Volume I of The Shawangunk Review (then known as The English Graduate Review) appeared in April of 1989. It was a slim but not insubstantial volume, produced in-house, that documented the first Graduate Symposium, held in the same month (!), honoring the work of the great literary critic, social historian, and public intellectual, Irving Howe. In the issue, Founding Editor H. R. Stoneback announced the creation of the Symposium and this journal “to encourage critical and scholarly activity by our graduate students, to engage them in an academic conference setting and thus cultivate a sense of professionalism, and to contribute to the intellectual life of the campus.”
Over the past thirty years, the Symposium and The Shawangunk Review have become two of our great institutional traditions, not just for the English Department, but for the campus community as a whole. The model set out in 1989 has remained more or less unchanged: a select group of our graduate students, guided by one of our faculty, produce innovative scholarly work and share it with not only the campus community, but a leading scholar from their discipline. There are few, if any, graduate students in any MA or Ph.D. program worldwide who have the opportunity to showcase their scholarship in this way. The list of past symposium presenters is a remarkably illustrious group, a Who’s Who of the discipline over these decades, along with notable cultural icons: Robert Penn Warren, Jim Rooney, David Scott Kastan, Caroline Levine, Joyce Johnson, Helen Vendler, the list goes on.
And so, it is “with an auspicious and a dropping eye,” to invoke Shakespeare, that we acknowledge this will be Prof. Stoneback’s 30th and final issue of the Review, or rather, that we now mark his ascension to Founding Emeritus Editor. The current issue includes several tributes offered by colleagues and former students. On behalf of the department, campus, and the graduate students who continue to find a rich “intellectual life” on this campus through the Symposium and Shawangunk Review, we offer heartfelt thanks.
The traditions Prof. Stoneback set in place thirty years ago remain as strong as ever, as witnessed in the present issue’s essays from the 30th Symposium in 2018, “Resistance in Other Words,” directed by Dr. Michelle Woods and featuring the work of renowned translation scholar, Brian James Baer of Kent State University. We are grateful to Prof. Baer for permission to reprint his keynote address in this volume.
We also gratefully acknowledge Prof. Joshua Korenblat, of the SUNY New Paltz Graphic Design Department, for his assistance in design and production of this issue, Department Chair Dr. Andrew Higgins for his support of the Review and Symposium, and Natalie Angley for her editorial assistance.
Associate Professor and Director of Graduate Studies
Co-Editor of The Shawangunk Review