October 15, 2018 - 3:30pm
The world’s leading journal on the history of gender relations is now basing its North American editorial operations out of Vancouver Island University (VIU).
VIU History Professors Dr. Cheryl Krasnick Warsh, Dr. Katharine Rollwagen and Dr. Cathryn Spence made a successful bid to become the North American co-editors of Gender & History, a well-respected international journal that publishes academic articles exploring the history of gender relations.
The journal started about three decades ago by two female historians, one located in New York State, the other in England. When the initial founders passed on the torch, the dual headquarters format was maintained – with editing offices and advisory boards in both the UK and North America. When Krasnick Warsh learned about the open call to take over the North American home of the publication from the University of Minnesota, she jumped at the chance.
“It’s another way to bring VIU into the spotlight internationally and showcase the expertise of our professors. Our History department is small, but three of us specialize in different aspects of gender history, so I thought it was a good opportunity,” she says. “The joyful part of all this is we will know a lot more about a wider range of subjects just by reading the submissions. Since we all teach courses that relate to gender, it’s going to be really fun to incorporate some of this in our classes – we’ll be exposed to all the emerging, cutting-edge research in this discipline.”
VIU will be the home of Gender & History for the next five years, with the option to renew for another five years before it passes to another North American institution. The journal publishes three times per year and authors can submit to either VIU or the University of Glasgow – the UK editors of the journal. VIU will work closely with the UK office to determine the contents of each publication, and each office does a final edit of the work submitted and reviewed by the other office’s advisory board – making it a truly international effort.
“We are looking at bringing a number of Canadian academics onto our advisory board, which is exciting,” says Krasnick Warsh. “One of the main roles of the advisory board is to recruit new authors, and also provide guidance and expertise to the editorial team.”
On top of producing three issues of the journal per year, VIU will be responsible for hosting an international conference on a gender-based theme every second year – the UK and North American offices alternate hosting the annual symposium.
VIU will host its first Gender & History symposium in the spring of 2020, and Krasnick Warsh, Rollwagen and Spence are hoping to highlight an issue that is both connected to the Island, but also includes a strong international dimension.
“It’s going to have a huge impact for students on campus – in terms of us bringing new materials into the classroom, getting access to cutting-edge research being done on the histories of gender, being able to attend a national-calibre symposium, and the work opportunities we are able to provide,” says Rollwagen. “We now have two fourth-year work op students helping us, and they are doing what PhD students usually do. The opportunity for them is to learn how academic publishing works, to get a real insider’s perspective. They are reading and helping to edit all the articles.”
Fourth-year History student Lindsay Church is one of the Editorial Assistants working under the guidance of the three VIU professors.
“I’ve been surprised by how working on the journal has positively affected the confidence that I have in my own academic abilities,” she says. “Getting to work so closely on articles that encompass such a wide variety of subject matters, with authors from all over the world, has strengthened my own writing skills and broadened my understanding of what academia looks like. It’s made me eager to continue my own studies, and I feel extremely fortunate to have received this opportunity in my final year at VIU.”