PULLMAN, Wash. — As the new editor of The Western Journal of Black Studies, Kelly S.
Ervin wants to expand the publication’s readership.
“More people are finding out about it,” said Ervin, an assistant professor of comparative
American cultures at Washington State University. “And more people are discovering the
diversity of scholarly work that we publish. People outside of African-American studies are
picking up the journal and saying, ‘This is useful information.'”
The journal was founded at WSU in 1977 by retired professor Talmadge Anderson. A
national publication, it is printed by WSU Press three times a year.
“The journal is dedicated to publishing scholarship, from a wide range of disciplines, that
focus mainly on the experience of African Americans in the United States,” she said. “Scholars
of all races and ethnicities publish in the journal, not just African American scholars.”
A new web site is helping spread the word about the journal.
The web site is getting 200 hits a day.
Ervin became the editor when former editor Lincoln James, a WSU professor of
communication, decided to step down and become the journal’s book review editor.
“I liked what I saw,” Ervin said. “I also saw how I could make some positive changes, so I
accepted.”
In the short time since taking over the reins, Ervin has already made significant changes by
making the journal “less of a commentary piece and more of a scholary academic journal,” she
notes. “That includes publishing research with empirical data and critical analysis of the
intersection of race, class and gender.”
The journal publishes articles on topics that range from religion and medicine to
psychology, sociology and history.
“It’s highly regarded,” Ervin said. “It won the 1996 National Council for Black Studies C.L.R.
James award for promoting outstanding African-American issue-oriented scholarship. I’d like to
maintain that level of excellence.”
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