PGEP seeks to break barriers in politics & academia

New publication encourages contributions from all disciplines

PGEP’s first issue to launch in late March.
Supplied by Sasha Cohen
The Perspectives on Gender, Equity and Politics (PGEP) Journal is a new student publication at Queen’s that seeks to publish academic writing and creative works on politics and intersectionality.
Established by Sasha Cohen and Anika Bousquet, both ArtSci ’22, PGEP intends to publish a wider variety of works than what’s typically centered in academia.
“I think a lot of times when we’re talking about what is the political, what is the academic, that’s very confined to a particular sphere, and it’s often rigid and rooted in colonial norms. We really wanted to push the boundary on that,” Bousquet said in an interview with The Journal.
PGEP seeks to combat an academic atmosphere that overvalues prestige by broadening our understanding of what sorts of knowledge are worth producing and legitimizing.
To Cohen and Bousquet, meaningful political commentaries are not confined to essays and research papers. Lived experience and artwork can also provide essential insights into equity and social justice.
“I’m in DEVS 240 right now, which is a really cool course about culture and development, and something that we study a lot is pieces of art and how they have contributed to cultural shifts or show pieces of political resistance in an artistic and creative way,” Cohen said. 
“In learning from things like that, we were like, ‘why would we only accept research papers or essays or what a formal submission would typically look like for any of your classes or any other established academic journal?’”
Cohen said this also allows the publication to remove any limit for people to submit their writings as a normal academic journal would.  
For their inaugural issue, PGEP opened their submissions to all disciplines and mediums under the theme of “resistance”—a topic Cohen said is ideal for gathering a diverse variety of perspectives.
They received works ranging from musical pieces to poetry to art installations, from students’ levels of education spanning from high school to graduate studies.
“One of them is a song from a band […] and they’re talking about the intersection of race and class, in this context of feeling the pressure of living in a system under capitalism,” Bousquet said. 
“It’s really an interesting kind of take, because when you look at the song and you look at the song lyrics, you may not gather all of the backstory that came into writing that song,” she added. 
“But then they provide [a background] for that piece, and it’s really incredible to see how critical something as simple as a song with a few lyrics can be.” 
They also received an art installation of a student’s master’s thesis. 
“She created a clothing line about consent from recycled pieces of clothing, and so we’re displaying pictures of this art installation in the journal alongside the meaning and significance behind it,” Cohen said. 
PGEP offers an important platform for students to contribute to a new model of academia and research at Queen’s, according to Bousquet and Cohen. 
“There are many different groups on campus who are doing absolutely incredible work. To just be part of that space, and to provide a space and a platform where people can kind of bring their thoughts together into a tangible journal, is a really powerful thing,” Bousquet said.
PGEP’s inaugural volume will be launched in late March or early April, with limited print copies and a digital edition available on Issuu.

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