By Michaela Benson
In the brief lull before the new academic year starts, I thought it would be a good idea to share a few words with you. I am writing this as I return from the European Sociological Association Conference in Manchester, where I spent a lot of time talking with colleagues from all over Europe about their work. But what was really touching was how generous people were about the journal and all of our initiatives for supporting ECRs and making sociology matter. It really affirmed to me that my ambitions to bring together a community of social scientists from across the academic life course in the collective project of the sociological imagination is shared and valued by others. The Sociological Review collaborated with Discover Society at the conference for a discussion about how to make sociology matter beyond the academic journal.
There’s been quite a lot of change afoot at The Sociological Review over the past few months. We have said goodbye to two key members of The Sociological Review team: our longstanding Digital Fellow Mark Carrigan and our editorial manager Chantelle Lewis. Mark had been with us for many years and played a crucial role in building up the global Sociological Review community through his work developing our social media strategy and content to the point where our digital platform is recognised as one of the most leading sociological voices in the world. Chantelle came on board with The Sociological Review in January 2018 when we launched our new submission system, supporting the editorial team on a day-to-day basis with managing papers, authors and reviewers. Without Mark and Chantelle’s enthusiasm, knowledge and experience, we would not be where we are today. I want to personally thank them for all of their work for us, which so often went above and beyond.
This also means I get the privilege of welcoming new people to the team. Kaoru Takahashi joins us as editorial manager and Dan Silver has been working as our interim Digital Fellow (until October 2019). There have also been some changes to the editorial team to cover Emma Jackson’s maternity leave—Wes Lin has stepped up from the editorial board to work with the editors and Paul Jones joins us as Digital Editor.
This was the second year that we had put out an open call for applications to join the editorial board and we were overwhelmed by the level of interest in these roles. With nearly 70 applications, the editorial team found themselves making some tough decisions, in the end appointing 14 new board members: Karis Campion, Laura Connelly, Karen Cuthbert, Pru Hobson-West, Marjo Kolehmainen, Charlotte Jones, Erica Lagalisse, Daryl Martin, Ghassan Moussawi, Kirsteen Paton, Silke Roth, Sara Salem, Steven Threadgold, and Karen Throsby.
We are also excited to welcome our new Sociological Review Fellow Dr Alexandria D’Onofrio, a visual anthropologist working on migration, exploring the prospects of using creative methods for understanding futures and imaginary worlds.
The coming year will likely hold many challenges—in the UK, Brexit and the REF creep ever closer. But in among this, there are some highlights to look forward to. Later this week, the conference Thinking on the Move will explore the prospects for walking sociologically. And I am particularly excited about our forthcoming Annual Lecture, Decolonising Methodologies 20 years on, which will be delivered by Professor Linda Tuhiwai Smith, with a response from Dr. Yasmin Gunaratnam, on 16th October 2019. You can keep up to date with our upcoming events by signing up to our newsletter.
And we are already planning for 2020 now … so watch this space!