Letter from the Editors

"Cleaning vegetables." Pexel images.

We hope that everyone is keeping well in these uncertain times. We are very excited to announce some important changes to the Graduate Journal of Food Studies. The Editorial collective has decided to refresh the format and publishing schedule of the Journal. Rather than publish entire, collated issues, we will open up to shorter form pieces and different media to communicate food related research and writing. What this means in practice is: 

  • Our submission process will now be on a rolling basis
  • Our main submission format will now emphasize short form pieces (750-1500 words)
  • Our publishing cycles will move away from ‘batch’ publishing and will now publish individual pieces on our website, as they become ready. 
  • We will still welcome graduate students to submit full-length research articles (5000-7000 words) for peer-review. However, they will be published individually as noted above.

Now more than ever, the need is apparent for graduate students to have a space to develop their ideas in a supportive environment, one that is flexible to the situational challenges faced by individual students. We recognize that a rigid publication schedule may have presented barriers in the past for those who would like to publish their work, but were unable to do so due to varying responsibilities and workloads at different times of the year. We hope that the orientation towards shorter-form work and the removal of biannual deadlines will provide the adaptable publishing environment that is needed to enable any graduate student to develop and flourish, whatever their circumstances.

The new style will be inspired by our Food Stuff pieces, already a feature of the Journal. These may take the form of field notes, archival reports, commentaries, interviews, book reviews, event reviews, film reviews, creative writing, photo essays, or short films. These can have a strong visual element and/or a timely hook and are not subject to peer-review, but will still go through a rigorous review process by the Editorial Committee. More practically, we hope that this new format will offer post-graduates an inspiring platform to write creatively, make connections between their research and current events, and explore and share ideas about their research in real time, no longer beholden to a periodical publication schedule. As always, we are open to formats not explicitly listed here. We want to know what you’re thinking about, and we welcome pitches and ideations (at gjfseditor@gmail.com) as well as fully-fleshed submissions (at gjfssubmissions@gmail.com).

As you may know, the Journal has recently rethought its traditionally hierarchical editorial structure. We did away with the position of Editor-in-Chief and reimagined the journal’s distribution of labor to form our current editorial collective. Thus instead of working on a rigid, centralized model, our collective of editors co-produces the Journal across time zones and national borders, sharing roles and responsibilities horizontally. It is in this spirit of collaboration and fluidity that we have decided to readjust the form of the Journal itself to reflect the non-hierarchical and decentralized structure of our collective. Switching to this publishing schedule—that is, publishing pieces as they are accepted and copyedited—means more timely publications that resonate with current affairs. 

We want to reiterate that we will continue to welcome submissions of original research articles with longer word counts. As they have in the past, these research papers will undergo peer review; the only difference will be in when they will be published. The Journal will continue to feature food focused research from diverse disciplines including, but not limited to: anthropology, history, sociology, cultural studies, gender studies, economics, art, politics, nutrition, philosophy, communications/media, area studies, literature, and religion. 

In the coming months, we will adopt a rolling release of content throughout the year. Should there be any clarifying questions, contact us, and we will be happy to address them.   

Our submission details can be found here. We welcome ideas and feedback from our graduate student community, so please get in touch with us to discuss any proposals or submissions. We are looking forward to developing this new format with exciting work from our graduate and post-graduate community.

The GJFS Co-Editors (in alphabetical order)

Maria Carabello
Cormac Cleary
Jessica Fagin
Maya Hey
Katherine Hysmith
Shayan Lallani