The Journal of Critical Southern Studies welcomes submissions on all aspects of Southern studies. This may include but not limited to:
- teasing out reflections on the configuration of global systems
- interrogating knowledge-production and institutions of power
- reshaping of established perceptions through counter-hegemonic methods
- offering or exploring alternative ways of knowing and being
Research on, and perspectives from, the Global South are increasingly captured in mainstream literature. But such representations often tend to be skewed towards mainstream narratives. Often, where research methodologies and findings depart from the mainstream, probabilities of publication – or even passing mention in bibliographic references – are significantly reduced. Of course what this has done is to subdue and marginalise voices and perspectives from the South. But there are more disempowering aspects to the suppression of Southern voices. The dominance of particular thinking, especially the kind that validates perspectives from mainstream scholarship, implies that voices from the Global South stand little chance of being heard. The downside to this – one that has been lamented over many years – seems to be that what is reflected in mainstream publications is sometimes seen as representing the universal.
Yet the universal is often neither representative of, nor in sync with, the voices, perspectives and interests of the Global South. In Africa and elsewhere, Northern ideological dominance continues to consolidate marginalisation and disenfranchisement. Although there have been attempts to rectify this with the emergence of Third World-specific journals and research agenda, the impact has been largely minimal. This is because as Peter Mason notes, writing about ‘otherness’ is still pretty much writing otherwise. There is, therefore, need for alternative research and publication outlets whose particular focus could help the scoping of gaps in modern research. Doing so would bring to the frontline what Boaventura de Sousa Santos calls an ‘epistemology of the South.’
The Journal of Critical Southern Studies was founded as part of efforts to provide an authentic outlet for the promotion and representation of ‘otherness’ through the lenses of Southern voices. Its departure point is the understanding that ‘throughout the world there are practical alternatives to the current status quo of which, however, we rarely take notice, simply because such alternatives are not visible or credible to our ways of thinking.’ Part of the inability to ‘rarely take notice’ has been the fact that the Global South remains ‘constituted as an intrinsically disqualified being.’ And so long as this continues, there will be dominance and suppression, the result of which would expand and consolidate what Upendra Baxi calls ‘geographies of injustices.’