A Radical Geography Community
Welcome to AntipodeFoundation.org, Antipode’s new companion website/blog. Rather than a repository for so many addenda, or somewhere to send material which can’t “cut it” in the pages of the journal, we want this to be something with a point, something of significance, working to create and support a radical geography community. Rather than a cynical exercise in advertising, or some modish initiative launched unthinkingly, we want this to be something with as much purpose and direction, substance and quality, and vitality and energy as its parent journal. With all this firmly in mind, we’ll be extending some already existing projects as well as launching some new ones.
Firstly, we’ll be making some changes to the Interventions section of the journal. The section is reserved for short (about 1,500-word), often polemical essays which, among other things: reflect on the state of radical practice and/or theory; introduce debate and disagreement around politically contentious issues of the Left; cast a radical geographer’s eye over “live” events; and report on strategies for change and forms of organisation producing a more socially just and radically democratic life. The section has been around for over ten years now, and while it’s been a great success in many ways, it remains somewhat hobbled. The strength of Interventions consists in part in their attitude and directness; they’re timely and pressing, and they’re often springboards for ongoing debates. They, and the responses they incite, deserve speedy publication, and this is where difficulties arise: the journal’s high submission rates and its limited page budget mean we can’t publish as many Interventions as we’d like to, and the cutting edge of those we can publish is blunted rather by long waits in publishers’ copyediting queues. While you’ll continue to see Interventions of a more reflective sort in the pages of Antipode, many more will be appearing online as we expand our forum for some of the best and most provocative of radical geographical writing available today.
Secondly, changes will be made also to the Book Reviews section. From January 2012 we’ll be making all of Antipode’s Book Reviews – including a catalogue going back over 40 years – freely available online on Wiley Online Library. And over the course of the year (Antipode’s 44th volume) we’ll be publishing Book Reviews both in the journal/on Wiley Online Library and on AntipodeFoundation.org. Furthermore, from January 2013 we’ll be publishing them exclusively on AntipodeFoundation.org. Like Interventions, we wish to publish more Book Reviews, and to publish them faster. More than ever we welcome important and interesting books for review, book reviews, offers of book reviews (or reviews of music, film, theatre, exhibitions, etc.), and suggestions for review essays and symposia.
AntipodeFoundation.org will be a supplement, then, redressing some of the journal’s deficiencies. But it will also complement the journal, doing those things it cannot. One thing we’ll be doing is regularly posting news items. The Antipode Staff Reporters will be offering both reports on events, happenings, struggles, movements, campaigns, etc, etc. of interest to radical geographers which the mainstream media overlook, and write-ups of reports on contemporary matters of concern which demonstrate the value of a geographical imagination by suggesting how the work of radical geographers (and their fellow travellers) may cast light on them. Taking that work, the Reporters – working alone/together/with colleagues from outside academe – will offer preliminary analyses of current affairs, sketching out some of the questions it allows one to ask, some of the problems it abstracts into focus, and some of the unexamined presuppositions it challenges. These provisional thoughts, we hope, will instigate discussion and so be drawn out and spun on in a collective process exploring the ways in which radical geography can help us understand and explain the world around us, bringing the undiscussed into discussion, straying beyond established perimeters of opinion, and rendering the familiar strange.
Another new initiative will involve some of the journal’s authors contributing video abstracts and interviews which not only introduce readers to their forthcoming work but also make links between it and the concerns of our times. We’ll ask them to reflect on their work’s implications for praxis, i.e. how it may help change or shape the world in progressive ways. A line from Antipode’s often-quoted first editorial bears repeating: ‘That the geographer can contribute to this process in a significant way is evident to us; just what [s]he can contribute is still at issue…’. We hope our authors’ meditations will prove thought-provoking contributions to an ongoing dialogue on the meaning and value of academic labour.
Finally, we also welcome: ideas for virtual issues of Antipode which explore the digital archive and highlight groups of papers speaking to issues both timely and “timeless”; critical responses to Antipode papers (and authors’ replies); calls for papers, conference announcements and news of upcoming lectures; details of recently completed PhD theses in radical geography; any resources you’d like to share such as syllabi, teaching and learning guides, etc.; and all suggestions for other kinds of content. And while it should go without saying, let us be explicit and state that we encourage contributions of all sorts which are collaborative in nature, and which are both consequence and cause of the exchange of ideas across sectors. We encourage participation and engagement, cooperation and co-enquiry, both within and beyond the academy. We also encourage contributions which are adventurous, which explore the boundaries of established academic practice, and which trespass and disrupt disciplinary borders.
To quote David Stea’s wonderful editorial one more time: ‘Contribute what thoughts you can; criticise what you must; but if you share our sentiments, wish the endeavour success’.