The Undercurrent grew out of the inaugural Canadian national students’ conference in International Development Studies: ‘InSight’, held in the spring of 2004 in Winnipeg, Manitoba (and made possible by funding from the International Development Research Centre and the Canadian Association for the Study of International Development).
InSight witnessed students from all across Canada coming together to exchange – and create – information, skills, resources and knowledge, and to satisfy their desire to forge closer links between Canadian IDS programmes. In many ways the journal is the concrete manifestation of the ambitions, hopes and values expressed at that conference.
Since its beginnings in 2004, the Undercurrent has endeavoured to raise the profile of undergraduate IDS; to establish a venue in which young scholars may undergo constructive review and have work published; to provide the best examples of work currently being done in undergraduate IDS programmes in Canada; to stimulate creative scholarship, dialogue and debate about the theory and practice of development; to provide a learning opportunity for contributors, staff and readers; and to offer one means by which students may more meaningfully participate in broader exchanges within their chosen field of study. Besides articles and essays, the journal contains editorials, book reviews, and commentaries investigating aspects of development both at home and abroad.
While individual authors may present distinct, critical viewpoints, the Undercurrent does not harbour any particular ideological commitments. Instead, the journal aims to evince the broad range of applications for development theory and methodology and to promote interdisciplinary discourse by publishing an array of articulate, well-researched pieces.
Many undergraduate students in IDS express themselves with thoughtful creativity, embrace interdisciplinarity with enthusiasm, and exhibit an outstanding level of scholarship. While some elect to pursue advanced degrees, others do not. The Undercurrent aims to lend its voice to the claim that legitimate inquiries into the humanities emanate from many points along a scholar’s path, both before and after graduation.