student, a non-profit leader involved in food justice organizing, and sociology graduate students, all furthering the ways in which social justice is approached in the realm of food systems research and activism. Submissions have come from across the country with research conducted in New York City to Los Angeles. I am proud to be a part of a journal that is spreading its reach to engage a larger audience while including a more diverse set of voices that will truly meet our mission.

On a personal note, I am very excited about this issue as it was my brainchild and emerged out of a desire to expand the conversation in food systems and sustainable agriculture into the realm of social justice. Some of my colleagues who are working in food systems don’t see that sustainability (ecological, economic and social elements) is necessarily tied to issues of social justice, inequality and asymmetrical distribution of power and wealth. Indeed, from my standpoint as an emerging scholar in the field of Rural Sociology and Sustainable Agriculture, I see the issues of social justice embedded in the way we food systems operate and are predicated on a degree of exploitation, be that of labor or the land. This Special Issue is a great jumping off point to enter into this important discussion.

How to Learn More:

The JCTP Editorial Board has decided to move to a rolling submission process for accepting manuscripts all year round with intended publishing dates in fall, winter and spring/summer. We hope to continue receiving such wonderful submissions and will be rolling out a Special Issue on Gender in early 2015. We also have a summer 2014 Special Issue that is going to publish a selection of peer-reviewed manuscripts from the 2013 Association for the Study of Higher Education Council on Ethnic Participation. We encourage you to follow our website where you can also find links to our Twitter feed and Facebook page.

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