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Call for Papers, Thought & Action Winter 2017

On Violence

The Thought & Action Review Panel invites your submissions for "On Violence," a special focus section in Winter 2017.

Academia has never been tranquil waters, but we would rather they roil with ideas and inventions than the current rash of violence on our campuses and in our communities. Homicide and suicide are the second and third leading causes of young adults’ deaths in the U.S., and our young people of color disproportionately suffer them. For our students, this is a life or death issue. It also is an issue of access to higher education, which violence frequently denies. The Thought & Action Review Panel asks: What are the sources of violence, how does it manifest itself among our students or would-be students, and how can faculty, staff, and their unions create safe spaces for ALL students to learn? 

Consider the following questions: With 26 percent of women in their senior year of college reporting they were sexual assaulted during their college years, and 43 percent of college women reporting they have experienced violent or abusive dating behaviors, we ask: what feeds this epidemic of sexual violence, and how can faculty and staff help? With more than 50 shootings on campuses in 2015, including the October 1 murders of eight students and their professor at Umpqua Community College in Oregon, we ask: Do campus-carry laws enable violence, or discourage it? What are the effects of guns on campuses on teaching and learning?

Can unions bargain for safe conditions for learning? Do “safety compliance trainings” create a false sense of security, and do all faculty have equal access to resources that might make them safer? Does access to student support services, so often on the chopping block for local budgetary cuts, make a difference? What about mental health services, especially for our more vulnerable students, including returning veterans? Is increasing academic and economic stress among students making matters worse? 

What about the growing number of racial and racist experiences on campuses?  Do these lead to less peaceful protests than they have in the past? Does higher education have a role in dismantling the school-to-prison pipeline? 

Submissions are due October 1, 2016. 

As always, other submissions about issues in higher education, including the art of teaching, are very welcome and will be considered apart from the special section. New scholars are encouraged to submit, as are poets and visual artists. Please understand the panel prefers short to long and seeks a “reader-friendly” tone. Please also appreciate that specific guidelines around style must be followed. All submissions will be entered automatically into the competition for three $2,500 “NEA Excellence in the Academy” awards. For more information, contact Editor Mary Ellen Flannery.