Letter from the Editor in Chief


  • Percy Verret


Middle Tennessee State University offers its student writers many avenues of publication, ranging from creative outlets such as Collage and Off Center to magazines like Areté and Shift. Among those publications, however, only one devotes itself exclusively to the promotion of student research: Scientia et Humanitas. In Scientia et Humanitas’s pages, students have the opportunity to experience their first taste of the peer review publishing process and, at the end of the process, the satisfaction of airing their research to an eager
reading community of peers, instructors, and alumni alike.

As its name indicates, Scientia et Humanitas resists strictly defined disciplinary divisions and instead seeks to intermingle the various arts and sciences, presenting research from across the disciplines in a single, engaging volume. Historically, we have published
papers from many fields, and this volume is no exception. Among the eight essays selected for publication, several arise from branches of philosophy while others spring from such realms as film studies, English studies, and the social sciences.

In the opening piece, “A Mind of One’s Own,” I marshal evidence from Virginia Woolf’s wider canon to argue that her portrayal of relationships in Mrs. Dalloway not only depicts but also defends the importance of the individual internality that is modally
reflected in her stream-of-consciousness narrative style. In the following essay, “Affection Deprivation and Weathering,” Alfred Holman, Jordyn Ewing-Roush, and Christal Goines report on their primary research study regarding the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the well-being of the African American community. L. B. Jefferies’s look is placed under scrutiny in “Intellectual Virtues in Rear Window,” in which Patrick Gilchrist employs Aristotelian ethics and twenty-first-century responsibilist virtue epistemology to evaluate the moral blameworthiness and intellectual praiseworthiness of Jefferies’s voyeurism in Hitchcock’s masterpiece. In “The Call is Coming from Inside the House,” Sage Andrews probes published accounts by queer Christian individuals to demonstrate the transformative potential these individuals’ testimonies offer their faith communities.

In the second half of the volume, Nash Meade’s “The Creature from the British Isles” argues for the ongoing significance of Thomas Hobbes’s political philosophy by first establishing Hobbes’s historical importance and then utilizing Hobbes’s philosophy as a lens through which to interpret political responses to the COVID-19 pandemic. “Mothers, Daughters, and Vampires” by Ashley M. Quinn conducts a close reading of eighteenthcentury vampiric poetry, connecting the liminal space of the vampire to convention-ridden
codes surrounding female sexuality and ultimately underscoring the mother’s role in constructing her daughter’s sexuality in each poem. Nich Krause spans millennia to contrast the philosophies of eighth-century Buddhist monk Santideva and twentieth-century French existentialist Jean-Paul Satre, particularly teasing out similarities in their conceptions of personal freedom and moral responsibility in his essay “Being and Emptiness.” Finally, in “Do I Have a Choice?,” Aubrey Elaine Keller employs a folkloric lens to examine the influence that folk community members exercise over marriage and courting relationships to which they are external in works by Amy Tan and Lee Smith.

Clearly, a volume such as this owes its existence to the efforts of many individuals. The most obvious contributors are the student writers themselves. The peer review process can be an intimidating one, and we appreciate the motivation and commitment
to academic discourse each student displayed in submitting their work and persevering with us through each round of reviews and revisions. We hope each of you find the appearance of your finished work as rewarding as we do.

I wish to extend my deepest thanks to the committed team of associate editors and reviewers that make it possible for me to use the editorial “we”: Biven Alexander, Allison Haslett, Liam McBane, and Connor Methvin and Patrick Gilchrist, Sophia Maas, and Sophie Taylor. Your dedication has been immense, and I cannot thank you enough for the time you have carved out of your incredibly busy work, school, and life schedules to provide such thorough feedback on each essay and to work closely with authors to polish the articles to their current state. Both I and the authors you supported are grateful for your labor.

I must also extend thanks to the Honors College for supporting we students in our endeavors as both writers and editors, providing us with an excellent avenue through which to develop our linguistic skills. Special thanks goes to our faculty advisors, Dr. John Vile, Dr. Philip Phillips, and Ms. Marsha Powers, for their expert oversight. I would particularly like to thank Dr. Phillips for offering such insightful recommendations regarding the logistical aspects of managing all aspects of journal production when I first stepped into the role. I am likewise immensely grateful to Ms. Powers for the many hours she entertained me and other staff members in her office, providing us with advice and allowing us the pleasure of digging through her Scientia et Humanitas archives. I extend my further thanks to Susan Lyons and Rylee Campbell for their aid in designing the finished project; without you, all our work to edit and prepare the journal’s content would be futile.

Finally, we wish to thank you, our readers. It is your ongoing interest in and support of Scientia et Humanitas that makes its publication possible. We hope you enjoy the essays we have collected here and leave your reading of the journal with a sense of enrichment.

Percy Verret
Editor in Chief


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