Contact: Jean Dykstra
Gallatin students are engaged citizens, and they regularly write serious and thoughtful papers on issues of global significance. But those papers are often read only by their professors.
Enter the Journal of Global Affairs (JGA). One of several student-run publications at Gallatin, it is a venue for articles, essays, poetry and photography that deal with critical international issues. Past contributions have addressed such diverse topics as the colonial history of Somalia, uprisings in the Middle East and patterns of dependency in Latin American development.
There have been two special thematic issues: One, published this past spring, coincided with Gallatin Human Rights Week and focused on “Human Rights in Theory and Practice.” The other, published last year, stemmed from a three-day conference, “Brazil in a Global Context: Culture, Foreign Policy and Development,” which was organized by JGA editors, faculty and other students.
The editors have co-organized other events as well. Last year, they collaborated with Professor Rosalind Fredericks and NYU’s Africa House on “Youth, Rap Music and the Senegalese Elections of 2012.” They also helped to organize “Occupation to Policy: A Discussion on the Economic, Political and Governmental Implications of Occupy Wall Street.” The event, which drew a packed house of some 300 people, with University and community members in attendance, featured Professors George Schulman and Peter Rajsingh, Department of Education Assistant Secretary for Communications and Outreach Peter Cunningham, and one member of the OWS movement.
Contributors to JGA often have study-away experience. Emily Pederson (BA ’12) spent the summer of 2011 in Chiapas, Mexico, as part of the Gallatin Global Fellowship in Human Rights and wrote an essay on her travels for the journal. Senior Rachel Hurley spent the spring of 2011 in Ghana and contributed an article about the environmental and health hazards of scrap dealing in that country.
Senior Maggie Carter, the editor-in-chief of JGA and former managing editor, traveled to Salvador, Brazil, last summer as a Gallatin Global Human Rights Fellow. She worked for Instituto Fazer Acontecer (Make It Happen), an organization that runs afterschool programs in low-income communities, and conducted research on community policing and civic participation in these neighborhoods.
While in Brazil, she also attended the United Nations’ Rio+20 Earth Summit and Kari-Oca II, a conference at which indigenous groups from around the world created a position paper on international environmental policy.
As someone steeped in the complexities of global affairs, Carter said that when she and the JGA editorial board review submissions for the next issue. “The really big discussion is about the argument a paper is trying to make,” she said, “and whether we feel it contributes to the larger discussion of the topic—whether we learned something.”