It is with great pleasure that I introduce a new editorial team to LARR’s readers. The team is led by Carmen Martínez Novo of the Center for Latin American Studies at the University of Florida. Continuing associate editors are Jana Morgan (University of Tennessee–Knoxville, political science) and Fabrice Lehoucq (University of North Carolina–Greensboro, book review essays). Incoming associate editors are Héctor Amaya (University of Southern California, film review section), Christopher Britt (George Washington University, literature), Juan Carlos Callirgos (Pontificia Universidad Católica del Peru, anthropology), Abby Córdova (University of Notre Dame, political science), Lena Lavinas (Universidade Federal de Rio de Janeiro, economics), Pavel Shlossberg (Gonzaga University, cultural studies), Joel Stillerman (Grand Valley State University, sociology), Heather Vrana (University of Florida, history), and Daniel Fernández Guevara (University of Florida, editorial assistant). The editorial team was selected seeking disciplinary, geographical, and thematic complementarity. Some associate editors are based in the United States while others work from Latin America. As the first woman editor in chief of LARR, I have prioritized the inclusion of female associate editors who will bring feminist perspectives, particularly in those disciplines where women may be less well represented such as political science and economics. The team has been chosen with the aim to promote academic rigor, critical perspectives, inclusion, and efficiency in the review process. We are very grateful to the directors of LASA for placing their confidence in us.
We have been lucky to receive the journal in great shape. The reputation of LARR in the humanities and humanistic social sciences has solidified under the last administration while maintaining the journal’s prestige in the “hard” social sciences. We plan to continue this strategy. For instance, SCOPUS ranked LARR in the top 90 percent of most-cited journals in Literature and Literary Theory. The general citation impact has improved significantly. We are very grateful to Aníbal Pérez-Liñán and the outgoing team for their generous support in the transition.
There are some traditions of LARR that the incoming team aims to cherish and preserve. We will continue seeking and publishing high-quality and cutting-edge work in the field of Latin American studies. The previous administration, aware that many departments in the United States prioritize publication in disciplinary journals, worked to further establish LARR in the disciplines. The move was intended to encourage authors to submit high-quality work to LARR instead of sending it to disciplinary outlets. For this purpose, articles in each issue were divided by disciplines. Now that LARR has acquired a solid reputation in disciplinary quarters, the incoming team plans to return to the journal’s interdisciplinary tradition. This goal resonates with the Latin American tradition to highlight the region’s key problems and questions rather than the disciplinary boundaries. We aim to prioritize work that is conversant outside its discipline and locale and that has the potential to interest a wider readership. We intend that LARR continue to be a space for critical debates on and from Latin America. With this purpose in mind, we are planning to start a new section that will provide a space for reflections and debates on new trends in Latin American studies and that will compare and contrast approaches originating in the global South and North.
At the same time, the new team plans to continue with the organization of LARR in the well-known sections of research articles, research notes, and book and film reviews. In the book review essay section, LARR will continue to publish pieces on emergent debates in Latin American studies as reflected in the most recent publication trends. Review essays by established or younger scholars are unique to LARR and are widely cited and useful to teachers and researchers. Fabrice Lehoucq, our book review editor, seeks to increase the number of books published in Spanish and Portuguese and published in Latin America that are reviewed in the section. He encourages reviewers to venture beyond their disciplinary comfort zone. The film review section will work in coordination with LASA’s film festival and will help readers identify significant documentary films on Latin America for teaching and research purposes.
The outgoing team did a great job speeding up the time to review and making processing articles more efficient. The time to publication has been slow in recent years because of the large number of submissions and because LARR does not have the ability to publish articles online first. The new team plans to continue with the successful strategies implemented by Aníbal Pérez-Liñán and the outgoing team. In disciplines in which many submissions are received, such as political science and literature, we have assigned two associate editors instead of one to speed up the workflow.
LASA is negotiating a transition to a new academic publisher that will allow online-first publication. This will alleviate the backlog and help authors make their work public in advance of the specific volume and issue to which they are assigned. The academic press with which LASA is negotiating a contract has promised a more efficient submission system as well as support for the editorial team with workflow processes and the promotion of the journal. Publication style and design will be updated according to new publishing standards and trends. Since the transition will take place in January 2022, the new team will keep the layout of articles as is for the time being to avoid making too many changes in a short period of time. Due to the backlog accumulated in the last years, the outgoing team has already scheduled all issues for the year 2021. The issues nurtured by the new team will start to come out with the change in publishers in 2022.
LARR will continue to offer a prize to the best academic article published during the previous year. The prize’s name will change to LARR–University of Florida Best Article Award. The winner will continue to be recognized at the LASA Congress. The new team will try to further publicize this competition so our readers have the opportunity to nominate those articles that they have enjoyed the most and that they find most useful.
The University of Florida is thrilled to bring LARR to its Center for Latin American Studies for the first time. CLAS is the oldest Latin American Studies Center in the United States and among the most prestigious. It was founded in 1930 by UF president John Tigert, who recognized Florida’s strong ties to the Caribbean and Latin America. In 1961, the center was selected as a National Resource Center by the US Department of Education and has received continuous Title VI funding ever since. The University of Florida is well known for its world-class Latin American and Caribbean Collection, which holds approximately 500,000 volumes, over 50,000 microforms, a large collection of rare books and manuscripts, and a wealth of digital resources. CLAS has traditionally had strong ties to LASA and has contributed in many ways to the development of the field of Latin American studies.
We are very excited to start working at LARR and to be able to serve our readers as well as the members of the Latin American Studies Association. We are also looking forward to your article and review essay submissions. We hope that the new team and the flow of publication in LARR do justice to the diversity and richness of scholarship represented by LASA.