By Professor Klaus Dodds, Royal Holloway University of London
Dodds, K. (2020) Editorial introduction by Professor Klaus Dodds. Routes 1(1): 1.
Routes. The etymology of the word is usually sourced as indentation or rupture. With circuitous Latin and later Old French origins, our more modern understanding of a route would be used to describe a pathway. Figuratively speaking, we note ‘routes’ for achievement and success. Geographers appreciate that some routes are more accessible than others, and our experience of routes is not shared. Our routes are ‘rooted’ in and through places and mediated by ‘power-geometries’ (Massey 2005; see also Geertz 1983, Gilroy 1993 on the intersection of routes/roots). Notably, Routes is an open access journal.
The editorial values list ten aims and taken together they showcase a diversity of ‘routes’ into the academic discipline of geography and its scholarly and publishing hinterland. It speaks of ‘positive experiences’ and ‘positive outcomes’, without compromising on scholarly excellence. The first issue is a stunning entrée into what will surely become the norm – thoughtful, elegant, referenced and indignant (in a dignified way) about injustices. All the pieces are multi-scalar, multi-sited, and multi-sourced. The diversity of subjects and objects is breath-taking – taking in anti-nuclear protests, land use planning, glaciated landscapes, global food systems, eco-tourism, prisons and women’s well-being and renewable energy.
None of this happens without the academic vision of the editors and the extraordinary work of teachers, academic referees (around 35 for this first issue alone), geographical associations and learned societies. Geography is a shared enterprise – it is rooted and routed. Second, as I write A Level and GCSE geographers (and university students) have all been deeply disrupted by this pandemic. Routes is a hopeful riposte.
Geertz, C. (1983). Local Knowledge: Further Essays in Interpretive Anthropology. New York: Basic Books.
Gilroy, P. (1993). The Black Atlantic: Modernity and Double Consciousness. London: Verso.
Massey, D. (2005). For Space. London: Sage
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