This “general” issue of the journal includes analytical/critical essays on Archibald MacLeish, current writing about fatherhood, an examination of burlesque in classical myth, an exploration of a novel by Gail Godwin, review essays on Melville and books on pedagogy, and book reviews of books on poetry, rhetoric, and film. While clearly intended for an academic audience, the journal is nonetheless quite readable for a less specialized audience, in particular essays by Raymond A. Mzurek, “Work and Class in the Box Store University: Autobiography of Working Class Academics,” and Arielle Greenberg and Becca Klaver, “Mad Girls’ Love Songs: Two Women Poets – a Professor and Graduate Student – Discuss Sylvia Plath, Angst, and the Poetics of Female Adolescence.”
Like many academic journals, College Literature provides excellent abstracts of its articles, so you can decide what you what to spend your time reading. I appreciated the range of themes, from the classical to the contemporary, and the purely academic to the more personal (in fact the Greenberg/Klaver, teacher and student, piece is highly personal).
For me there is clearly a standout in this issue for non-lit-crit fans, which is Mazurek’s essay on class issues in the university. Mazurek, associate professor of English at the Berks campus of Penn State, grew up in a rural farm family with no ties to academia. His exploration of working class literary realities and experiences in the college world is authentic, necessary, and engaging. His essay will remind you why College Literature – and college literature – matters.