This is the first issue of our journal to appear under its new name, the Journal of Global South Studies (JGSS). In turn, the new journal name conforms to the association name change – to the Association of Global South Studies (AGSS) – enacted following a vote of the members in the first few months of the year, 2016. The idea of a name change was initiated by the Executive Council at the annual conference meeting in Quito, Ecuador in November of 2015 in response to a growing chorus of voices expressing concern that our name needed to be updated. While the label made sense in the 1970s and 1980s, it increasingly acquired negative inferences and became a decidedly pejorative epithet in the minds of many people.
Naturally, the change of name was not universally popular; the Association name has included the term “Third World” since 1983. Some members did not want that to change. However, based on the discussion and open vote that ensued, a majority of members appeared to believe that the term had become anachronistic and that it carries too many negative connotations that are dissonant with our values as an association. Accordingly, their vote ratified the initiative of the leadership.
While we cannot be sure how Dr. Isaacs would have felt about our new name, those who knew him understand that he was always open-minded and willing to grow. Moreover, I can say with absolute certainty that no one who voted for the name change intended any disrespect to our universally beloved founder. Those who favored this change had only the best intentions and they truly believe that our name change will better reflect our spirit and our purposes as an association. The core values established by Dr. Isaacs for ATWS remain firmly at the heart of both AGSS and JGSS. Dr. Isaacs always sought to promote a spirit of understanding, tolerance, and mutual respect. His attachment was to this mission and not to a particular label. So I am confident that association members will work together to advance his worthy vision, as he wished.
In any case, the change of names has been implemented, and it is left to us to work as hard as we can to keep our Association relevant [End Page 7] and thriving, which was Dr. Isaacs’ primary interest. This is the best way we can remain true to his vision now. To this end, I encourage readers to make an effort to recruit new members and to attend our upcoming annual meeting, the 34th, to be held at Indiana University Southeast in New Albany, Indiana on November 20–22, 2016. It is being organized by Dr. Doyin Coker-Kolo, Dean of the School of Business and our association’s Vice-President/President-Elect. It promises to be a very rewarding event. Details and registration are on our website. [End Page 8]