About this project
TSQ: Transgender Studies Quarterly will be the journal of record for the vibrant, rapidly evolving interdisciplinary field of Transgender Studies--and you can be part of its groundbreaking debut in 2014. It will be co-edited by Dr. Susan Stryker (University of Arizona) and Dr. Paisley Currah (CUNY-Brooklyn), and published by Duke University Press.
Transgender Studies has far-reaching implications across many academic disciplines, including not only gender and women’s studies, sexuality studies, and LGBT Studies, but also social sciences, health, art, cultural studies, and many other broadly defined fields. The development of transgender studies also makes a politically significant intervention into the lives of trans community members with tremendous unmet needs, by changing what and how we know about transgender issues.
This project began in 2008, when we were invited to co-edit a special transgender studies edition of Women’s Studies Quarterly. We received more than two hundred submissions for publication, yet we could only publish twelve of them. We knew then that it was time for transgender studies to have its own high-profile publications venue. Five years later, there is still no place to accommodate the kind of conversation we want to foster on transgender issues. Your support right now could change that.
You have the opportunity to be part of this historic moment. Once the journal is launched in April 2014, subscriptions will eventually cover the cost of publication. To subsidize the cost of publishing the journal, we need to raise at least $100,000 in start-up funds. We’re already more than halfway to our goal, and would now like to invite you to invest in the next stage in the development of transgender studies, by helping us complete our fundraising for launching TSQ. Your support will help us create a first-rate platform for publishing peer-reviewed transgender-related scholarship—something that can only benefit the entire field of gender and sexuality studies.
Here’s a preview of our first five issues:
TSQ 1:1+2, “Postposttransexual: Terms for a 21st Century Transgender Studies,” will be a special double issue of short essays on key concepts in transgender studies.
TSQ 1:3, “Decolonizing the Transgender Imaginary,” will explore cross-cultural analysis of sex/gender variation, and bring transgender studies into critical engagement with ethnography and anthropology.
TSQ 1:4, “Trans Cultural Production,” will be devoted to the arts, film, literature, and performance.
TSQ 2:1 “Making Transgender Count,” co-edited with the Williams Institute’s GenIUSS group (Gender Identity in U.S. Surveillance), will tackle such issues as population studies, demography, epidemiology, and quantitative methods.
Support at any level is welcome--please see our list of premiums and contribute today!
Risks and challenges
Backed by Duke University Press and co-edited by well-known academics, TSQ is a project with very little risk. Both of us bring extensive editing and publishing experience, as well as deep knowledge of the transgender studies field. Duke is one of the most prestigious university presses in the United States with a strong track-record of success publishing roughly comparable titles like GLQ and Social Text. The publication of TSQ has already been announced, and calls for submissions for the first three issues have already been disseminated. The first issue of TSQ is now in production at Duke, and will be published and distributed in the spring semester of 2014; other issues will follow roughly every three months. Duke is trusting us to raise the money to underwrite the start-up costs-- so while there little risk that the journal won't launch, time is of the essence to raise the money NOW.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
I see that your estimated delivery date for premiums is April 2014 in most cases. Why such a long wait?
That's because TSQ 1:1 will not be published until then, and some of the premiums involve being listed as a donor in the first issue, receiving signed copies, or getting a subscription. For other premiums, such as copies of previous books and films by the co-editors, those could be shipped earlier, once Kickstarter reports donor information to us.
Well, maybe. Both co-editors tend to do campus lectures and workshops, and to do consulting work, for $1000-a-day minimums, which is actually on the low end of the pay scale for this sort of academic work. What we're essentially offering here is to have our usual speaking fees donated to TSQ, if a college or organization would like either of us to come for a visit.
It takes a lot of money to launch a new journal, and Duke University Press is taking a big risk in agreeing to publish TSQ. They estimate that it will require somewhere between $100,000 and $200,000 in outlays before the journal becomes profitable, in about Year 5 of publication. To offset that risk, our contract with Duke asks us partner with them to raise at least $100,000 to underwrite the cost of launching TSQ. This is an increasingly common practice among academic publishers, which often operate at a loss in order to support the mission of publishing non-commercial contemporary scholarship.
$100,000 seems like a lot of money, and in many ways it is: but over five years, it breaks down to about $20,000 a year, which covers costs for the design, marketing, proofing, typesetting/compositing, ad sales, shipping, sales, manuscript tracking, rights clearances, managing editorial and author correspondence, indirect overhead for the publisher, and the costs of many, many other kinds of labor and services. When you realize what all is involved in getting the journal into circulation, and how much work it takes to bring a project like this to fruition, this is really not an unreasonable amount of money to raise.
Some people have asked us why we don’t self-publish, or produce a cheaper online-only journal. There are a couple of reasons for this. One important consideration, however pretentious it might sound, is prestige and respectability. Because our goal is to change the way the world thinks about transgender issues, we are marshaling all of our intellectual and cultural “capital” to create an authoritative, peer-reviewed publication venue with an elite university press, with an editorial board filled with accomplished and well-credentialed scholars, so that we have the most credible and persuasive voice possible in the marketplace of ideas. We think this is especially important given the newness of transgender studies as a field, and the stigma often attached to transgender lives. We are determined to produce a journal that demands to be taken seriously. Duke gives transgender studies a lot of credibility.
We think of this in much the same way that we think about getting an advanced degree. There are plenty of smart, effective, knowledgeable people in the world who don't have Ph.D.s--far more than the number who do! But getting the initials after your name means something, and facilitates access to different kinds of work, with different kinds of effects and consequences in the world. And part of getting the credential is paying the tuition.
We also really want to publish a print copy because not everybody who might want to read TSQ has an institutional affiliation, and thus access to the e-journal format through their libraries. And print journals cost more than e-journals. Because each issue of TSQ addresses a particular theme or issue, TSQ will almost be like four book-length works on transgender studies appearing every year—and we think there will be demand for single-issue purchases as well as regular subscriptions. Doing a print version will allow us to sell single issues in bookstores and online booksellers.
We are currently scheduled to launch in April 2014. We put out our initial calls for proposals for the first 4 issues several months ago. While this Kickstarter campaign is running, we are working with the authors in TSQ 1:1+2 (a double issue which will have lots of short essays on "key words for a 21st century transgender studies) to revise their work now that it's gone through peer review. Rough drafts have come in for TSQ 1:3 (Decolonizing the Transgender Imaginary), and abstracts have come in for TSQ 1:4 (Trans Cultural Production). We're about to announce the CFP for TSQ 2:1 (Making Transgender Count). Meanwhile, the good folks at Duke University Press have been working on our logo and wordmarks, designing the layout, doing really wonking but vital things like figuring out how many characters can appear on a page, planning the marketing strategy, publicizing the journal to libraries and universities, and lots of other things. Even though our train hasn't pulled into its first destination yet, it has definitely left the station! We are moving full steam ahead towards having this journal in your mailbox a little less than a year from now!
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