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  • Editorial Introduction
  • Becky Ropers-Huilman

It is with a deep sense of honor and responsibility that I write my first editorial for the National Women’s Studies Association Journal. After extensive conversations over the past two years with Brenda Daly and her colleagues at Iowa State University as well as past and current advisory board members, the Louisiana State University/University of Minnesota team is ready to facilitate, nurture, and widely distribute outstanding scholarship in women’s studies.

The National Women’s Studies Association Journal relies on many people to continue its longstanding tradition of scholarly publishing. In this editorial, I want first to acknowledge the solid foundation of scholarship that has been developed by previous editors of the NWSAJ. The NWSAJ, in paralleling the field of women’s studies, has responded to great changes in society and in our collective dialogue about gendered lives. Leading women’s studies scholars have served as previous editors for the Journal, motivated by their quest to address many of those changes. The editors since the inception of the NWSAJ are: Mary Jo Wagner at The Ohio State University (1988–1991), Patrocinio Schweickart at the University of New Hampshire (1992–1997), Margaret McFadden at Appalachian State University (1998–2003), and Brenda Daly at Iowa State University (2004–2007). These editors, along with their advisory boards, have worked hard to ensure that the scholarship published in our journal contributes to the active, interdisciplinary questions associated with women’s studies and other fields.

A key contribution of the NWSAJ in the past has also been in the form of special issues. Each of these issues focuses on a topic determined to be of importance to our field. The editors of special issues dedicate a great deal of time and effort to ensuring that their topics are addressed through rigorous and challenging contributions by authors from multiple disciplines. These issues provide useful resources for scholars interested in interdisciplinary approaches to particular topics, for classroom use in both undergraduate and graduate classes, and for policy makers who are attempting to understand better the complexities of a given problem. Special issues have included such topics as: Gender and Social Policy: Local to Global (Fall 2001), Feminist Disability Studies (Fall 2002), (Re)gendering Science Fields (Spring 2004), and Feminist Perspectives on Peace and War: Before and After 9/11 (Fall 2006). I wish to acknowledge the substantial contributions of the guest editors affiliated with these volumes and also to alert new readers to the depth and breadth of the topics that the NWSAJ incorporates in its study of women’s lives. [End Page vii]

I want to draw particular note to one of these special issues that, in a way, foreshadowed a new section of the NWSAJ on With/in the Academy. In the fall of 2007, a special issue on Women, Tenure and Promotion was guest edited by Ines S. Shaw, Sharon Leder, and Betty Harris. The editors collaboratively produced a volume widely useful to students, faculty members, administrators, and policy makers. The work of these scholars emphasizes what the NWSAJ is able to contribute to scholarly and activist communities.

As you consider how you can contribute to women’s studies scholarship, I want to describe several changes that we have made. First, we have developed a new section titled “With/in the Academy.” This section is meant to highlight scholarship specifically about women’s studies as embedded within or related to academic settings. Women’s Studies, as an interdisciplinary field, draws on multiple perspectives and paradigms in addressing important questions. Yet, there is the likelihood that some topics will be more relevant or interesting to our readership than others. In establishing a section on women’s studies within academic settings, I hope that the majority of readers will be able to find material of interest in every regular issue. Beginning in this issue with articles by Jeni Hart and Jyoti Grewal, we intend to maintain this focus in upcoming years. Additionally, under Book Review Editor Nina Asher’s leadership, and with the support of the editorial team, the book review section will encourage critical review essays in which reviewers are allotted more space than previously allowed. In this...


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