By Rosamund Hunter, Thea Michailides, Victoria Sollecito, Nydia Swaby, and Kate Wadkins
When we founded RE/VISIONIST (R/V), we knew we wanted to keep it integral to the Sarah Lawrence College (SLC) community and hoped that the publication would continue after we were no longer students. With graduation upon us, we are sad to leave our positions as staff but extremely excited to announce our new editors, Caroline Biggs, Katrina Brown, and Amanda Seybold. We feel fortunate to put RE/VISIONIST in good hands. Caroline, Katrina, and Amanda are committed to maintaining our dedication to thoughtful, productive dialogue, and we know they will exceed our expectations for all that is possible for RE/VISIONIST.
We are grateful to SLC’s Women’s History Graduate program—in particular co-directors Priscilla Murolo and Rona Holub and Dean of the Graduate School Susan Guma—whose encouragement and financial support has allowed us to continue the publication here at the college. We established RE/VISIONIST because we, as students, wanted to keep the classroom conversations going. Now, almost two years later, it is rewarding to have had readers and contributors from all walks of life and all around the globe. Editing this publication has provided a unique opportunity to learn about some of the amazing skills and talents that our friends and colleagues have—whether it was discovering that our classmates are also excellent copyeditors, web editors, marketers and all around organizers; learning about alternative approaches to communication and feminist organizing from one another; or just discovering people’s hidden passions and talents through their submissions. The collaborative aspect has made us appreciative of the power and effectiveness of group efforts.
Enrolled in a rigorous academic program, it was often difficult—particularly while writing our theses—to engage in subject matter outside of our own research. Because of our work here, we were afforded the opportunity to engage in new topics in many disciplines, such as artist Stephanie Land’s statement on feminism and creativity or Muriel Long’s piece on identity in Asian American poetry. Enriching our academic experiences, our contributors challenged us to think critically about feminism and gender beyond the confines of women’s history. Many articles—such as “Dangerous Direction” by Kellyn Johnson or “Act Like a Lady, Think Like an Industry: A Critique of Self-Helpism” by Alexandria Linn—inspired ideas that are now included on a list of future research projects.
RE/VISIONIST has allowed us to expand our writing portfolios, to experiment with short-form posts, and to work with a team of writers and editors. Garnering the support of the School of Graduate Studies was no small feat and helped us to think strategically about how to obtain the resources we need. Engaging in this work while studying in the Women’s History program made our learning experience more robust because it was more expansive: we all ended up reading each other’s work more carefully, seeking out new research and sharp analysis in the field, and engaging others.
We are fortunate that people have responded well to us. After multiple mentions in Racialicious and another in Feministing, we were able to reach a much larger audience. Elevate Difference, an online publication that provides a much-needed platform for emerging progressive writers, reached out to us for an interview, which is reprinted in this month’s issue. While we’ve only just started to see RE/VISIONIST grow, we are excited that the progressive online community is prepared to take student work seriously. One gratifying example was when we published Tanisha Ramirez’s analysis of the book Latina Legacies, and author Virginia Sanchez Korrol wrote an encouraging comment on the post. It has been exciting to engage in conversations with people whose work we love and to feel connected to a critical yet supportive community.
Our hope for the future of RE/VISIONIST is that it stays active in the Sarah Lawrence community. We entered this venture a bit blindly and made it work as best we could, and we are eager to see what the next staff has up its sleeves. As the conversation continues, we look forward to a growing readership and that people really get involved in talking to—and listening to—each other!
We are so thankful to all our contributors and readers who made this publication possible. As we graduate, we express gratitude to the new editors for allowing us the opportunity to remain a part of these challenging and necessary conversations.