New CUSS Newsletter Assistant Editor, Kyle Galindez, University of California, Santa Cruz, interviewed Deirdre Oakley about her new role as City & Community editor.
What motivated you to pursue the C&C editorship?
Not many people know this, but I started my career in magazine publishing right out of college – moving to New York City from Brunswick, Maine. I worked for Vanity Fair and Fortune before I went to graduate school. While academic peer-review journals clearly have different audiences and expectations, as well as typically non-glossy and four-color (except for Contexts), I’ve always been interested in eventually becoming an editor in the academic world.
City & Community is also near and dear to my heart because the journal was launched while I was in graduate school and the first article coming from my dissertation was published in C&C. I have been a loyal reader and reviewer since its inception. When the call went out for a new editor in 2017 I thought about applying, was on the fence for a while because it’s an enormous responsibility to take on, and I was in the middle of writing a NSF grant (ultimately not funded). I finally decided that it’s now or never. My rationale: I’m a full professor so I don’t have to worry about promotion (because trust me, being editor has slowed down my productivity significantly); it would be a great opportunity for some of my grad and undergraduate students; and an opportunity to make a different kind of contribution to my field. In short, my inner-self concluded I should go for it (and so did my husband).