Academic journal article College English

From the Editor

Academic journal article College English

From the Editor

Article excerpt

One of the many things I have enjoyed about being editor of College English is the opportunity to publish new scholars in English studies and to encourage emerging scholars to submit to our journal and, more generally, to not hesitate to enter the many conversations taking place in our field-not just in journals, of course, but also at conferences, symposia, in classrooms, and in social gatherings inside and outside the walls of our institutions. Ours is a rapidly evolving field that benefits greatly from a mix of new and "old" points of view, experiences, and scholarly agendas. But as readers know, even as we need to hear what our junior colleagues (including graduate students) are working on and thinking about, the venues for publication for these new writers are dwindling rapidly, which creates fierce competition for print space. Journals that are not supported by professional organizations, as College English is, often struggle to sustain themselves in the face of shrinking monetary and other necessary support for their faculty editors. Edited collections-an alternate space for article-length works to be put in conversation with fellow researchers' ideas-are not welcomed by some publishers and are severely limited in their publication frequency by others. The enterprise of publishing in general is further complicated by the give-and-take of corporate sponsorships that sometimes enter into the publishing equation, both for journals and for books.

Alongside these factors is a competitive and stressful job market that requires, more and more, that candidates entering a first-time faculty position have already published one or more articles in nationally refereed publications. Compared to when I came out of graduate school about nineteen years ago, the situation for new scholars is, as most agree, considerably more dire, and the catch-22 is palpable: emerging scholars must publish more, and in more high-profile venues, but the competition for these slots is considerable, and the race to do so must be won on a job market clock that is equally unforgiving.

I say all of this not to introduce gloom and doom into your reading experience for this, our March 2016 issue. In fact, I hope to create the opposite by featuring not one, but two Emerging Voices authors among our three full-length articles in this issue. This is the first time we've featured more than one EV since I've been editor; we have been able to fairly regularly publish authors under the EV feature, but never two at the same time. This issue (and perhaps one more before this Volume 78 is out-so stay tuned!) does just that. It's a wonderful set of circumstances involving timing of manuscripts, ebb and flow of submissions, and the publication schedule of our issues that brings these two authors together in our pages. I'm also pleased that the two EV features are so very different-one focusing on archival and historical work in literacy and composition studies and the other on the convergence of creative writing and composition theories in our classrooms (and in our considerations of field divisions). While each author is publishing in a nationally refereed journal in English studies for the first time-the core condition for inclusion as an EV author-each piece is delightfully distinct in its approach to that entry in the proverbial conversation(s).

First, we have Jessica Bannon's "Capitalizing on Adult Education: The Economic Imperative for Literacy in 1960s Federal Policy Discourse," in which she argues that "[t]he evolution of federal adult education policy reveals early developments of a human capital perspective that currently dominates all educational policy and that positions literacy as a necessary and sufficient precursor to education and training leading to economic advancement," leading to a historical condition whereby "literacy learners have been figured as atomized individuals, only connected to specific contexts in ways that match up with policy demands" (315). …

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