The Journal of Arts Writing by Students (JAWS) was founded in 2012/13 by a group of five postgraduate students at Chelsea College of Arts. Francesca Peschier, the founding editor-in-chief identified the need for a platform for MA students to publish their work ahead of their PhDs and therefore provide the opportunity to experience the peer-review process and get published whilst at it.
This is still at the very core of JAWS’ action. We still place great emphasis in the peer-review process, and nearly 8 years down the line, published by Intellect ltd since 2015, we have published a great deal of articles and improved and tweaked our editing process.
This last Thursday, 27 February, we officially said goodbye to Rob Gadie, our second principal editor, who has given a great contribution to the development of the journal, managing the way to get us to issue 5.2.
Currently JAWS publishes twice a year. I have received the baton and I got here through a process of experiencing the publishing process. It has been an amazing journey if you are interested in art writing, critical thinking and the latest innovations in art practice. The beautiful thing about this journey, is that any post-graduate student can take-over, if they go through the whole process: author, peer-reviewer, associate editor, editor. It’s a learning curve that not only nurtures your understanding of critical thinking, but it also gives you insightful knowledge on ideas development, rigour and a scope of sample-knowledge that spans the globe. We receive submissions from Singapore to Chicago, from Portugal to Nigeria. We welcome academic writing per se, but we also shape articles that may be more practice-based into sound critical displays of the artistic mind and often the cultural, socio-political and economic dimensions that envelope us.
We are celebrating the 5th year of our publishing with Intellect, but it all stemmed from self-publishing, and attached to ideas of self-publishing, come ideas of democratization. Making sure you publish your work with a network of peers is a way of fighting disinformation, populism and assert critically sound thinking as a tool to ground meritorious societal values.
MA students are more often than not professionals in some field of expertise or are becoming so. MA students have the acumen to be published and more often than not, they are the most enthusiastic researchers because they only have one or two years to complete a specialised piece of research. On the other hand, someone who takes on the responsibility of taking up a PhD is so deep in their subject that all they can think about is their research – which to quote one of our current editors, Ralph Overill - can be a nightmare!
In the current political climate, in which journalists are dying because of the work they do, in which the national broadcasting service is threatened and censorship is becoming normalised in both government’s non-controlled and controlled media, we need to rely more and more on a community of independent thinkers, with rigorous methods of reviewing and approval, so that we manage to get the truths out, and allow future generations to know what were artists and authors really thinking about in the second decade of the 21st century.
JAWS is a piece of (independent) history being written. Being and MA and PhD student, in the times of rift inequality we live in, is a privilege. JAWS invites you to use your privilege to publish a little bit of history, the artist’s history of our time.
Open Call for papers
Our deadline for our Call for Papers is the 13 March 2020.
Please visit our website www.jawsjournal.com for more information.
A thriving online magazine of our postgraduate student voices - sharing thought-provoking experiences, practices and articles about what matters to them.
Want to write an article? Get in touch with the Post-Grad Community team PGCommunity@arts.ac.uk