ENGAGE! 2022


For 2022, we consider the following areas to be pressing and in need of focused exploration:

  • Arts’ Roles in Fostering Community Well Being, Alain Barker (Guest Editor), Jacobs School of Music, Indiana University

With a growing body of research indicating that lively arts activity in communities helps social cohesion, enhances well-being, and supports economic resilience, this is a key moment to be sharing research, stories, and information on the topic of arts’ roles in fostering community well-being. “As leaders position their states for a post-pandemic recovery, new research shows why the arts should be looked to as an essential tool in both economic recovery and reconnecting our communities,” says Randy Cohen, VP of Research at Americans for the Arts.

We look forward to adding to the research in the upcoming issue of ENGAGE! by welcoming a variety of perspectives that illuminate the power of arts in communities. Contributions are expected to represent a range of artistic expressions, including, visual, performing, digital, graphic, literary, and architectural. In particular, we’re eager to learn about community-based participatory projects and studies that examine how investments in long-term partnerships help build capacity on the ground, enhance community vibrancy, empower a sense of place and identity, while inspiring creative forms.

This issue seeks to share information for artists, designers, students, and the public. Articles about faculty, students and community stakeholders collaborating to further mobilize arts’ impact for social change are timely. Students in schools, conservatories, colleges, and universities working in/with communities are encouraged to submit to ENGAGE! as they practice and hone their skills in multiple disciplines e.g. art education, art therapy, and design/art-related projects.

(Submission Date: February 1 - Publication Date: May 30)

  • Exodus and Entry: The Challenges and Promises of Refugee and Immigrant Supports, Thu Sương Thị Nguyen (Guest Editor) School of Education, Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis

It is estimated that by mid-2021 more than 84 million individuals were forcibly displaced from their homes as a result of persecution, conflict, war, and violence. That is more than double the total number of forcibly displaced persons recorded by the

This themed issue of ENGAGE! seeks to reflect on, struggle with, and advance our thinking and practice around what it means to live in exile and how we contribute to conditions of unfathomable indignity and distress. Beyond this, the issue seeks to surface ways that these displaced persons amongst us may provide a looking glass to help us see their full humanity, and in doing so, help to restore our own.

We invite submissions to this issue, “Exodus and Entry: The Challenges of Refugee and Immigrants Supports,” centering community based participatory research, including essays, arts-based forms, articles, policy focused commentary and briefs tied to issues impacting refugee and immigrant populations.

The impetus for forcible displacement are varied, but the impacts are predictable, regardless of which politically pregnant term we choose to use—refugee, asylee, internally displaced persons, immigrant, etc. Banishment from one’s home, living in exile, whether as a result of warfare, extreme weather, or unstable environmental conditions, individuals are increasingly existing in conditions of protracted displacement and uncertainty of when, if at all, they may return home.

The Armed Conflict Survey 2021 reported that while the global pandemic disrupted many activities the world over, it did not disrupt ongoing conflict. Conflict continued unabated, and intensified in some instances. Despite calls for global ceasefire amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, the number of active conflicts reached a record high in 2020, more than at any time since 1945.

Global climate change is an added factor in displacement. In February 2021, President Biden released Executive Order on Rebuilding and Enhancing Programs to Resettle Refugees and Planning for the Impact of Climate Change on Migrations. In response, Refugees International produced a report and offered recommendations. According to that report, more than 30 million people were displaced as a result of weather-related disasters in 2020. This was more than three times the number of those displaced by conflict in the same year.

In his essay, “Reflections on Exile” Edward Said (2002) suggests that scale is the difference between earlier exile and those of our time. “[O]ur age – with its modern warfare, imperialism, and the quasi-theological ambitions of totalitarian rulers – is indeed the age of the refugee, the displaced person, mass immigration.” Said describes the state of exile as a “condition of terminal loss,” an “essential sadness [that] can never be surmounted,” and a “crippling sorrow of estrangement.” If these words seem despairing, Said recognizes the duality of opportunity within dire circumstance.

(Submission Date: July 1 - Publication Date: October 30) 

  • Amplifying Student Voices and Community Schools, Terri Jett (Guest Editor), Political Science and Peace and Conflict Studies Department, Butler University

“When we embrace social justice as a pillar of learning in our classrooms, we declare that we’re all responsible for improving our world.” Educational Leadership, May 2009

The theme for this issue of the ENGAGE! Journal, “Amplifying Student Voices Elementary to College” focuses on elevating youth and college-age voices to encourage equitable engagement by them in the matters that concern them. Too often, the voices of the very individuals served in our schools and universities, are overlooked, disregarded, ignored or pacified with pretend “input”. Articles for this issue will examine how such inequitable omission may be addressed.

The post-apartheid struggles of South Africa suggest their constitution is significantly aspirational, nevertheless, there are components of it that serve as an important example for how we might center the lives of the children and youth in the other parts of the world given all that they have faced. Section 28 of the South African Constitution states, in part, the following:

Every child has the right to - a name and a nationality from birth; family care or parental care, or to appropriate alternative care when removed from the family environment; basic nutrition, shelter, basic health care services and social services; be protected from maltreatment, neglect, abuse or degradation; . . . or place at risk the child’s well-being, education, physical or mental health or spiritual, moral or social development. . . and further,

A child’s best interests are of paramount importance in every matter concerning the child.

Most constitutions including the U.S., do not explicitly spell out any rights for children that we know are constantly being violated. The current generation has markings that include a post 9/11 hyper-surveilled world with the diminishment of privacy, with their lives being played out over social media minute-by-minute. They have been living under a declaration of an endless war, a Great Recession, increased gun violence, a rapidly shifting climate; #Me Too and #Black Lives Matter came into being in their lives and now we are in the midst of a global pandemic.

We have to wonder what this generation of our young people want for their future selves based on decision made by others about them today. Who is looking out for them and protecting their lives and their right to thrive? This is a call for submissions to hear, to learn and act with them

(Submission Date: August 15 - Publication Date: December 15)

-Please note while each issue has an area of thematic focus, we accept manuscripts, as well as pieces reflecting the visual and performing arts, on any topic of relevance to community engaged research.  For example, other possible areas of interest are not but limited to: Homelessness and Housing and Urban Development; Faith Movements and Community Developments; Truth, Racial Healing and Indigenous Peoples; Neoliberalism and Community Economic Development; Environmental Justice; Communities of Persons with Disabilities; Advancing Methodological Approaches to Community Engaged Research; Current Issues that are Global/International in Nature.