JLAG Editorial Team Statement of Purpose
Christopher Gaffney, James Freeman, Jörn Seemann, John C. Finn, & Eric D. Carter
With this statement of purpose, the new five-member editorial team of the Journal of Latin American Geography renews our dedication to publishing original geographical and interdisciplinary research focusing on Latin America and the Caribbean, while simultaneously strengthening the journal in three specific areas:
First, given that English has become the dominant language of international scientific discourse, it is too often that high-quality Latin American scholarship circulates only within its country and language of origin. JLAG has long been committed to bringing that scholarship to an international audience through the publication of works in Spanish and Portuguese, as well as encouraging English-language submissions and translations from scholars throughout the region. While JLAG has always collaborated with scholars in Latin America, this is an area where we feel there is room for improvement. We issue a renewed call for contributions from scholars based in Latin America, including Brazil and the Caribbean, and express our intention to invest more in translation and our dedication to bringing the best Latin American Geography voices to JLAG.
Second, given that the term “Latin America” has become a cultural and geographical signifier that shapes research agendas and global perceptions of the Americas, we call for a conceptually pluralistic and geographically extensive understanding of “Latin America.” We feel that by broadening the scope of scholarly debates that are included under the rubric of “Latin American Geography,” JLAG will contribute to an understanding of dynamic geographical processes that are not confined to set political, physical, or cultural borders. To this end, we extend an invitation to scholars who are researching issues of migration and immigration, border policy, trans-national flows and identities, and the ways in which Latin America intersects with global political economies.
Third, as part of our commitment to critical and progressive scholarship, we seek to engage the most crucial scholarly and social debates of our times, while retaining a historical perspective and intellectual grounding in geographic theory. We strongly encourage nuanced, textured, and socially engaged research. While this can manifest in a wide-range of sub-disciplines and can occur in diverse places, we seek specifically to publish work that engages issues of social and environmental justice, human rights, political agency, and power from critical perspectives. It is our belief that scholarship has the ability to positively influence places, spaces, and people. The editorial team affirms its commitment to critical and activist scholarship that explicitly challenges the injustices of this notoriously unequal region and explores avenues for change.
In the coming volumes of JLAG we will publish cutting edge scholarship that reflects this editorial philosophy while continuing to provide a unique platform for debates that transcend national disciplinary traditions and sub-disciplinary territorialities. At the same time we will be expanding the range and scope of content to include themed sections within issues, book review essays, critical analyses of current events, and policy debates. All the while, we will continue to contribute to the development of young scholars while providing a high-level outlet for established professionals. Taken together, we aim to maintain JLAG as a home for scholarly dialogue that speaks to the geographic community but is simultaneously accessible for a general academic readership and for policy makers.