Letter from the Editor in Chief


  • Eric Hughs


As Middle Tennessee State University’s student research journal, Scientia et Humanitas publishes exemplars of the research and scholarship that MTSU students, from across the humanities and sciences, produce each year. This volume is a testament to the determination and ingenuity of graduate and undergraduate students at MTSU; despite the significant challenges of the last year, these students have produced innovative and compelling research and scholarship. The essays collected here also reflect the central values of this publication: scholarly rigor, originality in research and analysis, and a dedication to advancing our academic discourse in new and engaging ways.

This volume also reflects the remarkable range of issues and research areas with which MTSU students are engaged. Our first essay, “A Landscape of Linguistic Love,” immerses us in the poetry of John Milton and poignantly reveals the link between love and language in Milton’s works and personal life. While that essay evokes such timeless poetic concerns, the following essays deal with very timely issues, from policing in the United States in “Exploring the Link between Violent Crime Workload and Officer-Involved Shooting of Unarmed Individuals” to the efficacy of moral arguments in an era of extreme political partisanship in “Moral Reframing.” A literature review examines Incel ideology and discourse and the connections between this often-violent movement, online forums, and the media; this essay complements “The Islamic State,” which proposes a new framework for understanding the political-religious totalitarianism and ideology of an international terrorist organization. The concluding essay, “Narrative Authority,” challenges dominant narratives within a postcolonial framework, with the goal of returning agency to marginalized voices via an analysis of Indra Sinha’s Animal’s People. Despite the disparate approaches and subjects of these essays, they are connected by thought-provoking analysis and original research.

At the end of this process, I must first express my gratitude to these talented contributors for sharing their work with the editorial staff and, now, the MTSU community. Secondly, this volume was not produced single-handedly. It would not have been possible without our talented editorial staff: Liam McBane, Laney Jolley Smith, Percy Verret, and Elizabeth McGhee Williams. It was an honor to work with such dedicated academics and editors. I am also grateful for the assistance of the administration and staff at MTSU’s University Honors College, including the editorial advisory board: Ms. Marsha Powers, Dr. Philip Phillips, and Dean John R Vile. Their guidance throughout this process was invaluable, as was the assistance of other members of the Honors College staff, including Ms. Susan Lyons, for her work on design and layout, Ms. Sandra Campbell, and Ms. Cindy Phiffer. This volume would not be possible without the contributions of this group that is dedicated to supporting MTSU’s student researchers and writers.

Eric Hughes
Editor in Chief





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