New Mexico State University is the new home to the “Chicana/Latina Studies Journal: The Journal of Mujeres Activas en Letras y Cambio Social.” MALCS is an organization for self-identified Chicana, Latina, Native American and gender non-conforming students, scholars and activists. The journal’s goal is to promote inclusive and diverse scholarly manuscripts, art, essays, creative writing and book reviews.
The journal began at the University of California at Davis in 1991. It is currently housed at the University of Texas in San Antonio. After a competitive process to bring the journal to NMSU, it will officially move on June 15, 2022, and the transition will begin next spring.
“New Mexico State University is honored and thrilled to be chosen as the next home of Chicana/Latina Studies, the journal of Mujeres Activas en Letras y Cambio Social,” said Luis Cifuentes, NMSU vice president for research and dean of the graduate school. “Both the Provost and I support this effort because it adds to NMSU’s comprehensive academic excellence and contributes to our goal of reaching Carnegie R1 ranking.”
Judith Flores Carmona, interim director of Chicano Programs and associate professor and faculty fellow in the Honors College; Manal Hamzeh, professor of gender and sexuality studies and interdisciplinary studies; Cynthia Bejarano, Regents Professor in gender and sexuality studies and interdisciplinary studies; and Brenda Rubio, assistant professor of educational leadership and administration, are MALCS members and will alternate as lead editor of the journal.
“With NMSU’s strategic plan goals and the aspiration to become an R1 university — bringing the journal to these borderlands complements these goals and situates us as the premier place to produce cutting-edge research that reflects our commitment to being land grant and Hispanic and Minority serving.” said Flores Carmona, who will serve as lead editor first.
The Carnegie Classification of R1 indicates “very high research activity” institutions, while R2 (NMSU’s current status) indicates “high research activity.”
As editors, they will invite NMSU students who self-identify as Chicanx, Latinx, Native American and gender non-conforming folx to be part of the staff and editorial collective of the journal. The word folx is meant to be a gender-neutral way to refer to members of, or signal identity in, the LGBTQ community in the same way Chicanx and Latinx are used.
“NMSU’s vice president of research office is committed to funding one graduate assistant, and the Honors College is committed to funding a work study for each year that the journal is at NMSU,” Hamzeh said.
Doctoral students will also be invited to join the editorial collective. Students will have the opportunity to attend other activities such as the MALCS annual conference and writing workshops.
“As the publication of a diverse association that aims to provide space for those historically marginalized, the journal is receptive to all scholarly methods and theoretical perspectives that examine, describe, analyze, or interpret the experiences of Chicanas/Latinas and Native women,” Rubio said.
The editors also plan to expand the journal’s contributors to Indigenous communities beyond the Aztlán community. “To start, given the rich and vast diversity of Indigenous people in the borderlands region, we will invite Indigenous scholars, artists and scholar-activists to be part of a Borderlands Editorial Colectiva,” Bejarano said.
The journal will feature English or Spanish submissions of scholarships, commentary, reviews and creative writing. It will be published twice a year in the spring and fall.
“The Journal’s mission will continue to build bridges between local communities, higher education institutions and transnational feminists in diasporic contexts,” Flores Carmona said. Diaspora is a group of people who live outside the area their ancestors lived.
As the transition begins, they are working to find a suitable creative space for the journal with the Honors College dean, Phame Camarena.
“By the time we start in the summer of 2022, the space would be ready not only to house the journal’s offices but also become a buzzing intellectual and communal hub for the collective,” Hamzeh said.