Digitalis

220px-Digitalis_purpurea_Koehler_drawing
From Kohler’s Medicinal Plants,  a rare medicinal guide published by Franz Eugen Köhler in 1887 in three volumes.

Strigidae: A Journal of Undergraduate Writing in the Arts and Humanities

About a year ago I began working with my colleague Kirsti Sandy on a peer-reviewed online journal dedicated to publishing the written work of undergraduate students in the arts and humanities. And this winter we launched the journal Strigidae. The journal welcomes submissions of writing in the disciplines, creative nonfiction, poetry, and fiction. We will also publish clips of musical, dance, or theatrical performances and original artwork with accompanying artists’ statements.

Strigidae, of course, refers to the largest of the two families of owls (the other is Tytonidae) that live in terrestrial habitats across the world. I came up with the name of the journal when I was thinking about the association of the owl with the Greek goddess Athena and wisdom, but also the understanding of the owl as a nocturnal messenger, a symbol of illness, or a harbinger of death. A suggestive symbol for a journal committed to the exchange of artifacts and ideas, we agreed. The owl happens to be the mascot of Keene State College as well.

The special inaugural issue, “Written Bodies/Writing Selves,” is now available in the Mason Library’s Digital Commons. The second issue of Strigidae will appear in 2015. A call for papers will be circulated this spring.

The Aspect Magazine Project

Another project on which I continue working with students is the Digital Archive of Aspect Magazine. This fall I added a series of Project Links, including a Description and History, a Project Overview, Information about the editorial process, and a supplemental document “Remembering Ed Hogan.” I am looking forward to building the archive over the next few years as part of my upper-level courses in English and American Studies.

ASLE.org

As the President of the Association for the Study of Literature and Environment (ASLE)  I was one of the project directors that created a new web site for our international association. My work involved working with a team of web developers we hired to design the site, the Managing Director of our Association, Amy McIntyre, and a small group of ASLE colleagues. I spent many hours of my sabbatical leave writing content, soliciting and editing member and project profiles, course profiles, and helping to represent a broad vision for interdisciplinary work in the “ environmental humanities.” I drafted a New Mission Statement for the association that was subsequently approved adopted by the Executive Council, a Vision and History, and a Message to Members. I continue to work with our members to create new course and member profiles. The most recent is a Profile of Robert M. Thorson, University of Connecticut Professor of Geology and Affiliated Faculty at the Center for Integrated Geosciences.

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