Note! Much information in this update is now outdated!
See our home page for current details.
I'm writing this on behalf of the Radical Psychology Network's Coordinating Committee, and sending it to all members for whom we have current email addresses as well as positing it on our email lists. Sorry for the duplication, but it's the only way to make sure it gets to as many members as possible while we're still updating or membership database (We're also going to send a paper version to members whose email addresses no longer work....)
RadPsyNet is now eight years old, and undergoing a variety of transitions. More than a dozen of us were at the first North American critical psychology conference last month, in Monterey, California. We came away excited by the growth of critical psychology in North America and around the world. There's new energy in the air. And as someone who's been part of RadPsyNet from the beginning, I'm glad to be able to say that I think our work together has played a role both in arousing interest in critical alternatives and in providing a forum for pursuing critical paths.
All's not perfect, of course. We've suffered a variety of organizational growing pains. During my time slot at the Monterey conference I talked about "Organizing Critical Psychologists: The RadPsyNet Experience." If you're curious about my take on our history and prospects, you can read the paper at http://www.radpsynet.org/docs/organizing-radpsynet.html. (The paper's also on my own website, along with other work in critical psychology, psychology and law, and other topics.)
Here's a summary of what's going on now:
More than 325 people are now listed as RadPsyNet members, in more than 30 countries(!) You should all soon receive a current membership directory from Membership Coordinator Colleen Loomis, who's spent the past year updating our database, tracking people down, formatting and reformatting the output, all while finishing her degree and heading toward her postdoc in California. She's down great work! The new directory (which is available only to members) should help you find other like-minded people near where you live as well as in the rest of the world. Please review your own listing in the directory and let Colleen know if there are any errors.
We've just moved our website from my university's computer network to a private off-campus site free of university hassles. In the process we've bought a domain name that should make it easier for people to remember where we are: http://www.radpsynet.org. Registering the name cost $35 a year, but it comes with a free (and ad-free) website (as long as we pretty much stick to what we've got and don't add useful things like a search engine and online membership forms).
After a couple of years of limited site maintenance, things are developing nicely. We've already added a new section on applying critical psychology, starting with material contributed by Isaac Prilleltensky and Geoff Nelson from their forthcoming book "Doing Psychology Critically: Making a Difference in Diverse Settings." We've added some interesting resources sent by Larry Osborne to the section on teaching materials. We've added links to three critical psychology degree programs. And more! If you haven't checked us out in a while, now's the time!
Just as exciting, at least from my perspective, is that we have a new webmaster for this year. I've been trying for some time to persuade someone to take over the site, so I'm glad to report that I've finally succeeded: Kevin Henze, a doctoral student at Boston College, is already in charge, busily correcting outdated links and generating new ideas. ...And if you have your own website you'd like us to link to (whether it's psychology related or not), send Kevin the URL (and a copy to Colleen Loomis, so she can add it to the membership directory).
Radical Psychology Journal
The online Radical Psychology Journal is now accepting articles for our fourth issue. The Journal has moved to its new location at RadPsyNet.org. Check out the new location! Send manuscript submissions to Shlomit Shuster; details are on the website, where you can also read the first three issues.
New Email List: RadPsyNet-Members@yahoogroups.com
We've just added a third email discussion list, this one restricted to RadPsyNet members. The RadPsyNet-Members list will be "loosely moderated." The goal is to enable members to communicate with one another abour research ideas, student and academic challenges and opportunities, political action projects, conference planning and follow-up, and similar items of mutual practical interest. We hope it helps you get or stay involved and provide access to your colleagues in the Radical Psychology Network. Please join and help make this list useful! If you have not yet subscribed, send a blank email to RadPsyNet-Membersfirstname.lastname@example.org. If you have any problems subscribing, contact Colleen Loomis.
Our other two email lists remain in operation. Our original list remains unmoderated and free-wheeling, open to members and nonmembers alike. Over the years it's had its ups and dows but it continues to generate a healthy sprinkling of useful postings. Unfortunately, it has not proven as useful an organizational tool as we had hoped. Many RadPsyNet members intersted in focused discussion of organizational issues or topics related to research or teaching or political action have sometimes felt drowned out by more wide-ranging and sometimes hostile debate. If you'd like to try this list again, send the emial message "join radical-psychology-network Your Name" to email@example.com. You can also browse past postings at http://www.jiscmail.ac.uk/lists/radical-psychology-network.html.
Our second email list, rpn-announcement, also remains in operation. This low-volume list is restricted to annoucements only--no discussion. To join this list, send the message "subscribe rpn_announcement" to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Action Group Coordination
At the Monterey critical psychology conference we talked about using the RadPsyNet website to facilitate post-conference action group coordination. The website (and our email lists) can serve the same function for your own projects. Contact Kevin Henze with your ideas for using the website to enable smaller groups to disseminate information and stay in touch with one another.
What You Can Do
There are always a variety of tasks for RadPsyNet members looking for ways to plug in. In addition to a list of possibilities on the website, a couple of other things come to mind.
For example, we need to tell as many websites around the world that link to our site that we've moved. This isn't immediately crucial--the old website now refers people automatically to the new site-- but my university would like to remove the old website from its server. So it would be great if someone could spend a few hours here and there emailing our new location to search engins, psychology directories, and webmasters of other sites. If you have some time and want suggestions about how to proceed, let me know!
Another useful website taks would be generating material for a new "Frequently Asked Questions" section. We're often asked questions about radical psychology, especially by students: how can I get my dissertation past my committee? where can I find critical psychology degree programs? when do you people meet? what's radical psychology, anyway? Answering email can be fun, but it would be a lot more efficient to have a systematic list of questions and answers. If anyone wants to help with this, of if you have suggestions for questions (with our without possible answers!), contact Isaac Prilleltensky--Isaac's part of the post-Monterey "being-a-critical-psychologist action group," which has agreed to work on the FAQ "as time permits." Ah, time...
RadPsyNet is growing and many members are becoming more involved. With your help, we can continue to grow in numbers and scope. Print out material from the website to distribute in class. Send notices about RadPsyNet to psychology newsletters, and post information on your listservs. Link to RadPsyNet from your website. Organize conference sessions with other members on critical psychology topics, or organize a discussion group in your department. Forward this notice (or at least the website address) to people you suspect of being sympathetic. And more... What RadPsyNet becomes in the long run is up to all of us.
That's it for now. It was great meeting some of you in Monterey, and I hope to meet more of you at the next critical psychology conference! In the meantime, I hope you'll use the new email list to introduce yourself and let us all you what you're up to. Working together, we can help each other become more effective in surviving mainstream psychology and creating something better.
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