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SUNY Oswego professor co-launches mass violence research journal

SUNY Oswego
Associate Professor Jaclyn Schildkraut.

A SUNY Oswego professor has co-launched a new academic journal focused on mass violence research. The authors say the various topics they cover can be difficult to get into major publications. 

Jaclyn Schildkraut, an associate professor of criminal justice at SUNY Oswego, specializes in mass shootings and school shootings. She said there can be some bias against mass violence research, which can be viewed more critically and harder for publishers to assess.

“At least in the field of criminal justice, while it’s a hot topic, it’s not very mainstream in the same way policing and courts and corrections is,” Schildkraut said.

So, Schildkraut and her coauthor, Sarah Daly of Saint Vincent College, created the first outlet for mass violence research. While there are journals that cover genocide and terrorism, Schildkraut said there is nothing focused on mass shootings or school shootings.

“We want to create a space where this type of research is valued in the way that it should be,” she said. “We want to create a space where that information is publicly accessible to the people that need it to make the decisions on how best to respond to mass violence.”

Examples of these kinds of topics can be seen as recently as the January 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, which she said, was a perfect storm of what they’re covering.

“Our congressional representatives effectively being put into a lockdown, in a similar way to school children, that certainly mirrors the body of research on mass shootings and school shootings,” Schildkraut said. “Particularly, in light of the fact that a number of the congressional representatives had no idea how to respond, and it was their younger staffers that have been through active shooter drills that were able to keep them safe.”

She said the white supremacy and Nazism among some Trump supporters at the rally, is also in line with genocide research.

The Journal for Mass Violence Research will be free and available to the public. Schildkraut said they are receiving manuscripts and when they have enough, they will publish their first issue. She said one of the things they’re most proud of is encouraging diversity in voices, which includes early-career researchers and students.

“We really want to be able to cultivate the next generation of scholars,” she said.

Tom Magnarelli is a reporter covering the central New York and Syracuse area. He joined WRVO as a freelance reporter in 2012 while a student at Syracuse University and was hired full time in 2015. He has reported extensively on politics, education, arts and culture and other issues around central New York.