POLIS 2018: Call for Submissions
POLIS is now accepting submissions for its 2017-2018 journal. Submissions are open to all University of Toronto undergraduates and recent graduates.
The 2018 issue will use the occasion of the 50th anniversary of 1968 – a historic year in global politics remembered for its student-led uprisings and watershed foreign policy decisions – as an opportunity to reassess and reflect on the phenomena that dominate contemporary political life, from social protest, to ongoing war and geopolitical polarization.
Two types of submissions are being sought:
1. Academic Essays
Academic essays of a maximum of 4000 words may be submitted. The essay must be from a 2nd, 3rd or 4th year Political Science class, and must have received a minimum of an A- grade (80%). We especially welcome essays that adhere to the theme, though a good paper will not be disadvantaged if it does not. Submissions from all areas of study within Political Science are welcome.
Please email your submission to [email protected]
The deadline for submissions is Monday, January 29th.
The Editorial Board is looking for writers to respond to the prompts below in a 750-1000 word article. Please email [email protected]
with a chosen article topic and a potential thesis statement for your chosen prompt. Multiple questions are included in some of the prompts in order to help guide your thinking; please do not feel obligated to answer all of them. Questions are general but your answers should not be – these articles are short and we are looking for pieces that are concisely written and make an interesting, pointed case.
The deadline for potential thesis statements is January 21st.
Selected thesis statements will be confirmed shortly after.
The deadline for final article submissions is February 7th. Please be sure you can finish your piece by this date in the case that your thesis statement is selected.
1. How has the Canadian state’s relations with indigenous peoples evolved, for better or for worse, from its failed 1969 “White Paper” policy of assimilation, to present-day reconciliation and recognition-based approaches?
2. April 4, 1968 marks the 50th anniversary of the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr., a critical juncture in the American Civil Rights Movement. From the Holy Week Uprising to the Ferguson protests, trace the legacies and trajectories of the “new” civil rights movement in America.
3. Pierre Elliot Trudeau was first elected in 1968, running largely on a pro-multiculturalism platform of “The Just Society.” Make an argument for the state of liberal multiculturalism in Canada today, considering the legacies of Trudeau Sr. and the actions of Justin Trudeau’s current administration.
4. The Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons was introduced for signing fifty years ago, in 1968. Investigate the relevance, successes, and failings of the document in light of rising contemporary nuclear threats.
5. The 1968 Summer Olympics in Mexico City was one of the most contentious international sporting events, and the most deadly: hundreds of protestors were massacred in Mexico City in the days leading up to the games, the South African apartheid state was denied participation due to boycotts, and African American medal winners raised the iconic Black Power salute. What ought to be the political significance of global sporting events? What are some human rights issues that have been associated with such events in the past fifty years? How have such events helped mobilize international pressure for political causes, and what political roles can athletes play in the future?
6. The 1968 Warsaw Pact invasion of Czechoslovakia in response to the Prague Spring was condemned as a gross violation of state sovereignty. How has the foreign policy of Russia evolved over the last fifty years, if at all? What do the militaristic tendencies of global super-powers indicate about the structure of the international state-system, and how can such tendencies be contained in the future? What implications has the incessant military aggression of states like the USA and Russia had for the international order? Choose a case study.
7. Much of the post-colonial violence that followed African decolonization, such as the Nigerian Civil War (1967-1970) and the Rwandan Genocide (1994), is thought to be a result of ethnic tensions borne out of racist policies of former colonial governments. Consider how the legacy of colonialism has shaped the evolution of political institutions in an African country of your choice. Have the effects of such a legacy subsided, or have they become even more pronounced in the last fifty years? What can the African civil society and the international community do to further contribute to stability and prosperity within the African continent?
8. What role does mass media play in the construction of national imaginaries? How has the introduction of social media in particular changed democratic processes such as electoral campaigns and grassroots organizing? Choose an interesting case study.
9.The first time the word ‘sexism’ appeared in print was in a published copy of Caroline Bird’s 1968 speech, “On Being Born Female.” Develop your own take on this subject, taking into consideration the evolution of feminist politics and discourse over the decades.
10. In the late 60s, the anti-war movement against US military intervention in Vietnam proliferated as students, civil rights activists, women’s rights activists, and labour organizations all joined the cause. Was public consciousness regarding wars abroad different then? Does a comparable anti-war movement exist today? If not, what would it take for such a movement to exist?
11. The May 1968 student protests in France prompted massive strikes that halted the entire nation’s economy. The slogan of the protests was “All Power to the Imagination.” Does student activism show a greater propensity to be imaginative at the face of seemingly hopeless conditions? How and towards what causes are we seeing this ‘imaginativeness’ being mobilized by students today?
12. A prompt proposed by you. If you have an idea for an article topic that you would like to write about, send an email to [email protected]
explaining what you think is important about the topic and what you would like to argue.