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The Sociological Forum, the official journal for and operating under the auspices of the Eastern Sociological Society (ESS), has announced the appointment of three new editors who will begin working on the journal as early as summer 2023.
Ann Bell, Asia Friedman, and Tammy Anderson, all faculty members in the Department of Sociology and Criminal Justice, will take the helm of the quarterly journal, committed to the timely publication of high-quality, peer-reviewed research on substantive issues of fundamental importance to the study of society, from the March 2024 (Volume 39/Issue 1) issue onwards. They will shape the content of the journal to meet the needs of its readers and to reflect the evolving state of the discipline. They will be responsible for overall editorial decision-making, including managing the peer review process and selecting the articles that appear in each issue.
During 2021, Sociological Forum processed 418 manuscripts (which included new submissions, revisions, solicited essays, special issue contributions, and book reviews). With a mission broad in scope, encompassing empirical scholarship (both quantitative and qualitative), as well as scholarship that develops theories, concepts, and/or methodological strategies, the journal also publishes book reviews and invited essays. All areas of sociology are represented in Sociological Forum.
The appointment of these three distinguished editors to the leadership team of the Sociological Forum is a positive development for the journal and for the field of sociology more broadly. We are also proud that this journal will be based at the University of Delaware during their editorship. With their extensive expertise and experience, Bell, Friedman and Anderson will undoubtedly bring fresh insights and perspectives to the editorial decision-making process, ensuring that the journal continues to publish the highest quality research in sociology. The upcoming issues of the Sociological Forum promise to be an exciting read for all those interested in the study of society.
In this interview, the new editors share their excitement about their achievement and tell us what to look forward to.
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First of all congratulations on this astounding accomplishment! Share your initial thoughts on receiving the news that you are now the editors of this prestigious scholarly journal.
Ann: Thank you! We are thrilled and excited at the opportunity to lead the journal, Sociological Forum. The news was met with elation, anticipation, and some trepidation around the tremendous honor and responsibility. We can't wait to get started and build upon the journal's already-established foundation.
Asia: I am especially excited that we are bringing a journal to the Department of Sociology and Criminal Justice for the first time in recent memory. I am looking forward to working together as colleagues and co-editors, along with a graduate student managing editor, to make the journal a success and to spotlight the Department of Sociology and Criminal Justice, the College of Arts and Sciences, and UD as a whole.
Tammy: I could not be more excited to lead this journal with my two dear colleagues, who are outstanding sociologists and scholars. I have been an active board member of Sociological Forum for numerous years, watching the journal grow in prestige and breadth while racking up accomplishments. I have been so excited to be part of that trajectory and am simply touched and honored to help steer the journal along its path of excellence.
Tell us about how you got involved in the Eastern Sociological Society. And what compelled you to apply to become the editors of the journal?
Ann: Regional societies, like ESS, are the lifeblood of the discipline. Their smaller sizes, as compared to the national associations, allow for strong networks and collaborations to form among scholars in similar geographic regions. Likewise, they allow for unique opportunities, such as hosting the Sociology of Reproduction Mini-Conference within its larger annual conference, which first brought me to the organization.These unique aspects are what drew me to apply for the editorship of the ESS's journal, Sociological Forum. Like the society, the journal offers a breadth and depth of the field, highlighting its core areas while engaging with novel empirical and theoretical ideas.
Asia: The Eastern Sociological Society annual meeting was actually the very first conference I presented at as a second-year graduate student back in 2003. My advisor had recommended ESS as a friendly and accessible conference for first-time presenters, and he was absolutely right. As editors of Sociological Forum, I hope we can translate that open, welcoming spirit into creating a journal where diverse authors can find a home for their work.
Tammy: As a qualitative researcher, I've always aspired to publish in high-impact journals that would provide a receptive audience for my work. Years ago, a colleague and I carefully selected Sociological Forum to submit a paper on rave culture. The reviews were outstanding, pushing us to develop our work further while commending us at the same time. I was asked to join the editorial board and have been reviewing papers in that very same vein for the past six years. The journal has helped me, and my student colleagues, grow as writers and scholars.
What do you hope to achieve with the journal?
Ann, Asia, Tammy: Our aim is to build on the impact, success, and quality of the journal while also enhancing it with new editorial perspectives and several exciting initiatives designed to broaden and increase engagement. We plan to add review articles to the journal to offer a different format for critical engagement with a particular area of research. We are going to establish a social media fellowship for a graduate student, advised by a professional media consultant, to grow Sociological Forum's public engagement. In addition, we have proposed to institute a New Writer's Prize to expand the mentorship role of the journal. Finally, we will create a pedagogy committee composed of graduate students from different universities to further the journal's development in the area of pedagogy and to increase the visibility of Sociological Forum articles.
Now that the journal is based here, what does that mean for the University of Delaware and our department, in particular?
Ann, Asia, Tammy: Bringing the Sociological Forum to UD offers a wealth of opportunities for our institution. For instance, we anticipate that it will increase the visibility of our department, and by doing so, that of the college. A graduate student in our program will also have the opportunity to serve as the managing editor. Additionally, it will increase opportunities for undergraduate majors in sociology through the speakers and other events we hope to bring to campus. Finally, through our pedagogy committee, the journal will showcase how academic research can be translated into pedagogical applications and help to bridge research and teaching at UD.
When do you plan on launching the next edition of the journal?
Ann, Asia, Tammy: The transition of journal editorial teams is a long process to ensure a smooth and timely flow of production and publication. We will begin that transition in the upcoming summer and fall and fully take over leadership of the journal in the spring of 2024.
Do you plan on getting the university sociology community involved in the journal in any way?
Ann, Asia, Tammy: We absolutely plan to involve the university community, especially graduate students, in the editorship process. In fact, this is something that attracted us to the position, and many of our new initiatives are specifically focused on creating avenues for growth and involvement in the journal of graduate students and sociology colleagues both here at UD and nationally. For instance, we plan on involving faculty and graduate students as reviewers, a social media fellow, the pedagogy committee, and a managing editor. All of these opportunities will provide unparalleled professional development.
Article by Gelina Dames
Published March 17, 2023