Elisabeth Jay Friedman – Seeking Rights from the Left

Why did you decide to publish Seeking Rights from the Left with a university press?

University presses have the enormous advantage of having a clear publishing mission: to advance knowledge, particularly scholarly knowledge. Although this mission can be difficult to maintain in the face of “bottom line” priorities, university presses’ commitment to it is of the highest value to the academic community. Thus, work like this collection, which might not appeal to a mass audience, has the opportunity to be circulated among the students, teachers, and researchers who are concerned with these issues, as well as others in the general public. Moreover, some university presses also have a commitment to publishing on contemporary politics dynamics, enabling timely reflection on current conditions. In the case of Duke University Press, both things seemed to be at work. I am very grateful for the work of acquisition editor Gisela Fosado and the Duke team in bringing this project to fruition!

Do you enjoy the writing process?

The writing process – which brings research insights into the light by designing the proper container for their distribution – is a fundamental element of my work. As such, it has its pleasures and its pains. Writing with others, as I have had the privilege to do in this edited collection, multiples the pleasures.

What is the best piece of advice anyone has ever given to you?

Work on subjects you care about.

What piece of advice might you give to young academics looking to follow in your footsteps? Who inspires you?

I’d give them the same advice. 

They inspire me. This is a daunting time to be a young academic. 

What’s next?

For this project, we are moving ahead with a Spanish translation, and looking forward to distributing it in Latin America and Spain. 

I’m currently at work on a project that explores the intersectional and transnational travel of feminist practices.

Elisabeth Jay Friedman is professor of politics and Latin American studies at the University of San Francisco. She has published extensively in the area of gender politics, as well as on sexuality politics, in Latin America and globally. Her published works include Interpreting the Internet: Feminist and Queer Counterpublics in Latin America(2017); Sovereignty, Democracy, and Global Civil Society: State-Society Relations at unWorld Conferences, with Kathryn Hochstetler and Ann Marie Clark(2005); Unfinished Transitions: Women and the Gendered Development of Democracy in Venezuela, 1936–1996(2000); and articles in journals including Politics & Gender, Latin American Politics and Society, Signs, Women’s Studies International, and Comparative Politics. She is currently serving as an Editor-in-Chief of the International Feminist Journal of Politics