Call for a new Discard Studies Managing Editor

Discard Studies is an open-access, online platform for publishing and collecting resources related to studying systems of waste, pollution, externalities, and their power relations. A cross between a blog and a journal, every month Discard Studies publishes an original, editor-reviewed article and “The Dirt,” a compiled newsletter of new articles, theses, calls for papers, job openings, and other points of interest to the field. Launched in 2009, Discard Studies has an audience of 80,000 unique visitors a year and close to 135,000 content views annually. Most readers are based in the United States, the UK, and Canada, as well as India, Australia, and Germany.

Starting in the early fall of 2021, we are looking for a new Managing Editor to oversee and carry out regular operations of Discard Studies and to create a new vision for the platform. Details of duties and application are below.

The Managing Editor is Discard Studies’ leader who has final responsibility for its operation, processes, and direction. They will work with a team of two existing Co-Editors.

The duties of the Managing Editor are:

Operations: The Managing Editor coordinates and supports Co-Editors and authors in creating content for Discard Studies, including soliciting authors, reviewing pitches, editing, and creating content themselves.
Both the Managing Editor and Co-Editors format, edit, and post content, including compiling the Dirt, on a rotating basis. All staff communicate with authors and email inquires. The Managing Editor ensures posted content is accessible, in line with copy right, and technically sound. Knowledge of or the ability to learn WordPress is crucial.

Currently, the Managing Editor looks after social media and subscription communications. This could change, based on the skillsets of future Co-Editors.
The Managing Editor is responsible for overseeing the Paetron account and ensuring server fees are paid annually.

Vision: Currently, Discard Studies publishes one English-language article and one Dirt every month, and we have a small team of Co-Editors that work tightly together on tasks. The Managing Editor can shift, change, or expand the way Discard Studies operates and the direction it develops.

About the position: The Managing Editor is responsible for getting the job done. The usual time spent is 0-5 hours/week, but the time needs of the job are dictated by workflow and current projects. In the past, we have been deliberately flexible and responsive with scheduling content and timelines to ensure healthy work/life balance. For example, the entire Discard Studies platform often takes December and August off.

This position is unpaid. Fundraising and grant applications are possible. To date, these funds have gone towards funding a graduate student Co-Editor rather than the Managing Editor or other positions.

The outgoing Managing Editor will provide training and transition out of the position in a way that supports in specific needs of the incoming Managing Editor. The exact date will be determined in consultation with the editorial staff.

Qualifications: A working knowledge of the field of discard studies, proficiency working with WordPress or similar online management systems, and an understanding of the ethics and processes of online publishing. Applicants should be detail-oriented and organized. The stability and continuation of Discard Studies is based on the Managing Editor, so we are looking for medium to long-term commitments to the role.

To apply:

  • Please send a cover letter and CV to The cover letter can include links to samples demonstrating digital skills and experience, including links to websites, social media campaigns or management, etc.
  • Please include a section in the cover letter about the ethical dimensions of editing and publishing, which can include key concerns/issues, philosophy, experience, guidelines, etc.
  • Send an example of written work on the topic of discard studies, ideally written for a public audience.
  • Please indicate whether you would be interested in filling a Co-Editor role in addition to your interest in the Managing Editor position.
  • Send applications by July 15th. Late applications may be considered if the position has not yet been filled. Interviews will be conducted virtually with the current Editorial team.