Last fall, in the wake of the historic presidential election, the inaugural issue of Colloquium: The Political Science Journal of Boston College was released to the general public.
The first edition of the publication, which focuses on climate change policy, is now available at various locations throughout campus. Conner Coles, a member of the editorial board and MCAS ’20, discussed the newly created journal and its pertinence to the BC community.
“With all of the fake news circulating in the wake of the election, I think it is important that Colloquium is focused on objective analysis,” Coles said, who is also a member of Boston College Democrats and Fulton Debate Society. “Having a publication like this serves a civic purpose, as people can look to it as a reliable source for factual, academic analysis.”
The journal includes a wide array of pieces about topics ranging from the historical coverage of the Iran Hostage Scandal to the relationship between elected representatives and their constituents. Moreover, writers and editors for the journal come from all walks of life at BC.
“You would imagine that a lot of the individuals on our editorial board would be political science majors, but we actually have people from a lot of different backgrounds and interests,” Coles said.
The journal does not restrict its submissions to articles related to the field of political science. The staff of Colloquium considers research pieces that students may write for a history or sociology class, for example, that are not purely political in nature. In fact, the journal strives to promote academic work in an unbiased, open, and detailed manner. According to Coles, the first edition represents that diversity of topics.
Cesar Garcia, the editor-in-chief of the publication and MCAS ’17, and Anna Olcott, the managing editor and MCAS ’17, were instrumental in establishing the journal, acquiring the appropriate funding for the publication and making all of the other necessary arrangements for Colloquium. The publication’s primary mission is to enhance the liberal arts education provided at BC.
“I think Colloquium is a really good outlet because it is able to highlight the professional work that students are doing in and out of class in a format that is easily accessible to other students interested in political science,” Coles said. “Even if you’re not a political science major, I think that the articles that we’ve chosen for the journal are relevant to anyone who is interested in politics, history, and current events.”
Colloquium now joins the ranks of several other social science publications at BC, such as Kaleidoscope, the University’s international journal, and Al Noor, the undergraduate Middle Eastern studies journal. The publication team is currently planning to release new editions on a biannual basis. The first edition will be made available on the BC Library Open Journal System beginning in late February.
The editorial board of the journal is currently considering accepting submissions from graduate students at BC as well as undergraduate students currently enrolled at other universities. The percentage of submissions accepted from these sources would likely be very low, however, because the editorial board would like to keep the journal focused on undergraduate students at BC.
While the theme of the inaugural edition of Colloquium is climate change policy, the editorial board did not originally intend for this to be the case. In fact, the publication was originally conceived without any planned theme for its first issue. Once student submissions began to roll in, however, the publication reconsidered.
“We originally didn’t go into this with a theme in mind,” Coles said. “The theme was dictated by the large volume of climate-related submissions that we received. We thought that climate change was something that is often talked about hyperbolically in the media, and agreed that it is one of the most pressing issues of our time.”
The theme for the next issue will depend on the next round of submissions, if there is even a theme at all. As of now, with the first edition of the journal not yet released, future editions of Colloquium might be organized in many different ways and look different from this inaugural issue. But for now, by the end of the month, BC will have its first official glance at the newest journal on campus.
Featured Image by Kaitlin Meeks / Heights Staff