Finally, 2020 is almost over.
It was a year that pushed all of us to our limits, that demanded a lot from us, and that challenged us in areas that we never could have imagined before. For us at The Graduate Press, 2020 has been bittersweet. Despite all difficulties, this year saw unprecedented growth and engagement with our publication, which has challenged us to try to re-evaluate and reimagine what a (graduate) student-run publication might look like: both during times of COVID-19 and in light of ongoing social movements worldwide.
In 2019, around 30 posts were published, with 2.000 visitors to our website throughout the year. In 2020 alone, we have published more than 100 pieces that brought 11.000 visitors from 118 different countries to our website with more than 25.000 views overall. We also improved our coverage in French, from 1 article in 2019 (which was published in our spring 2020 issue), to 12 independent articles and translations throughout the year. We also published pieces in Portuguese and Spanish for the first time.
The Spring 2020 semester saw the publication of TGP’s first themed issue, titled “REVOLUTIONS”, which was released shortly before COVID-19 brought the world to its knees. In order to support our community, we collected resources for the student body, engaged more deeply with student life (including covering GISA elections for the first time), and reported on the Black Lives Matter protests in Geneva and at the Institute. We also collaborated with the Feminist Collective and QISA for our first-ever Initiative column, and pushed for more bilingual coverage across our publication by adding a new French/Swiss editor to the team. Finally, we worked to consolidate our visual identity across social media platforms, and refined our own internal processes, both editorial and organizational.
The Fall 2020 semester saw us try to solidify these processes in real time. We welcomed a new team of editors (splitting our organizational and editorial roles in the process) that worked with a pool of writers throughout the semester. We released both an Orientation and Disorientation Guide, continued to report on student life, as well as produced our first extended coverage of Geneva Peace Week. New partnerships with the Institute’s Initiatives crystallized, most notably the Global Perspectives column aimed at creating conversations around themes from different regional perspectives with the participation of the Institute’s regional Initiatives (ASA, LANI, MENA, SIA, CEAS, and SEEI), as well as the Tip Jar, that aimed to help new students adjust to life at the Institute (in collaboration with Geneva International). We also finally published our fall “SURREAL / SURRÉALISTE” issue.
It is this momentum that we hope to take into the new year, as we continue to grow, while expanding conversations and debates around the Graduate Institute. Over the past year, we have witnessed an explosion of media culture at the Institute, and hope that our contributions have been both fruitful and inclusive. This is what the Graduate Press has always aimed to be: a publication that drives discussions by making you a part of the conversation.
For that, we thank everyone that has participated in this journey with us throughout this long year. We received many incredible pieces, which engaged us all in many long-needed conversations around Maison de la Paix and in Geneva.
In celebration of these developments, as well as to provide our student community an opportunity to reflect on 2020 at IHEID, here is a list of our Top 10 most read pieces of the year.
Top 10 most-read pieces of 2020
While released just a few weeks ago, Student Life Editor Neva Newcombe’s article has already made it to our top ten pieces of the year. Newcombe aims to start a new series to unravel the diversity and disparity of student lives at the Institute. “What kind of student stories are visible at IHEID, and what stories get buried? Where do non-elites fit into this community?” The first case features the story of Manuel León, a Venezuelan student that has had to cope with his country’s crisis, while battling to do his master’s degree away from Geneva and without a scholarship.
9. The Day that Daadu Died: Mourning with the Virus by Paras Arora
In this piece, Paras Arora opens up about the passing away of his grandfather back home. He reflects upon the current pandemic situation, and how it has affected the emotions and dilemmas of mourning. “What kinds of ethical crises does one encounter while mourning the death of one’s loved ones during a pandemic, far away from home?”
8. Knowing one’s place by Benjamin Gaillard-Garrido
In response to a piece (#4 on this list) published by TGP that criticized GISA’s response to diversity on campus, Benjamin Gaillard-Garrido argued that discrimination, racialization, and transnational social movements are intricately layered within each context they manifest in, and that the Institute is no different.
7. COVID-19 updates and resources by The Graduate Press Editorial Board
As the COVID-19 crisis hit and the pandemic situation led us to adjust to new habits, the Graduate Press Editorial Board compiled a list of updates and resources concerning the COVID-19 situation in Switzerland and Geneva. The list has online resources for coping with mental and physical health, as well as related articles published by TGP.
6. A TA’s Unofficial Guide on Studying in a Pandemic by Lena Holzer
One of the biggest changes of 2020 was seeing our lives and studies changing to a “new normal”, as we rapidly had to adjust to online classes, while staying home and not seeing in person our colleagues and friends. Some of us followed them in Geneva, while others did so from their home countries, wherever that might have been in the world. Under these circumstances, Lena Holzer, a Teaching Assistant at The Graduate Institute, wrote about how to effectively continue your studies during the COVID-19 pandemic as an IHEID student.
5. No, we have not forgotten about Burrin’s Q&A by Brooks Fleet
Recalling an interview made by the outgoing (now previous) IHEID Director, Philippe Burrin, in the Le Temps, Brooks Fleet discussed the importance of having a question and answer (Q&A) session with students to debate the sensibility and uncomfortableness brought by his interview. “In other words, how do you say ‘gaslighting’ in French?”
4. George Floyd, Racisme, Diversité & ce que Gisa en fait par David Rochat
Dans cet article, David Rochat revient sur les réactions suite au meurtre de George Floyd, afin de soulever des interrogations concernant l’emploi de la notion de “diversité” à l’Institut, et plus particulièrement par GISA. Il plaide également en faveur de plus de sollicitations médiatiques, déclarations politiques et réflexions académiques capables d’embrasser et d’interroger le racisme dans sa complexité transnationale.
3. The Ambivalent Politics of/at The Graduate Institute by Surya Ghildiyal & Fabienne Engler
In third place is the critique presented by Surya Ghildiyal & Fabienne Engler concerning what they call the “ambivalent politics” of/at The Graduate institute. With student movements at the forefront of protests all over the world, fellow graduate students ask whether the same can be said of the Institute. “What does student politics look like? How should it be?”
This article was first published at the Spring 2020 Print Edition of The Graduate Press, called “Revolutions”. For more articles in this edition, click here.
2. Trust, Betrayal & Redefining the New Global Order by Purujith Gautam
In the second-most read piece in 2020, Gautam discusses how terms like trust and betrayal are playing in redefining the new global order, especially in the current context of COVID-19. Profit is intoxicating and it sedates our instincts, but it’s not too late to kick the habit.
1. IHEID and Its Discontents by Anonymous
First place goes to a piece by a writer that remains anonymous. It discusses the constraining student spaces and limited research perspectives of the Institute, and aims to drive the debate on these matters forward — all in the hopes of finding ways to make them better.
We hope you have enjoyed our work so far, and we hope to see you and your submissions in 2021! That’s a wrap!