Outskirts online journal

Editorial

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Volume 25, November 2011 

Having just watched the celebration of Margaret Pomeranz and David Stratton reviewing films for 25 years on television, it seems worthwhile to mark this Volume 25 of Outskirts publishing online feminist cultural criticism.

Outskirts began as a postgraduate student initiative at The University of Western Australia in 1996, publishing articles, poems, short stories, reviews and images in print form for that volume and the next. Volume 3 marked a seismic shift to its online format – which was quite an innovation in the late nineties – under the continuing editorship of Delys Bird, who managed the journal for the next seven years until handing it to me in 2005. The journal has grown incrementally in reputation and standing over the past 25 issues, now being catalogued in numerous electronic databases whose search engine capacities provide wider readership as well as being ranked an ‘A’ journal in the Australian Research Council’s Excellence in Research Audit that peaked and was then disbanded this year. While the journal ranking process had some profound and troubling problems, it is still with some pride that Outskirts can boast its deserved ranking.

This volume also marks a new website address and format, and thanks go to the UWA Web Office for managing this long process, especially Kirsty Koevort and Paul Clifford. Previously Outskirts was established as part of a pioneering website set up for women’s studies research and community outreach at UWA in the late 1990s, which had been upgraded several times. With the university’s new standardisation of online environments it was time for Outskirts to upgrade once again and this time get its own page: www.outskirts.arts.uwa.edu.au. The affiliation of the journal with UWA is still apparent, and indeed valued for providing the kinds of infrastructure that enable periodic upgrading of online environments as well as the support of a material community of feminist scholars.

The articles which feature in this issue are partly left over from Volume 24 which was guest edited by Pam Papadelos, Anitra Gorriss-Hunter, Sarah Wendt and Samantha Williams, and thanks go to each of them for the work of selecting and editing submitted papers from the Australian Women’s and Gender Studies conference held in Adelaide in 2010. The diversity of this volume attests to the continuing relevance and range of feminist cultural studies and the function of feminist journals in making this work publicly available. Here you can read Chilla Bulbeck’s latest research on what young people think of feminism and the ways in which they learn about it, and Amy Dobson analyses MySpace profiles of ‘heterosexy’ young women and what they can possibly mean. Michelle Hackett writes about her work on gendered technologies and their marketing in Bangladesh, while Angelique Bletsas proposes that raunch culture veils its concern with a particular kind of gender performance which is raced and classed. Liz Mackinlay’s autoethnographic account of being a white mother to Indigenous children draws on the unlikely support of French feminist Luce Irigaray to make sense of ethical positions around race and betrayal. Excellent reading which I hope you’ll continue to enjoy. Email feedback on the new site is welcome to me or on our facebook page.

Alison Bartlett,
Editor.