Little-known journal to showcase student work

Juxtaposing essays on T.S. Eliot with calculus analysis, the Brownstone Journal is ready and waiting to publish an array of student submissions for its May issue.

Seeking to showcase undergraduate works ranging from art projects to high-brow essays, Brownstone, a seemingly unknown publication, will sport a fresh look for its May issue. Editors are accepting submissions until Friday at 5 p.m. and said they hope to publish in the annual edition about six to 10 essays, as well as art submissions.

“We really want to be more than just a collection of English essays,” said University Professors Program senior Stina Kaverud, associate editor of the publication.

“We’re hoping for a color cover this year,” said College of Arts and Sciences senior Ellie Gebarowski-Shafer, Brownstone’s editor-in-chief. “It gets expensive to produce that, and then run a glossy color section for the art.”

Past issues have included essays combining seemingly divergent subjects such as mathematics with Plato and theology with philosophy. Each volume also features a section of artistic prints by non-majors.

“We are very interdisciplinary in theme,” Gebarowski-Shafer said. “We’re looking for a polished piece, one that shows a person is knowledgeable in a subject area but can make their writing accessible to someone who doesn’t know their subject.”

First created in 1983 by UNI students seeking to “expand the monologue of classroom learning,” the Brownstone’s stated mission stresses sharing knowledge.

Jenna Silber, 1998 UNI graduate, revived the Journal after coming across some back issues in the school’s student lounge. Since then students have written, edited and produced Brownstone almost exclusively.

For the past four years, the Brownstone Journal has published one issue each May. The release of the Journal is accompanied by a reception banquet, often featuring lectures from a wide variety of disciplines.

One essay, entitled, “The Aegean Sea Conflict” represents a typically ideal Brownstone essay, Gebarowski-Shafer said.

“The topic was something he was knowledgeable about,” she said. “He wrote very engagingly, telling a story for the first part of the essay, then using secondary sources to back up his piece.”

Undergraduates can submit their work via e-mail or the journal’s submission box, located at the BU Editorial Institute on the first floor of CAS. Editors will contact authors whose works are being considered for publication. They will then meet to discuss possible revisions and changes.

“It’s a fun process to have your work selected and critiqued,” Kaverud said. “You begin to find out more about yourself as a writer.”

“It’s good experience for the writers to get to work through the editorial process, and for the editors to get to critique someone’s writing in a productive way,” Gebarowski-Shafer added.

The Brownstone is free and available in places like the Core Curriculum Office, UNI Room 636, the Editorial Institute and several student lounges. It is a non-profit organization that for the first time this year will feature an advertising section, which will cover previously unmet needs.

Past funding from organizations such as the National Endowment for the Humanities as well as the Student Union and CAS Forum have not been ample, organizers said.

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