Saturday, July 24, 2010

Following up on the quarterly meeting of the board. Hilary Bradbury-Huang

The arrival bell sounded for each as we clambered onto the teleconference for our quarterly board meeting on July 21st (unfortunately, Lai fong Chiu couldn't make it). Ernie Stringer had literally just arrived back to his home in Australia from Poland--via Palau, via Perth. The final leg of his journey included a two day drive to his house in the outback. Wow, just hearing of Ernie's journey exhausted me - and I had just gotten up in LA. It also oddly comforted me. All of a sudden getting ready for my family’s move up the coast to Portland is no big deal! I have taken a new position as Professor of Management at Oregon's Health Sciences University. It portends much focus on issues of organizational change (that's my thing, I mean, content expertise). I also look forward to more engagement with the action researchers who go by the name of community based participatory researchers for health (CBPR).

Davydd Greenwood was just closing up his house (in La Mancha, Spain). Being an anthropologist by training, his house is also a budding museum on the Spanish Civil War and was near the site of much anarchist activity. Davydd, who sits on the ARJ subcommittee for special issues underlined the importance of detailed conversation with special guest editors to convey our overall kind of collegial orientation at the journal. Our intent with the journal is to always make sure that quality is maintained in all articles. Meghna Guhathakurta had recently survived mudslides while visiting communities of Burmese immigrants on the border with Bangladesh. Her work with them, in its proposal stages, will provide for community nurtured schooling for the children. Fingers crossed for the funding. Marianne Kristiansen came in on her cell phone from Jutland on the Northsea. She reported on a new special issue on power that she’ll lead with colleagues around the world, including the marvelous MarĂ­a Teresa Castillo Burguete from Cinvestav in Mexico. We are hopeful that our contacts in Asia and Africa can be put to good use here too, given our commitment to global perspectives in special issues. Patch (Patricia Gaya Wicks) signed off early as she is playing a role at her university in the research assessment exercises that increasingly dominate the attention of British researchers these days. And I use the term dominate advisedly. Mary Brydon Miller was sitting proud and rightly so, given all the work on the Special issue (action research and the arts) that is nearing its end. And of course her colleagues at UCinn are the folks behind this blog. Victor Friedman is completing his sabbatical (not that we noticed his absence at ARJ as he continued with board meetings and extensive reviewing throughout!). On the call, Victor took the time to lead us in our own reflection on practice. We focused most of our time on a conversation about working with reviewers and how to deal with the variation in quality among reviews. Formal minutes are also available. Our next board meeting is September 22 (and in fact I cannot make it). I will therefore ask that someone draft the agenda and act as chair.

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