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New to Berghahn Journals in 2019: The Journal of Bodies, Sexualities, and Masculinities

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Community–University Health Research Partnerships

Challenges and Concrete, Plain Language Strategies for Community Engagement in Research

Janet Page-Reeves and Lidia Regino

In recent years, there have been positive changes to the health research landscape, with increasing interest amongst community organisations and university investigators in establishing research partnerships and with more funding opportunities for community-engaged work. However, creating a community–university partnership requires new skills, new types of knowledge, and new ways of creating and maintaining relationships. On both sides of the research equation, people are looking for guidance. The discussion here uses our experience to offer concrete tips in plain language for strategies that can be used to build capacity for community–university partnerships for organisations and researchers in pre-partnership and early partnership stages. We comment on debates about epistemology and knowledge production in research and how anthropologists are well positioned to contribute to this process.

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Elizabeth Macknight, Brian Newsome and Vivian Berghahn

Linda E. Mitchell, the Martha Jane Phillips Starr Missouri Distinguished Professor of Women’s and Gender Studies and Professor of History at the University of Missouri—Kansas City, is author of the lead article in this issue of Historical Reflections/Réflexions Historiques (HR/RH). That honor is most fitting. After many years of outstanding service, Linda has retired from her position as senior editor of the journal. Linda’s connection with HR/RH is deep. She first published an article in the journal in 1991, when Stuart Campbell served as editor. Linda joined Stuart Campbell and Dan Gordon as co-editor in 2004 and assumed leadership as senior editor upon Stuart’s retirement in 2006. She subsequently recruited Brian Newsome as co-editor. She brought new scholars, such as Elizabeth Macknight, onto the editorial board. And she shepherded HR/RH into the fold of Berghahn Books.

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Joan Njagi

The use of helplines to deliver sexual and reproductive health (SRH) education to girls seeking such information and services can break down barriers created by low access and top-down approaches. However, it is important to interrogate their effectiveness in addressing the SRH needs of girls, particularly in contexts in which hierarchical social relations prevail and conservative religious and cultural norms dictate appropriate expressions and experiences of sexuality for girls and young women. In this article I use data drawn from a qualitative case study of a children’s helpline in Kenya to interrogate the interplay of power and culture in the delivery of SRH information to girls. The findings reveal that while this particular communication technology presents, potentially, a revolution in such delivery, power dynamics and cultural norms still pose barriers.

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Past and Present

Matthew P. Romaniello

As Sibirica moves forward, I hope to highlight more connections between past and present. As an interdisciplinary journal regularly featuring the work of historians and social scientists, Sibirica is positioned to feature the works of scholars that bridge the disciplinary “divide” and publish research that addresses fundamental issues that influence all of our work. I hope to encourage our colleagues to think topically and work with an awareness of how other disciplines can contribute to our collective project of better understanding “Siberia” (writ large) as a unique space with a long history and an important future.

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John H. Gillespie and Sarah Richmond

One could be forgiven for asserting that Jean-Paul Sartre’s existentialism has become fashionable again, a worldview fitting for our time. How else can we interpret last year’s publication of Surfing with Sartre by Adam James, with existential freedom compared to the controlled manipulation of the surfing board?

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Peter Merriman

Transdisciplinary exchanges and interdisciplinary debates have always lain at the heart of Transfers, but such movements generate challenges and unanswered questions as well as productive tensions. Has a new amorphous multidisciplinary field called “mobility studies” emerged, or do disciplinary debates and imperatives still underscore mobilities scholarship? How do “mobility studies,” “transport studies,” “mobility history,” “transport history,” “media history,” “migration studies,” and other fields intersect, differ, or interact with one another? Do the variations among different strands of mobilities research reflect distinct differences in method, approach, and style in the social sciences, arts, and humanities, or do they generate interesting questions that cross disciplines? How are different journals—Transfers, Mobilities, The Journal of Transport History, and Applied Mobilities—(re)positioning themselves, and what makes them distinct and different? Should we stop forming camps or drawing boundaries around subdisciplines, and stop asking questions like those framed above? There are no easy or correct answers to any of these questions, but I would suggest that Transfers occupies a privileged position at the intersection of the humanities, arts, and social sciences.

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Jean-Paul Gagnon and Mark Chou

This issue begins with Peter Strandbrink’s argument that “standard liberal democratic theory should be pressed significantly harder to recognize the lexical and conceptual fact that civic political and cognitive participation in mass liberal democracies belong to different theoretical species.” It is by conflating both of these theoretical species, which Strandbrink sees as the dominant tendency in contemporary democratic theory, that we inhibit our ability to critically evaluate “epistocratic theoretical registers.” Further unsettling is Stranbrink’s view that, once separated from each other, neither the theories of civic political or cognitive participation offer much help in dealing with the rise of “alt-facts” or “post-truth” in liberal democratic societies today.

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Benjamin Abrams and Giovanni A. Travaglino

Social protest is not always a simple process. Social movements, activists, or political parties can attempt to change the status quo, but they do not often do so through a single, traceable process of contention. Instead, they encounter selective participation, community dynamics, dilemmas about how and where to spend their time, and interventions by governments and other elites that seriously impact their momentum. The articles in this issue assess these complicating phenomena, examining issues of system justification, local community responses to hate, the balancing of online and offline protest, and the role of government and media elites in circumventing the rise of protest movements.

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Ism Concepts in Science and Politics

Jani Marjanen

This issue brings together five articles that deal with particular concepts in given historical discourses and are thus seemingly unrelated, but they are brought together because of their focus on words carrying the suffix -ism. The following issue will include two more articles that relate to the theme. The articles were chosen based on an open call for papers that was circulated widely. In parallel to this issue, a special issue on the political rhetoric of isms is also being published in the Journal of Political Ideologies. The review and publication processes have been conducted separately in the two journals, but in the end the two issues are being published nearly simultaneously, which will hopefully benefit both Contributions to the History of Concepts and the Journal of Political Ideologies.