Stuart Elden became Editor of Environment and Planning D: Society and Space with the first issue of its 25th volume. Now, 8 and ½ years later, he is stepping down.
In his first editorial as Editor, titled Change and Continuity, Stuart set out three key aspects of his vision for the journal. First, he declared that Society and Space, “by the very nature of the questions it addresses is an inherently interdisciplinary journal”, and set his sights on expanding its reach across disciplinary boundaries. Second, he highlighted the journal’s aim “to be international in its focus, and to publish work coming from across the world”, alongside his wish to bring non-English debates to the journal’s readers through both submissions and translations. Third, he announced changes in submissions processing at EPD, changes that saw a decentralized editorial structure replaced with one in which Editor and Co-Editors vetted each submission collectively.
Stuart’s tireless efforts to cultivate the journal’s theoretical depth and quality have yielded dividends in each of these three areas: the interdisciplinary and international network of authors, reviewers, and contributors that Society and Space relies upon has certainly grown; he has especially brought in scholars working on continental theory and philosophy in a range of sites, and has facilitated the publication of numerous translations in the journal’s pages; and, the collective mode of working that he instituted at the beginning of his tenure with the journal worked so effectively that, in 2013, we moved from a structure of one lead Editor and several Co-Editors to a flat structure of several Editors who share all administrative and intellectual responsibilities equally.
Stuart’s efforts also extend well beyond the print journal. Most notably, he began this Open Site in 2011, and its growing audience year-on-year is a testament to his vision of the benefits and contributions of an open-access journal companion site. Further, he has remained keenly intent on fostering the work of junior scholars and graduate students behind the scenes.
We will sorely miss the collaborative spirit and energy that Stuart brought to the journal, and we thank him for his mentorship, friendship and collegiality. He has accepted our invitation to remain on the Society and Space masthead as an honorary editor, so our gratitude for his work and dedication will surely continue to grow. The journal will inevitably change as we bring on new team members in months to come. But, as Stuart noted when he started in 2007, we will likewise continue to try “to do what the journal does so well – publish challenging, well-written and theoretically innovative contributions to ongoing debates, as well as sparking fresh ideas and mapping new directions.”
Deborah Cowen, Natalie Oswin, Mary Thomas