Paying It Forward: Editing as Mentorship

Editing and reviewing the work of fellow and future feminists is for me a critical feminist practice. As feminist scholars, teachers, and activists, we shape the futures of our disciplines by nurturing the next generation of feminists. Editing is mentoring: reading and constructively critiquing the work of budding scholars helps them hone and amplify their critical interventions. Organizing conference panels and editing books and journals are opportunities to nurture up-and-coming scholars by including the contributions of graduate students, independent scholars, and early-career, untenured, or contingent faculty. This might mean shepherding their projects through several revisions, offering constructive feedback at multiple points along the way. It can also mean doing the often un(der)appreciated labor of writing book reviews to celebrate new and cutting-edge feminist research.

Words cannot express my gratitude for the generosity of colleagues, collaborators, and former professors who have edited and reviewed my writing (whether informally—as a favor to me—or as a formal part of an editing project or blind peer-review process). These colleagues have supported my career, sustained me in times of self-doubt, and most importantly, they have strengthened my work with their insights and suggestions. I am keen to pay this forward to the future movers and shakers of the feminist academy.

—Faye Stewart, Georgia State University