Juniata Voices

Editor's Introduction to Juniata Voices Volume 8, 2008

In his Spring 2008 Baccalaureate address, retiring professor of Peace and Conflict Studies Andy Murray comments both humorously and seriously on our use of the phrase “the real world.” This vo¬¬lume of Juniata Voices takes on that phrase and the real world itself, past and present, through essays and poems aimed to motivate, provoke, persuade, and inform.

Several pieces reflect on the college experience including Murray’s as well as award-winning teachers David Sowell, David Hsiung, and graduation speaker Michael Klag ‘74. They all reflect the humor and challenges of the real world.

Poetry by Pulitzer winner Galway Kinnell and local author Joann Condellone consider the real world too. We are especially pleased to be able to offer the back-story to “Oatmeal,” a Kinnell poem which is all the more rich for knowing its inspiration.

Professors David Hutto and Robert J. Miller offer provocative examinations of language and rhetoric to the real world of the deep past. Hutto considers the birth of Greece and Miller the time of the Gospels.

In addition, both Leeanna Keith and I provide case studies of the Colfax massacre and American wine drinkers’ affair with madeira. Although the subjects of these studies seem unrelated, both share in focusing attention on the many changes wrought in the nation during the era of the Civil War and Reconstruction.

Finally, former ambassador Alphonse F. La Porta and New York Times science correspondent Cornelia Dean tackle two different but pressing concerns of the real world today. La Porta describes and assesses the state of democracy in its Indonesian context and finds hope for the compatibility of Islam and democratic governance. Dean reflects on the challenges of reporting on science and the distrust and confusion which often leaves a gulf between science and journalism professionals.

This is the last volume of Juniata Voices that two stalwarts of the journal’s board helped edit: Pat G. Kepple has been our only managing editor and Nancy Siegel was our former Editor-in-Chief and a valued co-editor of this volume. Voices owes much to their vision and hard work and they have our thanks.

So, make some oatmeal, open a bottle of wine, and enjoy thinking about the real world we all seek to know better.

James Tuten