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Center for Population Studies
University of Mississippi

JRSS Special Issue on Space, Place, and COVID-19

Special Issue Call for Abstracts 3.4.21

Journal of Rural Social Sciences

Special Issue on Space, Place, and COVID-19

Call for Papers

Manuscript Abstracts due April 1, 2021

For Selected Abstracts, Full-Length Manuscripts due June 15, 2021


The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated existing health inequalities, but it has also highlighted communities’ capacities and strengths. Now more than ever, we are attuned to issues of healthcare infrastructure and access, existing health complications, and the importance of workers in essential industries. The severity of the pandemic has motivated the research community to share data and conduct analyses to illuminate and predict trends that would be useful for healthcare providers and policy makers in their communities. Trusted sources of information such as Johns Hopkins University and The New York Times mapped COVID-19 indicators at the county-level, bringing widespread attention to spatial variation in pandemic outcomes.

This special issue of the Journal of Rural Social Sciences will explore the roles that space and place have on COVID-19 outcomes and experiences. Though manuscripts broadly related to this topic are invited, particular attention will be given to those addressing the intersections of culture, policy, and health outcomes. This could include manuscripts focused on regional variation in COVID-19 outcomes, differences along the rural-urban continuum, impacts to affected industries and economies, and experiences of environmental justice and/or majority-minority communities. Manuscripts drawing from multiple disciplines and using a range of methodological and analytical techniques are welcome. The guest editorial team consists of members of the COVID-19 in the Deep South working group, which is supported by the National Science Foundation-funded Social Science Extreme Events Research (SSEER) Network and the CONVERGE facility at the Natural Hazards Center at the University of Colorado Boulder.

Authors are asked to submit abstracts (not to exceed 150 words) by April 1, 2021 for consideration. Following initial desk-review by the special issue editorial team, authors of selected abstracts will be invited to submit full-length papers (not to exceed 9,000 words) by June 15, 2021. After a second desk-review, selected manuscripts will be sent out for the journal’s regular double-blind peer review process.

The Journal of Rural Social Sciences (JRSS) is the official peer-reviewed publication of the Southern Rural Sociological Association. It is an open-access peer-reviewed journal. For more information, including style requirements and submission processes, visit:

Special Issue Editorial Team: John Green (University of Mississippi), Ron Cossman (Mississippi State University), and Vanessa Parks (University of Mississippi). For more information about the COVID-19 in the Deep South working group, visit

For more information about this special issue, please contact JRSS Guest Editor Vanessa Parks at Abstracts can be sent to this address.