Juniata College, as a teaching and learning community, has evolved in many ways during its history, always striving to provide an environment conducive to rigorous intellectual exchange and discovery. This series of publications continues that tradition, supplementing the existing exchange with a permanent record of selected campus presentations by members of the faculty during the course of the academic year. The genesis of Juniata Voices is to be found, appropriately enough, in a series of lectures delivered by Dr. David Sowell in the fall semester of 1992 as a reflection on the significance and impact of European contact with the Americas in 1492. Well attended by both students and faculty, these talks raised many questions and stimulated lively conversations that persisted beyond the formal boundaries of the lecture room. We soon found ourselves asking: How might we lend further support to such conversations? How could we open them to more participants? How can the teaching/learning community that is Juniata College record and augment the feeling of intellectual discovery sparked by such faculty presentations?
This series of publications is one of our responses. Its purpose is to extend the bounds of academic discussion, to raise anew certain challenging questions posed within and beyond the classroom, to stimulate community thought, to suggest new relationships, and to redefine traditional issues in the light of new knowledge and new interpretations. In short, Juniata Voices is intended to reach outside the immediate College environment and offer our extended family a chance to share in some of the teaching and learning conversations we have experienced while living and working on the campus. We trust this series of essays will stimulate even more debate, reflection, and discovery, and at the same time carry our Juniata voices far beyond Huntingdon in both space and time.
Robert W. Neff