Call for Submissions

Catalyst: A Social Justice Forum is pleased to announce calls for submissions for three upcoming themed issues:

1.Social Justice in Education: Just Another Buzz Word or a True Daily Struggle? In October of 2009, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan said, “Great Teaching is about so much more than education; it is a daily fight for social justice” (Duncan, 2009). It has been five years since Secretary Duncan made that statement, but what progress has been made? Has the achievement gap narrowed? Is sexual orientation still a taboo subject in schools? Does poverty still play a role in the success or failure of students? Because teaching is a political act rather than a neutral representation of facts (Friere, 1971), artificial boundaries based on personal attributes and social constructs are more often reinforced than deconstructed. Is it the deconstruction of this Freirean notion Secretary Duncan was referencing, or was it something different? In this issue, we seek empirical research, theoretical works, and action-oriented narratives that respond to Secretary Duncan’s comments about social justice. We want to know if and how this type of work is being done in our nation’s schools, communities, and other educational contexts. In our understanding, to engage social justice does not mean we document it, it means we take part in it. Therefore, important to these works is that authors include their conceptualization of what social justice is, stands for, or means to them as scholars and activists.Submissions are due June 1, 2014 .

2.With Not For: A special issue on disability . Historically, people who identify and/or are identified as intellectually and/or developmentally dis/abled have been ‘studied’ and represented by others, typically being described as ‘troubled’ bodies in need of being “fixed” or “remedied”. Thus, the everyday experiences of people with intellectual disabilities have most often been shared by (presumably) abled-bodied people, speaking for, rather than with people with dis/abilities. In this special issue, we invite artists, scholars, and activists to share a range of work that speaks to the everyday experiences of people with intellectual and developmental dis/abilities. We are particularly interested in work (e.g., art, media, poetry, critical essays) that takes up a critical orientation to dis/ability and challenges the very meaning(s) of ‘abled’ and ‘dis/abled’. Further, essays or media representation that represent to the history(ies) of dis/ability are welcome. Final submissions are due October 31, 2013. .

This spring we will also be pleased to present:

3. Creating Health from Below? Exposing and Resisting the Power of Media Culture over Public Health.

As members of cultures dominated by media, we tend to construct our identities out of models presented to us by the internet, TV, film, music, and various kinds of print media (Kellner 1995). What it is for us to be “healthy” is no exception. Through the norms embedded in its images, sounds, and messages, a media culture invests its consumers with a potent sense of what it means to achieve health—including the proper ways to pursue and, quite often, purchase it. As a result, we are constrained in our capacity to adopt—and even to imagine—alternative conceptions of “health,” both for ourselves and for the groups of which we are a part. Furthermore, this problem is not easily quarantined by political borders. As U.S. media culture spreads globally, countless others might be infected by its conceptions of “health.”

We invite abstracts that adopt one or both of the following approaches. (1) Abstracts should consider particular products of U.S. media culture and expose ways in which those products are invested with conceptions of “health” that reinforce dominant interests. On this approach, each abstract will focus on a particular film, song, advertising campaign, TV show, corporate website, magazine issue, novel, or another product of U.S. media culture, tying its conception of “health” to the powerful interests that it serves. (2) Abstracts should explore ways in which media culture has been—or could be—co-opted as a tool of resistance, empowering poor, marginalized, or oppressed groups/individuals to advance their own conceptions of “health” as they aspire to what might be called “health from below.” Final submissions are due June 30th. .

Catalyst: A Social Justice Forum also runs on a rolling submission deadline for its general issues. Thus, papers on issues outside the thematic call are also welcome.

Click here to submit your work and help push social justice to new levels! Prior to submitting, please check Catalyst’s Policies page for specific guidelines.

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