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Women's Studies' Online Journal Gives a Voice to UAlbany Writers

December 1, 2008



Cover artwork for online journal

Spring 2008 cover of the online journal transcending silence...

At UAlbany students are not only involved in, but construct their own programs outside of the classroom to enrich their learning experience; one unique opportunity students have created here is the online journal transcending silence…. When it was founded in 2004, the primary goal was to create a space where students could voice their thoughts on social inequalities and the need for change. Published each spring since then, transcending silence… has used many media, creative and academic, to explore social issues from the diverse perspectives of its contributors.

The journal is the final project for the class AWSS 324X, Electronic Publishing in Women’s Studies. The class consists of a maximum of 15 students who make up the Editorial Collective. Their jobs are to solicit, review, edit, and publish manuscripts and other forms of media for the e-journal. They work in conjunction with faculty advisers Janell Hobson, the associate professor and graduate director of Women’s Studies, and Vivien Ng, the associate professor of Women’s Studies and associate dean of Undergraduate Research.

Ng said that the best thing about the journal is that “It’s digital. It’s free and can be accessed easily as long as there is an Internet connection.” They realize that they must keep up with the rapid change in the ways scholarship is produced and disseminated. “The e-journal is only a small first step toward our goal of transforming Women’s Studies scholarship for the digital age.”

Over the years they’ve received recognition as well as praise from faculty members outside the University at Albany. One scholar from Britain told them that he asked one of his doctoral students to read the article on black masculinity, published in the Spring 2004 issue. A professor at Roosevelt University in Chicago, Ill., has made the article on folk music, published in Spring 2005, a required reading for one of her classes.

Submissions are accepted from all undergraduate and recent graduate students, regardless of their major. Students are encouraged to submit research essays, poems, book and film reviews, creative fiction, personal narratives, photography, drawings, and documentaries or film shorts. The pieces should address issues that relate to social problems, activism, and the intersections of class, race, and gender.

“Submissions are not limited to University at Albany students. We review manuscripts and videos from India, Canada, and different parts of the United States,” said Hobson.

The latest issue, from Spring 2008, features a research essay on women’s activism in  Mexico, a collection of poems dealing with sexual assault, and a drawing of a woman’s body during an unexpected pregnancy. Each piece includes a personal statement from the author or artist.

Students who are interested in having their work published in the Spring 2009 issue of transcending silence... must submit their pieces to the Women’s Studies Department by one of the two deadlines: Jan. 30, 2009 and Mar. 20, 2009. 

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UAlbany graduate student Jacob Crawford, '09
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