The essay provides a short introduction to the special anniversary issue of Social Text, explaining the protocol for the “keyword” essays that make up the majority of the issue: each contribution takes up particular points (single essays) or threads (themes in a number of essays over the years) in the publication history of the journal as starting point for a consideration of broader issues of knowledge production, critique, or methodology. The introduction begins with a discussion of the occasion of the thirtieth anniversary of the founding of Social Text, and recounts the origins and history of the journal in some detail. The piece describes the ways the editorial collective has functioned since 1979, both in the production of the journal itself and in a variety of other activities (including meetings, soirées, and conference panels). The introduction also discusses some of the major shifts in the organization of Social Text, including its affiliations since the mid-1980s with the CUNY Graduate Center, Rutgers University, and Columbia University (which have provided in-kind support and funded the managing editorial position) and with the University of Minnesota Press and Duke University Press (which have published the journal's book series and the journal itself).

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