Up until this point, issues of Ada have been edited by special issue editors and organized around a theme potential editors propose as a special issue. Editing this open call issue gave us a better sense of how the open peer review process is working, while at the same time allowing us to see the range of disciplines and interests that contributors are bringing to this ever-evolving journal.
Over the past two years, editing Ada has encouraged us to rethink the very notion of what constitutes an “issue” for an online publication. First of all, at its heart, an “issue” is a discrete publication intended for sale. Fembot will never sell articles published in Ada. Second, “issue” implies a specific temporality that does not line up with how readers access and engage with Ada’s content — through a range of devices, visits, re-visits, and rediscoveries of articles when controversies re-animate topics, as was the case when GamerGate directed fresh attention to Ada, Issue 2, on Feminist Game Studies. As one first step toward reflecting a part of this new understanding, we have begun listing submissions alphabetically, by author’s last name. Ada thus has no lead article, but rather a series of contributions that readers discover and interact with in a fashion determined by interest rather than editorial intent.
Editing this issue together also taught us much about the open peer review process we are refining. On one hand, we were reminded of the fragility of online communication, especially when the painful work of critique is involved, and just how much labor needs to be poured into communicating clearly and straightforwardly. On the other hand, we relished the opportunity to read original and provocative new work and to try to provide meaningful feedback and advice for revision, even in those cases where we ultimately decided not to publish contributions.
Issue 7 includes contributions from feminist artists, as well as scholars in communication studies, comparative literature, photography, and rhetoric.
Contributors to this issue of Ada bring a range of critical perspectives on race, gender, class, and sexuality that have become routine features of the journal.
- In “Of Headshots and Hugs: Challenging Hypermasculinity through The Walking Dead Play,” Kristina Bell, Nicholas Taylor, and Christopher Kampe provide a microethnographic study of two young African American men’s game play and their reflections on playing Telltale Games’ The Walking Dead game.
- “Inverto,” in the words of artist Alison Bennett follows “the process of physically aligning gender identity with embodied presence.”
- Bonnie Ruberg’s “Curating with a Click,” analyzes how making curatorial practices interactive and accessible can result not only in excluding artwork that challenges “dominant norms of gendered or racial privilege,” but in excluding art by women and people of color specifically.
- In “‘Who Do You Think You Are?’ When Marginality Meets Academic Microcelebrity,” Tressie McMillam-Cottom explores the disproportionate price women of color pay for the online public presences academics are increasingly being encouraged to pursue.
- Bryce Peake also addresses online harassment in his “WP:THREATENING2MEN: Misogynist Infopolitics and the Hegemony of the Asshole Consensus on English Wikipedia,” an ethnographic account of how Wikipedia policies work to facilitate online harassment.
- Lori Beth De Hertogh brings a disability studies perspective to understanding how new normals reinscribe old patterns of oppression in “Reinscribing a New Normal: Pregnancy, Disability, and Health 2.0 in the Online Natural Birthing Community, Birth Without Fear.”
Editing this issue together also renewed our commitment to continuing to make visible the labor of the Fembot Collective. Ada’s open peer review process foregrounds the labor that reviewers put into reading and commenting on contributions. The open peer review process also makes us all accountable for the comments we make and for having conversations about those comments, either with authors or other reviewers. We know how difficult it is to break out of traditional modes of peer review and familiar patterns. We would like to thank all those who engaged in this undertaking and participated in the open peer review process. We appreciate the work you are doing to help build an inclusive feminist organization. We are grateful to all the authors who responded to our call for papers and submitted contributions for this issue. We are additionally grateful for the work of the invited expert reviewers we asked to participate in the open peer review process so that we were sure that each article got the in depth expert attention it deserved. Thank you to these invited reviewers:Namita Aavriti (Alternative Law Forum, Bangalore, India), Nina Huntemann (Suffolk University), Sarah Kember (Goldsmith’s), Barbara Ley (University of Delaware), Erica Rand (Bates College), and Margaret Rhee (UCLA) .
Last but not least, we are thankful to the multi-talented team that worked so effectively on the production of this issue: Karen Estlund (University of Oregon), Sarah Hamid (University of Oregon), David McCallum (University of Oregon), and Olivia Samerdyke (Bowling Green State University). An extra thank you is in order to David McCallum for creating the wonderful cover for this issue.