Bridging the Gap

When I joined The Undercurrent as a volunteer last Fall, it was just a journal.¹ It represented an opportunity for me to volunteer just a few hours a week on something related to my studies. Now, as we reach The Undercurrent’s tenth anniversary, the journal is so much more than a journal—it’s a bridge between Canadian international development students and the rest of the development community.

My first impression of The Undercurrent was made over a Skype call with our Editor-in-Chief, Clarke Foster. As he enthusiastically explained all of the things he wanted the journal to accomplish for its tenth anniversary—from modernizing the editorial process to reviving the national InSight conference and much more—all I kept thinking was, “Is he serious? How can a group of student volunteers, who don’t even live in the same time zone, accomplish all of this in just a few months?”

Now look at us. We have a brand new website and blog, with beautiful graphics designed by Jess Johanssen. We are coordinating with the Canadian Association for the Study of International Development to host a national conference for international development students. We’ve launched a mentoring program to join students with experts from the field. And, of course, we continue our core work: peer-reviewing and publishing high-quality student papers.

Beyond simply offering students an opportunity to get their work published, we are connecting students to the wider development community. Here’s how we’re accomplishing this, and how you can get involved:

  • InSight – Happening May 28-30, 2014 at Brock University in St. Catherines, Ontario, InSight will bring together students with some of the biggest minds in International Development to discuss and debate on development issues and international development education in Canada. Register now to participate or submit a proposal by March 24 to facilitate a session!²
  • Mentoring for International Development – Are you working or researching in the field of international development? Become a mentor! Are you an undergrad or recent grad with an interest in building a career in development? Sign up to be a mentee!
  • Call for Submissions – Our current call for papers focuses on “Future Research Questions in International Development.” As always, we are seeking submissions from undergraduate students. But, for the first time this year, we are also seeking short essays and commentaries from academics and practitioners to balance the debate. Are you a development practitioner, prof or researcher, or do you know of one who may be interested in submitting a piece? Get in touch with us!


Want to get involved with The Undercurrent? Get in touch with us! Find us on TwitterFacebook and LinkedIn.

(1) Actually, calling it just a journal is a drastic understatement. As Amy writes in her recent blog, The Undercurrent has mysteriously functioned like a well-oiled machine over the past ten years thanks to an ever-revolving door of passionate and dedicated undergraduate students who deserve to be commended.

(2) Note: InSight is a side conference of the CASID Annual Meeting, which is a conference within Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences. Confused yet? Don’t worry. All you need to know is: InSight attendees must register as part of the CASID meeting. (Perk: you will have access to all of the CASID events with ID profs from across the country as well as all of the Congress events like the Big Thinking Speaker Series and the Career Corner.)

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