When work on Apollon began in the spring semester of 2010, no one was sure whether there would even be a first issue. The challenges of building an ejournal were initially overwhelming. We fretted over funding, honed our project pitching skills, and designed an online portal to house the finished product without knowing whether our efforts would come to fruition in the form of a polished and prese…ntable first issue.
Fortunately, our efforts were met with great enthusiasm from our participating institutions, and most important, from students. Apollon is a student-designed and student-led journal, motivated by the process of creating the journal and subsequently, submitting student work to cross-institutional peer-reviewing. Beyond the production of the journal and all of the challenges its completion presents, quality undergraduate research and scholarship in the humanities was the mission underscoring the creation of Apollon and the reason we can proudly present this inaugural issue.
Our first issue presents four excellent and diverse examples of undergraduate humanities research, each selected for their interesting use of research, media, and format. When Katherine Janson, a recent graduate of Randolph College, submitted her play The Jurymen, a thoughtful and funny rendering of the historical record of the Ancient Greek philosophers Socrates and Plato, we were convinced to overlook our word limit and decided to feature her work in this first issue. Marriah Redden’s paper Moby-dick and the Color of the Elusive examines Melville’s classic work through Saussurian structuralism and the analysis of language and its signifiers. Marriah’s exploration of the symbolic use of color to decode Melville’s complex ideas toward society, religion, and race is an excellent example of undergraduate scholarship.
Black Sabbath, a painting by David Johnson, is the work of art behind Victoria Winfree’s paper of the same name. Winfree suggests that the painting is a “bittersweet homage of the passing of girlhood,” and compares its message to those given by other famous paintings of the 20th century, including Girls by Stream by Arthur Rackham. She captures the strokes of the artist through her words, and pays an ideal tribute to the magnificent painting, Black Sabbath. We are also pleased to present Sean Owsley’s study of the modern break-up, The Modern Breakup: Understanding conflict through relational dialectics theory. Sean’s analysis of the film (500) Days of Summer provides a commentary on relationships through the lens of Relational Dialectics Theory. At its core, it’s also an excellent critical interpretation of a complex movie.
Within this body of exceptional work, we traveled back to the time the ancient philosophers in Greece and saw new colors and meanings in the 20th classic Moby Dick. We perceived the beauty and subtleties of 20th and 21st Century artworks and examined through a recent and popular film the complexities of the modern break-up. It was our hope that the work submitted would be representative of a variety of media, formats, and time periods, and we feel strongly that our hopes have been realized. The diversity of both topic and format is representative of the interests and questions which undergraduates are grappling with. Apollon strives to welcome these inquiries through inviting creative works which are grounded in research that breaks free of its traditional text-and-paper chains. We welcome submissions that challenge traditional notions of research and aim to take further advantage of the unique opportunities presented by the ejournal format.
In presenting the inaugural issue of Apollon, we have many individuals and affiliates to whom we give our most profound thanks for their time and effort in enabling us to develop this project. Student work and collaboration have been integral to our accomplishments so far. Many thanks to our student reviewers, Kelly, Charles, Meagan, and Austin, our web guru, Andrew Smith, our logo designer Travis Jones, Rose Cale, who dedicated many hours helping realize the project, Ryan Camenish for his work, and, of course, our dedicated faculty director Dr. Cohen, whose enthusiasm and encouragement has made this endeavor possible. We are also grateful to all the faculty mentors at our participating colleges and universities who have been tireless in rallying support for Apollon.
We hope to have expressed how excited we are for the future of Apollon, and we hope that you will get involved in this project. There are several ways, including submitting your work! Our submission deadline for the next issue is January 30th, 2011. If you would like to work on the editorial board or review boards, or engage in any step of the process, we would love to hear from you!