Recent covers of student-run, print-and-electronic journals. (Photograph: Gary Wayne Gilbert)
Seventy-five student editors, print and web designers, business managers, and publicists—along with 58 undergraduate contributors—produced the following publications this year, with support from Boston College’s Institute for the Liberal Arts and other University centers and offices:
Medical Humanities Journal of Boston College
Founded in 2014 at the suggestion of English professor Amy Boesky, who directs the Medical Humanities, Health, and Culture minor, this student-run publication highlights the interdisciplinary nature of health. Featuring original research, classwork, editorials, poetry, personal narratives, and photography and other illustration, it explores well-being, illness, caregiving, medicine, and their derivatives.
In the spring 2016 issue, marketing major and art minor Samantha Ng ’18 contributed “Caution: At Your Own Risk,” a collection of five photo collages depicting scenes from smog-plagued Beijing and Shanghai. Ng digitally augmented the grim, black-and-white images of streets and parks with flower-tinted ribbons that seem to undulate on the breeze; also color-enhanced, the facemasks worn by pedestrians and a bicyclist add brightness to the images, but not cheer. In “Trauma of Military Nurses,” Charlotte Chang ’18, a nursing student who minors in medical humanities, tracked the American Psychiatric Association’s dawning recognition, toward the end of the 20th century, that military nurses, while not serving on the front lines, experience more often than previously thought the “intense helplessness or horror” that earns the diagnosis of post-traumatic stress disorder.
Preceded by a four-page newsletter founded by Karim Kawar ’87 (who would go on to be Jordan’s ambassador to the United States), Al-Noor released its first issue in the fall of 2008. The journal (its name Arabic for “the light”) welcomes academic papers, essays, and feature writing by undergraduate and graduate students from universities worldwide, and receives 20 to 30 submissions per semester. A recent issue included a photo essay—”A Tale of Two Countries” by co-editor-in-chief and international studies major Tate Krasner ’16—on a protest in Istanbul in May 2015. With children in tow, marchers were demanding that Hagia Sophia (the Byzantine cathedral turned mosque turned museum in 1935) be reopened for Muslim worship. Other features included an extensive staff interview with Charles Glass, the former Middle East correspondent for ABC News, recently returned from Syria and Iraq; asked where he sees the future of the Middle East headed, Glass tersely told the students: “Down.” Carnegie Mellon University graduate Kristen Swarts, now a graduate student at Leiden University in the Netherlands, recounted Morocco’s national strategy against HIV/AIDS. Since the 1990s, she wrote, the North African country has been a regional leader in countering the stigma attached to the sexually transmitted infections.
Founded in 2004, the undergraduate research journal Elements showcases student work across the academic disciplines, with attention paid to “important social, ethical, and scientific questions,” according to editor-in-chief Betty (Yunqing) Wang ’17. Of the 60 or so submissions the journal receives for each semester’s issue, 10 are published.
Topics tackled in the spring 2016 issue ranged from an examination of strings of 3s and 7s and their primality (“Dreibens Modulo 7,” by mathematics major Arthur Diep-Nguyen ’18) to “Divisions Dissected: A Deconstruction of Boston College’s ‘Asian Bubble,'” which explored Asian students’ sense of belonging on the Heights. (The term “bubble” refers to a popular perception that students of Asian background tend to self-segregate on U.S. campuses.) Co-authors Daniel Park ’16, an international studies major, and Yoon-Shin (Clara) Lee ’17, a sociology major and Lynch School of Education student, surveyed Asian and Asian-American students at Boston College, asking the extent to which they agreed with statements such as “Most of my friends here at BC are of same or similar ethnic descent as me” and “There seems to be a negative perception of the Asian Community amongst non-Asian students at Boston College.” The pollsters discovered that the Boston College Asian-American community is “not as exclusive as the perception of the Asian bubble would suggest.”
Under the leadership of Omeed Alerasool ’15, Kaleidoscope became independent from the International Club of Boston College, which founded the publication in 2010. But its focus continues to be international relations and global studies.
In the one issue, Allicen Dichiara ’16, an international studies and economics major, contributed “Modern American Divorce Law and its Roman Roots,” a brief history of no-fault divorce. International studies major Sofia Soroka ’18 recounted her month-long internship during the summer with Hanna Hopko, a member of the Ukrainian Parliament. Spring 2016 offerings included “Caught in the Legacy of Post-Colonialism: The Eritrean-Ethiopian War,” by Ronald Claude ’16, an international studies major, and senior political science major Matthew Beckwith’s “A Noble Waffling: The Role of Human Rights in Jimmy Carter’s Foreign Policy.”