Journal of the Fantastic in the Arts is committed to following the practices outlined in “Anti-Racist Scholarly Reviewing Practices: A Heuristic for Editors, Peer reviewers, and Authors.”
Contributors include Lauren E. Cagle, Michelle F. Eble, Laura Gonzales, Meredith A. Johnson, Nathan R. Johnson, Natasha N. Jones, Liz Lane, Temptaous Mckoy, Kristen R. Moore, Ricky Reynoso, Emma J. Rose, GPat Patterson, Fernando Sánchez, Ann Shivers-McNair, Michele Simmons, Erica M. Stone, Jason Tham, Rebecca Walton, Miriam F. Williams
The full document can be found here.
Below is a summary document for the use of peer reviewers.
We follow Ibram X. Kendi’s definition from How to be an Anti-Racist (Chapter 1) that situates anti-racism in relation to racism, in terms of policies and ideas, and that reminds us there is no neutral or non-racist position:
“A racist policy is any measure that produces or sustains racial inequity between racial groups. An antiracist policy is any measure that produces or sustains racial equity between racial groups. By policy, I mean written and unwritten laws, rules, procedures, processes, regulations, and guidelines that govern people. There is no such thing as a nonracist or race-neutral policy. Every policy in every institution in every community in every nation is producing or sustaining either racial inequity or equity between racial groups.”
As editors we commit to the following principles:
- Consider anti-racism to be part of our job.
- Protect vulnerable stakeholders, including readers, authors, research participants, Peer reviewers, and others
- Recognize and reject the kinds of problematic treatment experienced by Black, Indigenous, and other people of color during review processes
- Consider who could be harmed or triggered by reading/seeing your citations or lack thereof
- Be mindful and intentional in how you write about identities (e.g., capitalizing Black, appropriately referring to scholars as Black and Indigenous people of color (BIPOC))
- Write positionality statements (e.g., following Nedra Reynolds’ “write from where you are”)
- Commit to reading to understand racism and anti-racism
- Read intentionally to imagine the field expansively and encourage bold ideas that expand existing conversations
- Use inclusive language, understanding that what is inclusive changes over time.
- Use people’s self-identified correct pronouns
- Seek out terms currently preferred by groups to refer to themselves
- Do not substitute dominant group perspectives or experiences for the whole: e.g., “women got the right to vote 1920.” Well, white women did.
- Ensure that our peer Peer reviewers are selected with the above understandings, and in particular that as new fields develop, authors are not subjected to reveew by those who do not recognise the need for new perspectives See Below.
Academic Review Processes Can Reinscribe Racism
- Reviewing can gatekeep, reinforce the status quo, and reproduce existing white, dominant, and patriarchal norms.
- Anonymity can shield bad behavior, including racism at the micro and macro levels and the use of punitive and violent language.
- The reviewing process is opaque and contains hidden tacit practices that can exclude new scholars, especially those who are already marginalized.
- The labor of anti-racist reviewing and critical citational practices disproportionately falls on Black, Indigenous, and other scholars and Peer reviewers of color.
- Review processes are embedded within larger organizations and communities, some of which have yet to commit to anti-racist practices as part of their missions.
Heuristic Guide for Anti-Racist Scholarly Reviewing Practices for Peer reviewers
The full document, with guidance for editors, to which we will adhere can be found here.
- Peer reviewers and editors mentor authors on how to frame articles within the context of field conversations.
- Peer reviewers and editors frame reviewer comments to support author revisions.
- Peer reviewers and editors recognize that citation practices are political. We form communities of practice/discourse communities in how we cite, excluding and including particular ways of knowing. We give particular ideas power and visibility in how we cite. We decide whose work matters, who should be tenured and promoted, who belongs.
- Peer reviewers recommend pieces to cite; lack of certain ‘canonical’ citations is not automatically grounds for rejection.
- Peer reviewers resist requiring the existing canon be cited and recognize that some canonical work may be purposefully uncited because of oppressive and harmful actions taken by those authors.
- Peer reviewers and editors recommend relevant work by MMU scholars to authors.
- Peer reviewers and editors recognize and support research that pushes at field boundaries and consider how to encourage authors to show connections without shutting down or being defensive about expansion.
- Peer reviewers and editors read and respond to work on its own terms without demanding it be reframed through dominant forms of expertise.
- Peer reviewers respect lived experiences as a source of expertise and excellence where appropriate.
- Peer reviewers and editors account for the relationship between positionalities and expertises and value a variety of expertise–do not position one kind of expertise as universal.
- Peer reviewers and editors resist reflexively suggesting that certain work is not within the purview of the field.
- Peer reviewers and editors value and be willing to imagine the field beyond their individual perspectives.
- Recognize, intervene in and/or prevent harmful scholarly work—both in publication processes and in published scholarship