Karen Moroski-Rigney, Michigan State University
It’s Pride Month as I sit down to write this reflection and what’s on my mind is this: What exists on the other side of safety, or the other side of the known? What do we have to let go of to get there? As a queer, nonbinary person these questions have needed to guide my personal development — but they’ve guided my professional ethos and experiences, too. What does it mean to challenge existing scholarship? Or to listen to new perspectives? What happens when we depart from standards, lore, seminal texts, or supposed core beliefs — who do we become? What can we imagine? In the case of my own life, I’ve found that just across the chasm limiting the known, there is untold beauty and opportunity. Turns out, that’s true in scholarship too. To expand the horizon of our field and to experience our work and one another in fullness requires the courage to seek out new stories, new voices, new research, new meaning — and also to rethink our modes of discovery and gatekeeping. The Peer Review is exactly that kind of horizon-expanding journal.
When our ways of being, connecting, and identifying are challenged, we find ourselves faced with the choice to either pursue a stagnating status quo or to bravely imagine new ways to engage. The summer of 2020 has challenged us in exactly these ways, tasking us to reconstruct our identities as scholars, writers, family members, and individuals. The Peer Review, as both a vehicle for emerging scholarship and as a team of editors, has long embraced the radical, the reflective, and the new; as a journal that promotes the work of emerging scholars and emerging ideas, we are uniquely suited to addressing both the gauntlet thrown down by COVID 19 and the many consequences and possibilities it presents. The academic world and the writing center world are spinning faster than ever — and it’s in this frenetic, generative time that I’m proud to join the staff of TPR as Managing Editor.
Our journal is uniquely suited to interrogating silences or gaps in knowledge, to promoting and celebrating underrepresented voices, and to being willing to imagine new ways forward for writing centers and the people who love them, who work in them, or who work with them. This means centering voices from Black communities, nonwhite communities, immigrant communities, queer communities, disabled communities, underserved communities, and yet-unheard or unknown communities whose experiences and knowledge improve our field and make us better. This centering is not only an act of restorative justice — it is an act of intellectual savvy and respect for the myriad of identities and experiences within our field: we can only be better than we were before if we are willing to get decentered, to rethink our ways of knowing, and to open ourselves to the knowledge of others.
That this is the mission of The Peer Review — to make visible and to celebrate the work of emerging voices in uncertain times — inspires me and makes me hopeful for the years ahead. I’m grateful to the outgoing and continuing editorial staff (especially my predecessor, Ashley Cerku) for the care and intention they’ve put into expanding the welcome and reach of this journal, and I’m excited to see what’s next.