We (This is us) would like to say a few words. We want to make this journal a space for change, understanding this word in a twofold way. First, a place to exchange ideas, works, thoughts, doubts, and experiences. Second, but not far from the first, as a place where those exchanges could go further than just digital words. The main impact we want to make involves the core elements of the journal: gender and sexuality, without understanding them as finite constructions. They correspond to the entirety of human experience, and as such cannot be easily or rapidly understood. In this sense, the study of the past and the present are equally important. Certain elements, constructions, disparities, and questions can only be explained in their own time and space. The difficulties of unraveling the complex set of power relations that have been built around gender and sexuality, makes it essential to pursue an interdisciplinary approach and exchange. By looking at how historical developments, cultural specificities and institutions of power on all levels of society interact, we want to enhance our understanding of gender.
These difficulties vastly exceed one person’s capabilities and interests. Therefore, communication and exchange are vital components, even for a single comprehensive analysis. That’s where interdisciplinarity becomes central to our journal. It enables different sets of eyes to observe and scrutinise the focus of the analysis. At the same time, it encourages the exchanges between people from different backgrounds, realities and vivències, which also translates to a better understanding of the other person’s point of view. It enriches us all.
In a time when physical exchanges are difficult and unsafe – for some groups this has been a reality much longer – being capable of crossing local and international boundaries is crucial. That’s why we count among ourselves varied localities and nationalities and promote that everyone, whose interest involves some aspect of gender and sexuality, becomes part and contributes to this exchange.
We strive to achieve an environment of critical thinking, exchange, and interaction on an international and interdisciplinary level (check out our Manifesto), about the social mesh that are constructed with gender, and sexuality.
We want to encourage early stage researchers to venture into the world of making their own ideas travel and find an audience. Knowing how time consuming writing a publication can be, and taking into account the regular hour-load of coursework, PhDs, teaching and – not to forget! – life in general, we thought of looking for a way to make this more viable.
In that sense, the working paper series allows us to pursue our own objectives and to be able to appeal to our desired audience (both contributors and readers). It allows the contributors to send their work with questions still in the works. To solve that issue and, further, promote exchange, we want to enable a discussion section to each of the contributions on our blog. A fellow researcher will comment on the paper to start a critical discussion. This section will allow our readers to address the author and exchange comments, new ideas as well as possible further steps to take on the investigation or even possible future collaborations. This will help to create an international and interdisciplinary community which further advances our knowledge on the power systems at work. Always having in mind, that a better and more united world is still possible.
Jessica, Leandro, Anna, Marine, Kristina, Lucy and Palak