To the Class of 2019,
Welcome to Fordham College at Lincoln Center and the world of college writing! This year’s issue of EP collects eight essays, each written by a Fordham student last year in Composition and Rhetoric I, II, or Texts and Contexts. Their work represents some of the finest Fordham has to offer, and we hope that it impresses, instructs, and inspires you to excel in your own writing. We congratulate the class of 2018 on the excellent writing represented here. We hope that in reading these essays, you will be moved to find your own voice, to ask your own questions of what you read and of the world around you, and to engage your mind with the rich and moving ideas and texts that college allows you to explore.
What is EP? EP is short for eloquentia perfecta, a Latin phrase meaning the right use of reason combined with eloquent expression. This idea of eloquentia perfecta has long been central to Jesuit education, and, we hope, EP draws on the best of that tradition while bringing it into the 21st century. You will find perfect eloquence here in this expository prose, and you will also find extended play: essays that take an idea and break it apart, look at it from a new angle, and remix it, showing it to us anew.
Central to the exemplary nature and theme of EP 11.0, this issue also presents its own formal remixes. EP 11.0 marks the first year that the journal appears in both printed and electronic forms, enabling even more readers to access, read, and enjoy this exceptional collection of essays. Beyond ushering EP into the digital age, we instituted our first blind peer review. Modeled upon the process used at our sister publication at Rose Hill, Rhētorikós, EP 11.0 relied upon two reading periods to winnow a large and impressive batch of essays.
Each submission received anonymous consideration from two members of our peer review board, comprised of ten graduate students in the Department of English traversing Fordham’s Rose Hill and Lincoln Center campuses. On about half a dozen occasions, we arrived at split decisions, requiring the intervention of a third reader. Essays selected through the blind peer review were returned with two detailed reader reports (typically about 500 words) with which authors revised and resubmitted essays. Finally, the editors coordinated with authors to copy-edit final essays. With an acceptance rate of just 23 percent, EP 11.0 may be our most rigorous issue to date and truly illustrates the best of first-year writing at Fordham’s Lincoln Center campus.
We are proud of the essays in this collection, and we believe that they are even stronger when placed in conversation with one another. To this end, our chosen cover image, a model plan for the Lincoln Center campus, encourages relational reading. In place of the Brutalist concrete architecture to which we have grown accustomed, the Leon Lowenstein Center represented here is a possibility, a bright white rectangle imagined inside of the geographical and historical landscape of late-1960s midtown New York.
This collection might be conceptualized as its own kind of landscape. The first three essays, written by Emily Allen, Matt Scheffler, and Aaron Lascano, dilate from the individual to the urban landscape, using objects and places to locate historical identities. Allen traces the Yiddish lineage of the iconic New York bagel, Scheffler finds a morsel of literary culture at the Westsider Books, and Lascano excavates Ukrainian immigration history from the streets of the East Village. Meanwhile, Max Prybyla and Katie Moran place identity, particularly sexual identity, in historical contexts. Prybyla reflects upon the shifting usage and meanings of the word “gay” in and amongst youths in American education, and Moran places the historical practice of McCarthyism in a frame of heteronormative bias. Where Moran telescopes methods of sexual demagoguery, Brooke Cantwell pans out to consider the nature and role of evil in Goethe’s Faust and Sarah Nelson explores collective psychologies in Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Finally, in a study of contemporary art, George Miscamble asks us to re-examine the project of academic writing and to critically re-evaluate notions of authorship and authenticity.
Before closing our welcome to you, we want to reiterate our thanks to Dean Robert Grimes, S.J. for his continued and generous support, both financial and intellectual, of this endeavor. Simply put, without it, there would be no EP. Thanks also to Professor Lenny Cassuto, Interim Director of Writing/Composition at Lincoln Center, who was instrumental to the design and implantation of our peer review process. Professor Glenn Hendler, Chair of the English Department, and Professor Sarah Zimmerman, Associate Chair of English for Lincoln Center, continue to enthusiastically support our work on this journal.
Our wonderful professors and instructors—Andrew Albin, Julia Barclay-Morton, Elisabeth Frost, Boyda Johnstone, and Christy Pottroff—taught the courses from which this great work emerged. We thank these instructors, and all of our instructors, for helping our students reach their potential.
We hope to see your work here next year. Enjoy! And enjoy writing!