Guest Editors: 

Marie Lovrod and Corine Mason with Manuela Valle-Castro

As Dean, Johnson and Luhmann (2018) argue, although feminist social justice activists and scholars from many communities and social locations have long navigated the productive tensions that characterize academic-activist-community engagements, with universities facing increasing pressures to raise the profile of community-based research and teaching, gender justice organizers and scholars are rarely sought out to evaluate the renewed emphasis on market-oriented industry partnerships, community service, civic engagements, volunteering, philanthropy and charity models that may inform institutional initiatives. Challenging the inequities that characterize power, privilege and status-quo imperialist logics exposes complicities with increasingly aggressive exceptionalisms framed through racist, hetero and cisnormative, ablest, sexist and ageist socio-economic mainstreaming that may mobilize community engagement to mask implicit and explicit abandonment of more meaningful solidarities within and across classrooms, communities, environments and borders. None are immune to these forces. 

Claims of neutrality in hardline approaches to the ‘way things are,’ can decontextualize meaningful analysis of what is actually going on; depoliticization through “feel good” approaches to engagement can be used to avoid inconvenient nuances, subvert substantive shifts toward alternative vocabularies of the possible (see Kaul 2009), and reinforce methodological nationalisms (Amelina, Nergiz, Faist & Schiller 2012) when engaging marginalized people and places. Vendramin(2012) emphasizes the asymmetric forms of ignorance and recurring bias that characterize prevailing claims on the terms of public intelligibility and, therefore, demands critical attention to dominant modes of scholarly reproduction (see Wöhrer 2016) andacknowledgement of those who may or may not be recognized as informed knowers in engaged educational research. As Ermine (2007) argues, shared ethical spaces must be created to support sound theoretical and practical frameworks that welcome diversely positioned people and the places that matter to them in equitable, meaningful dialogue which takes seriously what cannot be compared or shared, as a starting point for cultivating a learning spirit (Battiste 2016), together. 

For our Spring 2022 special issue on Challenging Exceptionalist Imaginaries through Feminist Community Engagements, we seek submissions from community- and university-based researchers and scholars who actively engage with communities (of all kinds) in practicing intersectional feminist research, teaching and learning. Emphasizing the integration of deep collaboration-building practices into teaching, learning and research, we invite previously unpublished research articles, reports from the field, multimedia contributions and book reviews for our special issue that challenges exceptionalist imaginaries through active positioning of critical feminist community engagements, building on research and teaching that explores topics including, but not limited to: 

  • Indigenous sovereignty, land-based learning and community engagement practice
  • Materialist approaches to decolonization in community
  • Moving toward an intersectional feminist economics of community engagement
  • Anti-racist, anti-phobic community engagements
  • Transformational justice and anti-carceral community engagements 
  • Interrogating notions of “risk” associated with academic community engagements
  • Queering community engagement
  • Assessing accountability and sustainability of community-university coalitions 
  • Lengths and limits of digital/media collaborative projects
  • Transnational institutional collaborations – what is and is not working
  • Collective co-biography: telling stories about resisting exceptionalisms, together
  • Whiteness, mainstreaming and knowledge regimes
  • Struggles for belonging among Indigenous, international and/or first generation students, staff and faculty
  • Border imperialisms
  • Challenging speciesism through community engagement
  • The temporalities of community-based labour: pasts, presence, futurities
  • Navigating affect in deep collaborative practice
  • Respecting community research fatigue: lessons learned
  • Embodiment, witnessing and social suffering
  • Community-engaged ways of practicing and interrogating memorialization 
  • Imagining non-exceptionalist communities in the context of climate change
  • Creativity, resistance and solidarity in the lived realities of manufactured crises
  • Engagement and attention: time, space, materiality and emerging horizons of possibility

Please submit your expressions of interest in the form of a 250-350-word abstract (plus citation trail) by November 15th, 2019. Your abstract can be inserted in the text of your email or as an attachment. 

  • Abstracts (max 350 words)                           :   November 15th, 2019
  • Deadline for all invited contributions:        :  April 30, 2020
  • Revisions for all accepted items               :  February 28, 2021
  • Projected Date of publication                     :   Spring 2022
  • Final Submissions to be submitted via:           http://esj.usask.ca/index.php/esj/login

Works Cited:

Amelina, A., Nergiz, D., Faist, T. and Glick-Schiller, N, (Eds). (2012) Beyond methodological nationalism: Research methodologies for cross-border studies. New York: Routledge.

Battiste, M. (2016). Decolonizing education: Nourishing the learning spirit. UBC press

Dean, A., Johnson, J. L. and Luhman, S., (Eds)(2018). Feminist praxis revisited: Critical reflections on university-community engagement. Association of Canadian University Presses.

Ermine, W. (2007). The ethical space of engagement. Indigenous Law Journal 6.1: 193-204.

Kaul, N. (2009). The economics of turning people into things. Development, 52.3: 298-301.

Vendramin, V. (2012). Why feminist epistemology matters in education and educational research. Solsko Polje, 23(1/2), 87-96. 

Wöhrer, V. (2016). Gender Studies as a multi-centered field? Centres and peripheries in academic gender research. Feminist Theory 0(0), 1-21.

For further details, please consult our website or talk to us at the Engaged Scholar Journal