Tuesday, 18 February 2014

A Welcome Interview with our new Editors

SAGE are very excited to welcome a new editorial team to the APA award winning journal Feminism & Psychology. Now edited by Catriona Macleod, Rose Capdevila and Jeanne Maracek, the journal reaches its 24th volume in 2014.

With their first issue recently published and the editorial freely available to download here, the journal’s Publishing Editor, Caroline Moors was delighted to be able to interview the Editors and find out more about what lies in store for the future of F&P

Welcome to Feminism & Psychology! What made you want to edit the journal?

This was not a hard decision for any of us. As feminist psychologists, we have been reading and contributing to Feminism & Psychology for many years. Our sentiments towards the journal are nicely captured, we think, in the accolade that accompanied the award for “Distinguished Leadership on Behalf of Women in Psychology,” which the journal received in August 2013 from the Committee on Women in Psychology of the American Psychological Association. The letter of award praised Feminism & Psychology as “a forum for critical, radical, and provocative feminist scholarship that serves as an impetus for social change, and for theoretical and methodological innovations in feminist psychology”. We look forward to contributing, along with the associate editors, editorial board, reviewers and authors, to the continued pursuit of excellence for F&P.

Apart from the commitment we share to sustaining F&P’s excellence, each of us had her own reasons for embracing the chance to be an editor. Living in a context in which multiple fractious power relations play out in stark and frequently violent, as well as subtle, ways, Catriona found in F&P a forum in which knowledge production could potentially expose and undermine manifold oppressions. When Rose first began reading F&P she was intrigued by the journal’s willingness to question boundaries, be they conceptual, disciplinary or political, and then found that F&P was the journal she was most often referencing and turning to for critical engagements with challenging ideas. For Jeanne, based in the US, F&P has been especially important as an intellectual space for feminist developments in qualitative inquiry and for critical debate on taken-for-granted (and sometimes cherished) constructs and paradigms in psychology.

What will be your main goals as new editors?

Prior to taking on the editorship, we had served as associate editor, book reviews editor, and guest editors of special issues and thus had worked closely with Sue Wilkinson, Nicola Gavey, and Virginia Braun, the previous editors. We observed firsthand their intellectual generosity in providing detailed and constructive feedback to authors and their relentless dedication to the quality and integrity of the journal. The model of working that they provided is one that we fully endorse and that we intend to continue.

We embrace our predecessors’ vision for the journal and its distinctive place in feminist publishing. We have, however, expanded the journal’s Aims and Scope to underscore the global focus of F&P. As an editorial team located in three regions of the world (South Africa, the United Kingdom and the United States) and engaged in feminist work in the global South as well as the global North, we are committed not only to expanding the journal’s international scope, but also to bringing forward transnational and decolonial perspectives. Furthermore, we have reworded the aims to refer to feminisms (in the plural) to call attention to the range of feminist approaches and politics worldwide, as well as to the ways in which feminisms have grown and shifted. We have pluralised psychology (now “psychologies”) as well, in order to draw attention to the fact that all psychologies share the implicit presuppositions and moral outlooks of the socio-historical and cultural contexts within which they are embedded.

What sorts of topics would you like to see represented in the journal?

An analysis of the articles appearing in F&P over the last 13 years showed that the articles published in this journal have contributed significantly to theoretical and methodological knowledge production in feminisms and psychologies. You can see the results of this analysis in our editorial in the first issue of 2014 (Feminism & Psychology, 24 (1), 3 -17). Key problematics such as sexualities, identity and subjectivity, embodiment and the body, marriage, intimate violence, mental health, health, issues regarding sexual minorities, and parenting have received substantial attention.

In addition to these topics, we want to turn the spotlight toward important topics that have not been well represented in the journal thus far. Some examples are gendered experiences in situations of armed conflict, including forced migration and internal displacement; further attention to gendered experiences of racism and classism; and the variety of issues concerned with reproductive rights. We would also welcome feminist work in areas of psychology where there has been little recent attention, for example, workplace and organisational psychology and the experiences of women with chronic and severe psychiatric disturbances.

Who would you like to see writing for F&P? What formats would you like to publish?

