Many academics will tell you to steer away from creating an edited volume. Yet, judging by academic catalogs, clearly, some academics continue to create edited books. Why would any academic pull together an edited volume?
The reason is that there are some cases when creating an edited volume makes sense. I recently edited a volume for Oxford University Press and I will explain in this post why I did it, how I did it, and why I am extremely gratified to have edited this book.
I decided to create Forced Out and Fenced In: Immigration Tales From the Field because I had an abundance of rich stories from my research with deportees that I wanted to share. I thought about writing a popular book that highlighted deportees’ stories, but I did not think that I had enough stories to fill a book. Moreover, I had just published a book based on deportees’ stories and did not want to try and spin another book out of that research. I did, however, want to reach a broad readership with the stories.
As I thought about how to get these stories out to a broader audience, I asked myself if other researchers might also have stories that needed to be told. It turns out they did! When I reached out to my colleagues, I received an enthusiastic response both regarding the desire to tell these stories and to hear the stories of others affected by immigration law enforcement.
In this case, it made sense to edit a volume as opposed to writing a monograph because I wanted to highlight a broad range of stories of people affected by immigration law enforcement, and I wanted a combination of historical and contemporary stories. This kind of project requires a team.
It is also critical that the team was excited. This book gave the contributors an opportunity to share parts of their research that may not fit into a typical academic article or even a monograph. Forced Out and Fenced In highlights people’s stories. The argument and historical context form the backdrop. The contributors were excited about the opportunity to try a different kind of academic writing.
This enthusiasm then translated into what might be the most seamless production of an edited volume in the history of book publishing. Forced Out and Fenced In: Immigration Tales From the Field was created in what must be record time due to the enthusiasm of the contributors and the extraordinary efforts of the team at Oxford.
This volume took only a year to put together—practically lightning speed in academic publishing. In early September 2015, I sent a note to Oxford University Press editor Sherith Pankratz to ask if she might be interested in an edited book on immigration enforcement. She said she was. In mid-September, I sent a query out to twenty-five scholars. By mid-October, twenty-one of them responded and said they were willing to contribute essays. The other four politely declined. I wrote a full proposal and sent it to Sherith, along with a sample contribution. She got back to me with reviews in mid-December 2015. By January 2016, we signed a contract.
I then reached out to the contributors and asked them to send me their contributions by mid-March. If you have ever worked with academic authors, you will find the next sentence surprising. All of them sent in their chapter drafts on time. We sent the full manuscript out for review, asked the authors for revisions, and they consistently met every single deadline multiple times. This is practically unheard of in academia. By mid-October 2016, every single author had sent me the final version of their chapters and we were able to get this book into production by the end of November 2016.
The book was released in June 2017 – less than two years from idea to publication—which must break all kinds of records for edited volumes in academia. I was fortunate to have secured contributors who are not only at the top of the field, but are also timely and responsive.
In case you are curious, the Table of Contents is below. If you are in the humanities or social sciences, you will see that I was able to recruit an amazing group of folks!
Foreword - Roberto Lovato
Introduction: Forced Out and Fenced In - Tanya Golash-Boza
Part I: Migration Histories: How Did We Get Here?
1. Wong Foon Chuck: Making Home in the Borderlands between China, the United States, and Mexico - Elliott Young
2. Lost in Translation - Mae M. Ngai
3. Rebel, Deportee, Governor: The Life of Antonio I. Villarreal - Kelly Lytle Hernández
4. Mexican Migrants, Family Separation, and US Immigration Policy since 1942 - Adam Goodman
Part II: Families Torn Apart: How Do Deportation Laws Affect Families?
5. Becoming American - Lisa M. Martinez
6. ’Til Law Do Us Part: Immigration Policy and Mixed-Status Family Separation - Ruth Gomberg-Muñoz
7. Double Jeopardy: Deportation and the Life-Course Rituals of Twin Sisters - Kara Cebulko
Part III: Living Without Papers: How Do Undocumented People Navigate the Challenges They Face?
8. The Law Doesn’t Care About Love: Intimate Relationships in Cities with Restrictive Immigration Laws - Angela S. García
9. “It’s a Strange Condition”: Being in College Under a Cloud of Uncertainty - John S. W. Park
10. How Will I Get My Skull Back? The Embodied Consequences of Immigrant Policing - Nolan Kline
Part IV: Seeking Refuge: What Does It Take to Get Asylum in the United States?
11. “Is This America?”: Asylum-Seeking in an Era of Humanitarian Decline - Sarah M. Lakhani
12. When American Dreams Are Shattered - Tanya Golash-Boza
13. The Power of Law: How Immigration Policy Shapes Salvadorans’ Experience of Family and Motherhood - Maya Pagni Barak
Part V: Gendered Exclusions: How Are Deportation Experiences Gendered?
14. Gendered Exclusion: Three Generations of Women Deported to the Dominican Republic - Yolanda C. Martin
15. Caging Paloma: Illegality and Violence Along the United States–Mexico Border - Heidy Sarabia
16. The Ripple Effects of US Immigration Enforcement: A Young Mexican Deportee’s Story of Isolation, Precarity, and Resilience - Christine Wheatley
Part VI: Deporting DREAMers: How Do “American” Youth Navigate Their Lives in Mexico after Deportation?
17. I Used to Believe in Justice - Juan Carlos Guevara, Angela Stuesse, and Mathew Coleman
18. No Place Like Home: From High School Graduation to Deportation - Alexis M. Silver
19. Call Centers, Transnational Mobility, and (Neoliberal) Citizenship - Jill Anderson
Part VII: Returning “Home”: What Happens to Migrants Who Return to the United States After Being Deported?
20. No hay otro: An Ecuadorian Tale of Repeated US Immigration - Nancy Hiemstra
21. Barred Por Vida: María Inez’s Battle to Find Health and Well-Being - San Juanita García
22. Sergio Rodriguez’s Dream Deferred: Illegality, Deportation, and the Long-Term Impacts of Lives in Limbo - Roberto G. Gonzales