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or readers of and contributors to Society and Space, the COVID-19 pandemic and the response of governments, institutions, and communities are undoubtedly of concern. Many of us will be paying close attention to how power, discourse, governance, politics, resistance and difference are enacted and made manifest in the coming weeks and months. In the immediate term, work practices both in institutions of higher education and in the publishing companies with which we work to distribute our scholarship have been massively disrupted. While the implications of this pandemic on a societal and global level remain to be seen, for now it is clear that for many of us, social reproduction, care work, and mutual aid require our attention. Caring for ourselves and for others will occupy the majority of our time. We know, in part because of the work that has appeared in this journal, that this care work will be unevenly borne and distributed as it articulates with structures of power.
So, during this unprecedented crisis, the editorial collective at Society & Space has made the decision to 'press pause' on our normal working practices. We believe that to continue as usual right now would be untenable and unethical. Capitalist globalization has not only broken our health system, it has also broken our education system. Many of us and our colleagues are having to juggle a range of commitments, from organizing social care for family and friends to rethinking how we teach and do research. In this context, the pressing imperative of ‘social distancing’ will be difficult for many academics to negotiate with the relentless demand to be ‘productive’ that the marketization of higher education and research precipitates. By pressing pause, we hope that we can change our working practices in a way that points - however tentatively and modestly - to a different ethos that recognizes the challenges that our post-pandemic future will pose.
With this in mind, we are suspending many journal activities. We will not send new papers out for review until after April 15. We will also stop sending out reviewer reminders for the time being (though this will take a little time to implement on our online system). We will continue to process papers that are currently in the system though at a slower rate. We will communicate with authors of papers in process individually over the coming weeks to update them on the status of their papers and discuss any concerns. We are cognizant of pressures on early career and precarious scholars and want to reassure those groups in particular that we will work with and support them as best we can.
Regarding the Society and Space Magazine, as this is editor reviewed and free to access, we will continue receiving and considering submissions. But given the pressures on our editorial team, we will be editing and publishing these at a slower rate. We do, however, welcome work that deals directly with COVID-19 and the present situation, and will prioritize bringing such work to publication in a timely manner.
We recognize that solidarity and care will take a variety of different forms as the nature and scope of this crisis continues to unfold, and we will continually assess our practices accordingly. In the meantime, we take inspiration and direction from the words of activist and organizer Mariame Kaba, “let this radicalize you, rather than lead you to despair.”
The Society and Space Editorial Team: Charmaine Chua, Kate Derickson, Tariq Jazeel, Brian Jordan Jefferson, Natalie Oswin, and Alex Vasudevan