'Whiteness' journal mysteriously goes dark after exposure

An academic journal on “white privilege” has apparently stopped publishing articles following a Campus Reform investigation in September.

The journal, Whiteness and Education, published by Routledge, claimed to publish peer-reviewed research on issues including “critical discussions of White racism, White identity, privilege, power, and intersectionality.”

However, a closer inspection revealed that the majority of published articles were “accepted” for publication within two days of being “received”—a very short time frame that could not allow for proper peer-review, according to professors consulted by Campus Reform.

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Campus Reform published a probe of the journal’s peer review process on September 27, but Nicola Rollock, the lead editor for the journal, declined to respond to multiple inquiries for that article, as did the co-editor and all 21 members of the editorial board.

Since then, Whiteness in Education has not published any new articles, despite its history of publishing throughout October in years past. The journal has also gone dark on social media, and the editors have not published any updates on the journal’s news section.

Rollock has not responded to any email inquiries seeking clarification on whether the journal is still active. Routledge media representatives also did not return email requests for comment, and did not follow up with inquiries made by phone.

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It seems the journal may have shut down, or have gone dark to revise its peer review process. Campus Reform raised both of those potentialities in an inquiry to a Routledge media representative, but did not receive a response.

Previously published articles, however, are still available online. Some of the journal’s most-read pieces include “Teaching to deconstruct whiteness in higher education” by University of Iowa Professor Jodi Linley, and another on the “Tropics of Whiteness” by Zeus Leonardo, a professor at the University of California-Berkeley.  

While some articles were viewed hundreds of times, the broader impact of the journal’s articles remains unclear. Almost a year-and-a-half after it was first published, the journal’s most-cited article has only been cited by other academics twice, while only five articles have been cited at least once.

[RELATED: Researcher dismisses science ‘conducted primarily by white men’]

Whiteness in Education was started in April 2016 to “to provide a critical and rigorous space in which to make Whiteness visible” and to explore the “power, privilege, pervasiveness, and violence of Whiteness.”  

Its editorial board includes 21 scholars of white privilege and social justice, including Natasha Warikoo, a Harvard University professor, and Peggy McIntosh, who is credited with popularizing the term “white privilege.”

Campus Reform will continue to monitor the journal, and will update this article if any new details come to light.

Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @Toni_Airaksinen