On the afternoon of September 8, 2017, the past and current editors of IJURR gathered to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the journal. It was a rare occasion to share histories and stories, to consider intellectual and political commitments that have endured across generations, and to engage in a bit of debate and disagreement. Crowded into a room bathed in sunlight, the editors shared their reflections on questions pertaining to the role of the journal in the broader context of urban studies. What is urban studies today? In different world regions? Who speaks for the field and with what types of authority and legitimacy? What are the methods and theoretical practices that are valorized? What are the absences and silences? For those of us new to the journal, we were eager to hear from some of the founders. We asked, which urban worlds was IJURR trying to explain and analyze at its inception and how has this task changed over the years?
For IJURR, the endeavor of urban studies has always been thoroughly embedded in unfolding political struggles. With this in mind, we also asked: What is the relationship between IJURR and the contemporary historical conjuncture?
Finally, over the course of the journal’s 40 years, there have been significant transformations in the political economy of academic publishing and the role of the global university. We thus asked: How has the journal dealt with the opportunities and challenges presented by the current structure of academic publishing and academe? What is the role of agenda-setting journals such as IJURR in challenging Eurocentrism and promoting an urban studies actively produced in different parts of the world?
We share with you here glimpses of our day together. We hope that these brief video interviews and reflection essays below will be of interest to the IJURR community and the field of urban studies.