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Shedding light on an emerging discipline

Lisa Baldez, Associate Professor of Government and Latin American, Latino and Caribbean Studies, is editor of a new scholarly journal, Politics & Gender. Published quarterly by Cambridge University Press, Politics & Gender is the official journal of the Women and Politics research section of the American Political Science Association (APSA). The journal debuted in September.

Lisa Baldez
Lisa Baldez

"Our goal is to publish the very best work across the subfields of political science that focuses on gender and politics," explained Baldez, whose own research and teaching focus on Latin American politics, gender and social movements. "This work has really come of age in political science - there is so much good research being done in this area that we needed another avenue to publish it."

Baldez's students enjoy the benefits of her work as a leader in this growing field. "As editor of this journal, I'm on top of all the cutting-edge research in the field of gender and politics. Whatever I'm reading that week, I bring right to my students," she said.

The students in her "Gender Politics in Latin America" class, for example, wrote a paper assessing the "Critical Perspectives" essays from the first issue of the journal. "Critical Perspectives" is a forum for academics to debate current issues and methodological concerns.

The response from Baldez's colleagues is enthusiastic. "People are excited about the journal. We received over 150 article submissions in our first year, which is a very high rate for a new scholarly publication. We are getting excellent manuscripts on American politics, comparative politics, feminist theory and international relations," she said.

Baldez came to Dartmouth in 2003 and began working on the first issue of Politics & Gender in January 2004, assisted by co-editor Karen Beckwith of the College of Wooster. Editing a start-up journal is a significant commitment, but Baldez insists that the effort is paying off. "For me, as a recently tenured faculty member, this is a way to help younger scholars and have a hand in shaping what the future of this discipline will look like."

By SARAH BENELLI

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Last Updated: 5/30/08