Brandeis International Journal publishes student perspectives on the world

March 4, 2016

The Brandeis International Journal is an entirely undergraduate run, written and published International Affairs publication, according to the description on their website. Once per semester, the club releases an issue that contains thoroughly researched articles, written by students, regarding global affairs and a wide variety of dilemmas and perspectives.

Zach Kasdin ’18, an International & Global Studies and Politics double major from the suburbs of Philadelphia, is the North American Section Editor at the Brandeis International Journal. Part of his duties are to recruit students interested in writing for the journal and editing the contents that go on to appear in the North America section of the semesterly edition. Additionally, Kasdin attends meetings among the editors and club administrators to take part in the decision making process of much of the club’s activity and organizational planning.

“Editors are tasked with reaching out to people who we think could contribute interesting things to the journal, and sometimes we also ask professors to suggest students to us who they think would be interested in contributing something,” said Kasdin, explaining the process of finding writers for the multi-step process of creating a publication.

Kasdin joined the Brandeis International Journal in the spring of 2015, but since joining, the journal has been trying to raise its name recognition and develop its reputation on and off campus. “This semester we’re trying to hold more events and are also getting more in touch with other clubs cooperatively,” Kasdin commented, describing cooperating both with the Brandeis chapter of Amnesty International and future plans to cooperate with the Brandeis Quiz Bowl Team on an international-themed trivia night.

The Brandeis International Journal is divided into pieces about different regions of the world with two or three articles per section, along with a centerfold themed section. The themed section includes in-depth articles about one specific topic that was chosen by the editorial board. Last semester, the themed section examined topics concerning global migration. The remainder of the articles appearing in each regional area do not revolve around one specific theme.

The main event that the club holds each semester is a publishing event in which three or four professors or experts in that semester’s theme area will be invited to a panel to speak about the theme. At the event, new copies of the Brandeis International Journal are distributed, and authors, editors and interested individuals can congregate.

Apart from the publication event, the Brandeis International Journal also hosts occasional roundtable discussions with one or two professors speaking in a less formal question and answer session regarding a specific subject matter.

Kasdin hopes that as a result of what the Brandeis International Journal publishes, students will become more informed about issues of international scope, and writers will be given a useful opportunity to delve into a topic deeply and experience a unique writing process. “All of our articles are heavily researched, and go through two rounds of editing. We’ve got very well done articles that give in-depth perspectives on a lot of issues,” said Kasdin.

Asking about where writers tend to draw their interests, Kasdin noted that not all are focused exclusively on political affairs. “It’s wide reaching. We have people write about technology and other impacting areas. It’s not necessarily all [international relations] people or politics people. Our articles come from a bunch of different directions.

To find a copy of the Brandeis International Journal, Kasdin noted that students should keep their eyes open when walking through open public areas such as Mandel and the SCC atrium.

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