In 2017, Achille Mbembe wrote: ‘[t]oday, the decolonizing project is back on the agenda worldwide’ (36). He was writing in reference to the Rhodes Must Fall protests at the University of West Cape Town, South Africa, where in 2015 protests against a statue of Cecil Rhodes received global attention and saw ‘decolonizing’ institutions of higher education propelled back into mainstream discourse. Calls for decolonizing classrooms and curricula have abounded across the world since, with especially open letters directed at university boards gaining public momentum. Arguably, the call for decolonizing institutions has become even more urgent and overt in 2020, after the Black Lives Matter movement catapulted global anti-racism to the forefront of public consciousness following the murder of George Floyd. Indeed, local calls for decolonizing Utrecht University can be read as a direct result of ‘institutionalized racism’ as a concept being taken up by Dutch politics.
Decoloniality, and decolonizing institutions, has consistently been a topic of debate within the academy, which has more recently taken issue with the multiplicity of defining decoloniality as a concept and a praxis – as well as the ethical considerations underlying such endeavors. The ‘metaphorization of decolonization’ has, for instance, been critiqued as a means to ‘recenter whiteness’ and ‘resettle theory’, regardless of how anti-racist, or social-justice-oriented critical engagements might be. Mbembe, amongst others, highlights the need for decoloniality as praxis from within: a critical reflection amongst disciplines themselves is crucial to enable the decolonizing of both knowledge and the university as an institution. This entails that decoloniality exists in the realm of multiplicities and pluralities, encompassing both form and format. In that vein, this celebratory issue of Junctions is also turning inwards; we want to reflect on the university and the practices of the journal, as well as the call to ‘decolonizing’ itself, open up the dialogue between the stakeholders concerned, and contextualize the university within a larger framework of decolonizing institutions.
We therefore invite graduate and postgraduate students of the Humanities to contribute to the 10th anniversary issue of Junctions, titled: ‘Decolonizing the University’. We welcome submissions from all fields of the Humanities, and encourage authors to engage with (interdisciplinary) issues.
Check out the full call for papers here! (Deadline 2 February 2021)
Posted on 24 Nov 2020
For the upcoming issue of Junctions, we are looking for graduate and recent postgraduate students to submit book reviews, especially related to this issue’s theme ‘Bodies in Disarray.’ As Utrecht University’s Graduate Journal of the Humanities, Junctions provides students the opportunity to gain valuable publishing, editing, and reviewing experience. Some excellent student research unfortunately never reaches outside of a particular class. We aim to help you get this out into the world. Academic book reviews, especially, provide an excellent way for (post)graduate students to display their active engagement with current scholarship in their field, and to enrich their CV with a journal publication.
Our journal aims to connect the different disciplines of the Humanities by collecting disciplinary and interdisciplinary texts that are accessible to readers from across the Humanities. We thus offer a space for worldwide graduate scholarship from all fields in the Humanities, and welcome reviews of recent academic publications on any topic in the Humanities. We especially welcome submissions related to the theme of the upcoming issue, ‘Bodies in Disarray.’ This subject encompasses such issues as: precarious bodies, vulnerability, and grief; individuality, privacy, and the collective; acceleration and deceleration in times of crisis; and histories and discourses of public health and political economy. There are many more potential topics of interest, and we encourage you to look at the way your discipline relates to the theme.
Submissions should be 750-1500 words in length, and the reviewed book should be published within the last 24 months. Please send a digital copy (as a Word document) of the complete manuscript in Chicago author-date referencing style, following the prescribed author guidelines which are provided at https://junctionsjournal.org/about/submissions/, to email@example.com by November 1st, 2020.
Check out the full Call for Book Reviews here!
Posted on 28 Sep 2020
As we write this call for papers, both human and inhuman forces threaten the bodies of millions with severe illness and death. Massive #BlackLivesMatter demonstrations calling for racial justice and an end to police brutality are sweeping across the world while a pandemic spreads among the populations of all continents—hitting hardest at the most marginalized and vulnerable communities, both in terms of infection rates and economic consequences. News cycles in the Global North during the first half of 2020 featured uncontrollable wildfires in Australia, the locust plague in East Africa, the accelerated destruction of the Amazon and the consequent threat to its indigenous peoples, escalating violence against Kurds, Palestinians, Yemenis, Uyghurs, and others, the official exit of the United Kingdom from the European Union, and of course the heavily mediatized racist murder of George Floyd that sparked the current global anti-racist protest movements. Surely, even a casual observer cannot escape the anxious feeling that something is coming to a head; yet, what this “something” might be is not always immediately obvious, nor is it accurate to speak of a singular “thing”. Systems, cycles, feedback loops, discourses, identities, species, temporalities, and bodies intersect in innumerable ways. They are mutually constitutive and interdependent, but they can also disrupt each other’s configurations—they can be thrown into disarray. For instance, we see this paradoxical dynamic with the COVID–19 crisis: it came about under the current conditions of global capitalism, but has also called the future of that same system into question.
We invite graduate and postgraduate students of the Humanities to contribute to the next issue of Junctions, titled ‘Bodies in Disarray’. From all fields, we welcome submissions that engage with this subject and the issues that stem from it.
