Dear New Mandala readers,
From today I’ll be taking over as Editor of New Mandala as Dr Elly Kent prepares to leave the ANU to take on a new role in the Indonesian Studies program at UNSW Canberra.
Longstanding readers might recognise me as a bit of a New Mandala veteran: along with colleagues at the ANU I co-edited the site’s coverage of the 2014 Indonesian elections and their aftermath, and served as its Editor (ably assisted by a team of country and thematic editors) between April 2017 and July 2019.
Working on New Mandala has been a labour of love which has motivated me to pursue my own academic work as a researcher and teacher.
New Mandala is nothing if not a passion project, and keeping the site online and lively is more labour-intensive than you might think. I think I can speak for New Mandala’s readership, contributors and colleagues at the ANU when I extend my deep appreciation to Elly for all the hard work she’s done in overseeing New Mandala since she took over from Dr Rebecca Gidley in 2020. Elly has taken the site in exciting new directions with its coverage of arts and culture, and I’m very pleased that she’ll be staying on board as Section Editor for ARTSEA, New Mandala’s platform for writing on art, design and architecture in Southeast Asia. If you missed it, please read the farewell note Elly put online yesterday.
New Mandala always reflects its editors’ interests and expertise, their personal and professional schedules, and the resources available to them. As a student of Indonesian politics, I bring plenty of personal interest (and by now, one would hope, a bit of expertise) to the job. But resources are currently at a low ebb, so managing New Mandala will be a decidedly part-time affair for the moment. I need to flag both to readers and contributors that the site’s publishing capacity will be limited for the time being, so expect a slower publication schedule. I appreciate contributors’ patience with longer turnaround times on edits than might have been the norm in recent years.
That said, I am keen to make sure that what does make it onto the site reflects the best of New Mandala’s tradition of informed and opinionated commentary on Southeast Asian affairs. With this goal in mind, I’ve updated and streamlined our guidelines for contributors, which you can read here.
It’s a privilege to once again be responsible for New Mandala and I welcome tips, feedback, and submissions at [email protected] (submissions to the ARTSEA series should be directed to [email protected]).
Liam Gammon | the Editor