Welcome to the inaugural issue of Penumbra. It is with pleasure and pride that we roll out what we hope will be a significant contribution to scholarship in the twenty-first century.
In the instantaneousness of our world, the click of a mouse often can drive us apart, filtering the information we digest and personal contacts to only to those who fit within our own concept of a public sphere. Through this publication, we hope to move the arrow just a bit from these trends and practices. Penumbra, true to its mission, is interdisciplinary—not just across academic or scholarly silos but across a landscape of perspectives and backgrounds. That is true academic freedom—the pursuit and exchange of ideas and scholarship for their own sake.
As an example of the interdisciplinarity we embrace, please note our extensive interview with Myriam Chancy, a 2012 Scholar-in-Residence at Union Institute & University’s Ph.D. Program in Interdisciplinary Studies, the journal’s sponsor. Chancy embodies the interdisciplinary approach our journal and the Ph.D. program advance; more importantly, she walks the talk. In the interview, you will see how ably and comfortably she moves across the landscape of fiction, history, politics, creativity, criticism, and culture. Her perspectives set the tone for this issue and its additional contents, making for thoughtful and provocative reading.
Many thanks and much heartfelt appreciation go out to so many who helped create and launch this publication. First, to those who have served in editorial roles, Tiffany Taylor and John Giordano, whom we succeeded, and Jeanne Sutherland and Gariot Louima, associate editors. Also, to all the outstanding faculty and scholars who have served in advisory roles, starting with Christopher Voparil, the faculty advisor, who has been there since the beginning. He, several Ph.D. students who envisioned this journal, and the Program’s Task Force have provided guidance and support of immeasurable value.
To all the faculty and students who have reviewed submissions, and those who submitted their work to the journal, thanks go out to you for your commitment to the journal and what it represents. And we heartily thank the Ph.D. Program’s administration that has supported this effort since its inception: Dean Arlene Sacks, Associate Dean Michael Raffanti, Vice President for Academic Affairs Nelson Soto, and Dean Larry Preston.
Our final thanks go out to Toni Gregory, the late associate dean of the Ph.D. program. She was a dogged supporter of our purpose, our mission, and most importantly our scholarly careers. We lost her earlier this year, far too soon; her spirit lives on in these virtual pages. She represented true scholarship from all sides: in her own work, in her teaching and research, and in her advocacy for all of us.
Enjoy this first issue. Please tell us what you think, and share your ideas and input for future issues. And please consider contributing to the journal.