Wrapping up Contention's tenth volume feels like something of a milestone for all of us. After a decade of work, a journal that was once a small, punchy entity is now thoroughly established in its field. We would like to take this opportunity to thank all of the contributors, reviewers, editorial board members, and publishing staff who have helped this journal grow and who we look forward to continuing our work with in the decades to come.
The first article in this issue is Ralph Armbruster-Sandoval's “The Long UC Santa Barbara Chicana/o/x Movement: From El Plan to El Centro, 1969–2019.” This fascinating article digs into the long, deep roots of the African American Civil Rights and Chicana/o/x Movements in the case of one particular institution, USCB, tracing its origins to the 1969 El Plan de Santa Barbara Conference. The author traces the latter movement's development into the late 2010s.
Our next article shifts away from the longue durée to instead examine its polar opposite: instances of activism and solidarity that are so short-lived they are virtually “drive-by” instances of participation. In their article “Drive-By Solidarity: Conceptualizing the Temporal Relationship between #BlackLivesMatter and Anonymous's #OpKKK,” Jared M. Wright, Kaitlin Kelly-Thompson, S. Laurel Weldon, Dan Goldwasser, Rachel L. Einwohner, Valeria Sinclair-Chapman, and Fernando Tormos-Aponte examine the case of Anonymous's “Operation KKK” (#OpKKK), an online hacktivist campaign to expose Ku Klux Klan members. The campaign was intended to help support Black Lives Matter protesters during the November 2014 uprising in Ferguson, Missouri. Using social media data, Wright and colleagues show that while BLM and Anonymous networks temporarily coordinated their actions during the protests, this solidarity was exceedingly fleeting, producing almost no sustained ties or interactions to speak of.
Solidarity is not the only element of protest cycles that can rapidly shift in fashions that sometimes take scholars by surprise. Our penultimate article in the issue, by Johan Gordillo-García, examines how processes of upward scale shift can cause smaller-scale grievances to temporarily grow into heavyweight social movements. In his article, “Resonant Frames, but Failed Alliances: The Upward Scale Shift of the Movement for Peace with Justice and Dignity,” Gordillo-Garciá examines how small-scale activism following the murder of a Mexican poet's son spiraled into a national-level social movement. This movement, the Movement for Peace with Justice and Dignity, rapidly ascended in the public consciousness and drew support from several well-equipped groups. Yet the movement could not maintain this scale of mobilization, and soon enough the alliance fell apart.
Our final article in the issue is something a little special. In “The Meaning of Contention,” the journal's chief and deputy editors (Benjamin Abrams, Giovanni A. Travaglino, Peter R. Gardner, and Brian Callan) draw on their experience with the journal to offer up a definition of what “contention” might mean as a multidisciplinary object of study. They do this by surveying the many contexts in which contention has been studied across the humanities and social sciences with a particular emphasis on politics, sociology, psychology, visual/material culture, and criminology. They conclude that the study of contention constitutes research on “conflictual collective contests concerning competing claims.” We hope that this article will be of use to scholars interested in publishing on the subject of contention but who are unsure how or whether their work intersects with the journal's focus.