29 November 2018
On November 8, the James Joyce Quarterly received an open letter that alleged instances of sexual harassment and misconduct at numerous Joyce-related events sponsored by the International James Joyce Foundation and other such organizations. The letter was signed by ninety-six scholars from the around the world who demanded that the various Joyce publications, foundations, and summer schools take prompt action to implement anti-harassment policies, facilitate the reporting of harassing behavior, and impose sanctions on those who engage in such conduct.
At the advice of counsel, the JJQ has elected not to publish this letter. Instead, we believe it most important to clarify the position of the journal and emphasize that it strongly and unequivocally condemns any kind of harassment or other misconduct. The international Joyce community consists of a vibrant network of scholars, researchers, readers, artists, writers, teachers, and fans. It prides itself on openness to new ideas, new people, and new approaches to the work of one of the world’s most influential writers. The blind peer review process at the journal has consistently assured that all the work we receive will be reviewed in a way that limits bias and makes certain that our pages remain open to everyone. Recently, we substantially reorganized the editorial board in a deliberate effort to make it even more international and inclusive in scope.
This community can only function, however, if it remains accessible to everyone. Harassment can take many different forms and can remain invisible—especially if its victims feel that they cannot safely report abuses to those who might be able to stop them. The idea that scholars and students might have abandoned Joyce studies because they found themselves targeted by bad actors is a cause not only for alarm, but for prompt action. Those who count themselves members of the Joyce community—whether they happen to be a conference presenter, participant, student, or a speaker—have a responsibility to ensure that everyone can operate in a safe, professional, and equitable environment. This means speaking up when harassment occurs, reporting it appropriately, and providing support to those who have been targeted.
The JJQ unequivocally condemns all forms of harassment and misconduct, sexual or otherwise. This includes, but is not limited to, making unwanted sexual advances, requesting sexual favors, and employing verbal, visual, physical, and/or electronic means to threaten, demean, harass, insult, intimidate, or otherwise interfere with another person as they attempt to engage in the professional and social activities that define the world of Joyce scholarship. Furthermore, plainly illegal acts including assault or stalking should be reported immediately to the appropriate authorities.
The authors and signatories of the open letter specifically ask that the various Joyce organizations promptly draft and implement clear anti-harassment policies. The JJQ strongly supports this recommendation and urges these bodies to include clear procedures for securely reporting such conduct. We furthermore offer our pages to these organizations so that they can publish these policies when they are put in place.
The JJQ itself is subject to the University of Tulsa’s rules and regulations, including its anti-harassment policy, a copy of which is appended to this statement. If anyone believes that members of the journals’ staff or advisory board have violated this policy, then they are urged to report such allegations either directly to the editor or to the University’s Title IX coordinator, Matthew Warren (firstname.lastname@example.org, 918-631-4602).
Joyce studies is a robust, thriving field, but its ongoing success depends entirely on our collective ability to cultivate a professional and equitable environment in which every participant is free to engage in research, study, debate, and organized social events without fear of harassment, intimidation, or harm. The journal affirms this commitment to cultivating such an environment and will regularly publish both in print and on our website our own anti-harassment policy as well as those adopted by other Joyce organizations and societies. This is a small but crucial step to making clear that the JJQ, and I hope the Joyce community as a whole, cannot and will not tolerate such activity.
Editor, James Joyce Quarterly