What is Journal Work?

Friday, September 16, 2016  1:00pm - 6:30pm Barnard Hall, Sulzberger Parlor, 3rd Floor


Livestream at: https://livestream.com/accounts/11222260/events/6345603


Small Axe

Heyman Center for the Humanities

Office of the Dean of Humanities

Department of Anthropology


David Scott

This year, 2016, Small Axe turns twenty years old. And this year too, our fiftieth issue was published. We are not big on celebrations, it is true, but to mark the occasion we are organizing a roundtable conversation around the theme “What Is Journal Work?” We have invited editors (or founders) of notable journal platforms to help us think about the distinctive work (in all its dimensions) of journals in intellectual and artistic innovation and intervention. What is the function of journal work in the present? What is the relation between journal work and “fields” or “disciplines” of intellectual, political, and aesthetic practice? Are journals really necessary for intellectual and artistic production and circulation? Is journal work itself an intellectual and artistic exercise? What is the relation between journals and their publishers or, indeed, between journals and their editors? And what is the relation between these and the university setting in which their work often takes place? What is the relation between a journal and its audience? What are the appropriate issues to navigate around the question of print versus digital format for doing journal work? How are the debates and technologies that go under the name “digital humanities” altered the conditions of intellectual and artistic existence of journals? These are only a few of the possible questions that emerge in relation to journal work.

The afternoon will unfold in two parts. In part one we will have a roundtable conversation. In part two we will have a number of people speak about the contribution of Small Axe over the twenty years of its existence.

To access the LIVESTREAM, click here.

Part 1: Roundtable Program

Welcome: Vanessa Pérez-Rosario, managing editor, Small Axe

Opening Remarks: David Scott, Small Axe

Roundtable, What is Journal Work? 

Moderator: Vanessa Agard-Jones, Small Axe, Souls

Louis Chude-Sokei, The Black Scholar

Lowell Fiet, Sargasso

Kaiama L. Glover and Alex Gil, sx: archipelagos

Sean Jacobs, Africa is a Country

Kelly Baker Josephs, sx salon

Patricia Saunders, Anthurium

Ashwani Sharma, darkmatter

Kuan-Hsing Chen, Inter-Asia Cultural Studies: Movements 

Part 2: Small Axe Celebration
3:45 - 5:15pm

Moderator: Nijah Cunningham, coordinator, Small Axe Project

Hazel Carby, Yale University

Silvio Torres-Saillant, Syracuse University, Latino Studies Journal

Brent Hayes Edwards, Columbia University  

5:20pm Closing remarks: David Scott

Click here for more information. To access the LIVESTREAM, click here.


  • Participant

    Vanessa Agard-Jones

    Assistant Professor of Anthropology

    Columbia University

  • Participant

    Louis Chude-Sokei

    Professor, Department of English

    University of Washington

  • Participant

    Lowell Fiet


    University of Puerto Rico-Río Piedras

  • Participant

    Kaiama L. Glover

    Professor of French

    Barnard College

  • Participant

    Sean Jacobs

    Assistant Professor of International Affairs

    The New School of Public Engagement

  • Participant

    Kelly Baker Josephs

    Associate Professor, English

    City University of New York

  • Participant

    Patricia Saunders

    Associate Professor

    University of Miami

  • Participant

    Ashwani Sharma

    Principal Lecturer in Media and Cultural Studies, chool of Humanities and Social Sciences

    University of East London

  • Participant

    Kuan-Hsing Chen


    National Chiao Tung University

  • Participant

    Yolanda Wood


    University of Havana

  • Participant

    Hazel Carby

    Charles C. and Dorothea S. Dilley Professor of African American Studies

    Yale University

  • Participant

    Silvio Torres-Saillant

    Dean's Professor in the Humanities

    Syracuse University

  • Participant

    Brent Edwards

    Professor of English and Comparative Literature

    Columbia University

  • Participant

    Alex Gil

    Digital Scholarship Coordinator, Humanities and History Division of the Libraries

    Columbia University


By Semester