Human Geography (ISSN 1942-7786) is broadly conceived to cover topics ranging from geopolitics, through cultural and economic issues, to political ecology. We envisage a well-written, critical, intellectual journal, not full of empirical detail, and not encumbered by too many citations, a journal that can be read in its entirety.
The proposal to start the journal is motivated by two main concerns:
- Need to retain control of the value produced by academic labor. Over the last twenty years, journals that once were owned and produced by universities and academic and professional associations have come to be controlled, in part or in whole, by publishing houses that increasingly are concentrated in a few multinational media conglomerates. This means that the surplus (monetary) value produced by the academic labor that writes the content of journals ends up as profit for media capital. It also means that corporations control the fund of knowledge produced by academic labor. We are determined to resist this trend – “Take Back Our Knowledge”. Hence we have founded a non-profit corporation “Institute for Human Geography Inc”, as owner of a new journal Human Geography – the Institute’s officers are drawn from the Board of Editors. This Institute will not establish relations of any kind with commercial publishing houses. Let it be clear, we are not proposing an open access, web based journal. However, individual subscriptions are offered at a low cost, with institutional subscriptions at a moderate cost, and certainly less than they are being charged at the moment – multinational publishers charge institutions annual subscription rates in the range of $250-$5000 a year. A single journal can generate half a million to a million dollars a year in profit. We could use this money to sponsor radical research…but only if ownership and control over the knowledge we produce is kept out of corporate hands. As soon as we have a surplus we will announce the availability of radical-geographic research grants, and appoint a committee to administer them.
- Need for a new publishing outlet for articles on topics of political significance conceived from critical, perspectives. The critical politics that fueled the radical geography movement are being dissipated in philosophical-theoretical niceties and empirical evasions. Particularly, articles written from specifically Marxian philosophical-theoretical and political positions face a difficult time – young academics have to deny their radical politics to get published. While we can try to change this, we feel it is necessary to also begin a new journal that consciously favors political as well as theoretically-based articles from various left positions that definitely include socialism. Additionally the wide range of urgent social and political issues thrown up by capitalist globalization is not being fully addressed. Some of the most basic issues (the Iraq War, global finance capitalism, environmental crisis) are hardly mentioned in the existing journals. Hence we favor a new, more extensive and politically inclusive journal of broadly, but very politically, conceived Human Geography.
Published by the Institute for Human Geography Inc., a non-profit charitable foundation incorporated in the State of Massachusetts, US.
Donations are always appreciated, and can be made through our online store.
Contact us at:
P.O. Box 307
Bolton, Massachusetts 01740 –0307 US