Check out the full call for papers here! (Deadline 11th of September 2020)
Posted on 14 Jul 2020
One of the most pervasive topics across the Humanities is storytelling. Whether we are seeking to understand the development of shared identities, cultural beliefs and practices throughout history, or grappling with pressing contemporary concerns like anthropogenic climate change and accelerating globalisation, the centrality of narrative(s) to much of our work on these issues—and to the issues themselves—is undeniable. As Donna J. Haraway points out in Staying with the Trouble (2016), stories matter, and thus it also matters how we tell them. The ever-increasing attention given to voices and perspectives that challenge established canons and hegemonic discourses, both within and outside of academia, is gradually destabilising the common notion of one “central”, linear narrative and creating space for narratives which thrive in complexity, multiplicity, and non-linearity. At the same time, contemporary artistic practices and emerging media platforms are producing new kinds of texts, thereby giving rise to new forms of storytelling. Ultimately, what is placed in the margins need no longer be marginal. However, this last statement also prompts several critical questions. Who gets to tell the story of the margins? Who decides what is marginal? How are such marginalisations established and perpetuated? How does the margin assert itself in relation to the centre? Can we rethink the margins as not simply surrounding, but as irreducibly part of the text? Why should we be so preoccupied with the margins to begin with?
With these matters in mind, we invite graduate and postgraduate students of the Humanities to contribute to the next issue of Junctions, titled ‘Storytelling in the Margins’. From all fields, we welcome submissions that engage with this topic and the issues that stem from it.
Check out the full call for papers here! (deadline for submissions 15th of November)
Posted on 06 Sep 2019
This issue of Junctions is a collaboration with Utrecht University’s Humanities Graduate Conference, entitled “What’s the Point? Impact and the Future of the Humanities. ” We welcome papers and book reviews, inviting authors to engage with the question of ‘value.’ This includes, but is not limited to, exploring different ways in which the humanities can contribute to science and society, and engaging with meta questions on the necessity of value and valorisation, asking if evaluating knowledge production is possible and if so, what standards should be used to assess it. We also welcome submissions engaging with current societal crises in which authors reflect thoughtfully and explicitly on the impact of their own research. All junior scholars can submit, not only conference participants.Check out the full call for papers here (deadline 5th May) and for Book Reviews here (deadline 1st June)!
Posted on 22 Mar 2019
We will present the new website on January 23rd in Utrecht, followed by celebratory drinks with our current and past editors, authors, advisors and reviewers. If you'd like to join, please email us at junctionsjournal[at]gmail.com.
One of our ambitions has been to establish the journal according to professional standards in the field of the humanities. With our transfer to Ubiquity Press, we are a major step closer to achieving that goal. On this format, we will be able to offer sustainable archiving via DOI's; protected author and reviewer submission portals; and streamlined publication according to the current norms. With this, we are one of the first humanities graduate journals in the Netherlands to offer these services.
Posted on 22 Jan 2019
“We have deprived nature of its independence, and that is fatal to its meaning,” wrote Bill McKibben in 1989. The End of Nature, one of the first books to discuss global warming for a popular audience, argued that human activity had irrevocably destroyed the autonomy of the nonhuman world, and with it everything that nature was thought to signify: “Nature’s independence is its meaning; without it, there is nothing but us.” But in the three decades since, the meaning of “nature” and its relation to “us” has been a topic of contestation and increasing urgency. In the shadow of accelerating climate change, mass extinction and resource scarcity, disciplines across the humanities have investigated the myriad ways individuals and societies interact with their environments. Humans have been understood as inhabitants, interpreters, inventors, custodians, masters or destroyers of the natural world, and each of these roles produces different representations, practices and consequences. Has nature ever been independent from the meanings we ascribe to it? Is nature an invention of culture? Is culture a product of nature? Or does it no longer make sense to separate the two?
For this issue of Junctions, we invite papers and book reviews that tackle the meanings, histories, politics, representations, and agencies that have shaped the courses of nature. We encourage you to take an expansive view of what this theme encompasses: nature is involved with everything from the human body to planetary systems, from wild landscapes to urban ecologies, from companion animals to deep-sea creatures, from gender politics to climate crisis, from new technologies to traditional practices, from art to science and back again. It is a concept that has preoccupied philosophers and artists of every period, entangled with questions of epistemology and ontology, of representation and reality. But many humanities scholars have also critiqued nature as an idea that has been used to justify inequalities and mask power relations, arguing that what we call “natural” is often or always a projection of society. Approaches to this theme might take a critical or an affirmative view of the natural; they might analyze the construction of human and nonhuman natures, investigate the theoretical implications of different definitions of nature, or engage with a particular aspect of the natural world in its own right. We hope that they will explore, expand and enrich the possibilities of what nature can mean and the courses it might take.
We urge students to engage imaginatively with this theme in accordance with their field of interest and expertise. Possible topics might include, but are not limited to:
In light of increasing scholarly attention to this topic, we especially encourage book reviews of recent publications.
Junctions aims to connect the different disciplines of the Humanities by collecting disciplinary and interdisciplinary texts that are accessible to readers from across the Humanities. This gives you the opportunity to gain valuable publishing, editing and reviewing experience. Everyone who submits an article to Junctions will receive feedback from our reviewers, and if your work is selected for publication, the editors will guide you through the different stages of editing to produce a professional article and begin your academic CV.
Please send a digital copy of the complete manuscript in Chicago author-date referencing style, following the guidelines provided at http://junctionsjournal.org/submit/guidelines-for-authors/, to firstname.lastname@example.org by November 16. After double-blind reviewing, accepted articles will undergo a revision process which will conclude with the publication of the journal issue. Should you have any questions regarding the Call for Papers, or want some advice, we will hold a Q&A session – date to be announced. Please let us know if you wish to participate.
Submission length is 3500-5000 words for original articles, and 750-1500 words for book reviews. Submissions should engage with the scholarly literature of the appropriate discipline and clearly identify its contribution to the field. Please omit references to the author in manuscripts to ensure anonymous reviews. The journal does not accept manuscripts previously published by or simultaneously submitted to other publications. Please contact email@example.com with any questions.
Please download the full CfP here.
Photo Credits: Jonathan Cohen
Posted on 07 Jan 2019