We welcome manuscripts on all topics relevant to the aims of the journal and from all parts of the world. We especially hope to encourage manuscripts from scholars outside the UK, the U.S., Australia, and New Zealand, as well as manuscripts that address gendered experiences in parts of the world that have thus far received little attention from feminist psychologists.

As has been F&P’s practice, we will continue to publish papers in a wide range of formats, including theoretical articles, empirical articles, methodological articles, brief research reports, observations and commentaries, book reviews, and book review essays. We especially encourage students who have recently completed theses or dissertations to submit brief reports of their work. We will continue to seek guest editors to compile special issues, and special features (including reappraisals of classic texts). We welcome empirical research that uses qualitative, quantitative or mixed methods; work that engages critically with theories, methods, and concepts; and critical analyses of disciplinary and professional practices. We are also interested in articles exploring how larger sociopolitical structures and economic forces impinge on feminist teaching, research, practice, and activism.

For all submissions, originality will be an important criterion. Space in the journal is scarce; pieces must say something that has not been said before, offer an innovative perspective on material already in the public domain, or stimulate debate.

What can readers expect from future issues?

We, of course, will continue to publish high quality, challenging pieces that contribute to the key debates in feminisms and psychologies. More particularly, there are a number of special issues and features in the offing that we are excited about. A special issue entitled ‘Advancing Feminist Psychological Scholarship on Trans’, edited by Evan Smith and Megan Yost, will appear in May of 2014. The articles in the issue cover three broad topics: ‘Cultural Constructions of Trans Identities: Legitimacy via the Body’, ‘Parenting and Friendship: Trans Lives in Context’, and ‘Reflections on Research and Clinical Practice’. It will be well worth reading, with plenty of thought-provoking pieces.

The issues in the latter part of 2014 will carry a special feature on Erica Burman’s Deconstructing Developmental Psychology (DDP), which was first published in 1994. Edited by Agnes Andenæs (University of Oslo, Norway), Jane Callaghan (University of Northampton, UK), and Catriona Macleod (Rhodes University, South Africa), the special feature will include contributions that speak to how the challenges, in particular the feminist challenges, posed in DDP have been taken up (or not) in the discipline of psychology; how DDP has impacted on research and on practice (in particular, educational practice); how DDP has paved the way for researchers and practitioners to examine the practices of developmental psychology in their contexts; and how the insights generated in DDP may be extended or challenged.

In 2015, we have planned for a special feature on young feminists, with guest editors Rachel Liebert in the US and Lucy Thompson in the UK. Both are young feminist scholars and activists. We anticipate that this special feature will bring together an eclectic mix of pieces from young people in many parts of the world who are ‘doing’ feminisms. Rachel’s and Lucy’s goal in editing the issue is to disrupt the circulation of simplistic and unidimensional representations about the who, what, where, when, why, and how of young women’s (re)engagement with feminism.

We invite readers to propose topics for special issues, to consider forming an editorial group to undertake a special issue or a special feature, or to suggest “classic” books or articles that merit a current re-appraisal. (Such “classics” do not need to be written by psychologists, nor do they need to pertain narrowly to women or feminism.) The editorial office can be reached by email at fapeditorial@sagepub.co.uk.

What electronic resources are available to F&P readers and contributors?

We are intending to make use of blogs to communicate with readers and others interested in F&P. We will be encouraging our authors to write blogs related to their work as well. We will also use SAGE’s electronic facilities to compile Virtual Special Editions, which draw together sets of related materials from past issues. We anticipate that the Virtual Special Editions will be used for teaching and training.

Authors who have contributed to the journal recently have observed that we now make use of the SAGETrack online system for submissions at http://mc.manuscriptcentral.com/fap. We anticipate that this system will help to streamline the journal’s operations.

What did you enjoy most about putting together your first issue?

The process of seeing manuscripts through the various phases of development and working closely with authors and reviewers was both intellectually stimulating and very satisfying. It is really a privilege to read people’s work, to engage closely with their thinking, to glimpse the diverse intelligences that reviewers bring to their deliberations on a manuscript, and to engage in the process of refinement with authors.

For further information, please contact the F&P editors at

Be sure to register for the journal’s free trial and access the articles online at SAGE Journals.


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