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'Voices' Online: New Anthology Features Lectures, Poetry, Politics

(Posted December 1, 2009)

HUNTINGDON, Pa. -- Juniata Voices, a yearly anthology of lectures, articles and presentations given by Juniata faculty and visiting speakers, has released its latest online edition, including contributions from robotics scientist Kiri Wagstaff and former Louisiana Sen. J. Bennett Johnston.

The journal, which can be accessed online at http://www.juniata.edu/services/jcpress/voices/index.html, has released a collection of notable lectures on campus every year since 2003.

"The selections in 'Voices' this year address pressing concerns of our times, reflections on history, some exploration of the Juniata experience, and the most poetry we have ever published in a single volume."
James Tuten, associate professor of history and Voices editor

"The selections in 'Voices' this year address pressing concerns of our times, reflections on history, some exploration of the Juniata experience, and the most poetry we have ever published in a single volume," says editor James Tuten, associate professor of history.

Aside from the very real concerns of modern society, the first essay urges students to "Get Lost!" As delivered at a college Convocation by Judy Katz, associate professor of English, the directive did not mean "get out of my sight," but rather a directive to lose oneself in the possibilities available at college, particularly a college like Juniata.

Kiri Wagstaff, a robotics scientist at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory at the California Institute of technology, summarized how scientists program exploratory robots with a simple metaphor: "The key components of any exploration, whether a family trip to Disneyland or a robotic investigation of Mars are first, deciding where to go (and how to get there safely), and second, determining what pictures to take and what to send home." Her talk explained how scientists fulfilled those goals.

One of the most illuminating selections in the new edition is a question and answer session with Benjamin Abramowitz (also known as Ben Hoffman), who was a printmaker with the Depression-era Works Progress Administration's Federal Art Project. Abramowitz offers a spirited interview with John Stewart, founder of the Amity Art Foundation.

Former U.S. Senator J. Bennett Johnston's contribution to Juniata Voices is a point-by-point explanation of how continued drilling and energy exploration must be a necessary part of U.S. energy policy. "Too many Americans, including members of Congress, believe that they will somehow be rescued by technologies that are affordable, painless, and immediately available," he said.

In addition, Brad Andrew, associate professor of economics at Juniata, offers a concise summary of how seven economic events combined to create a "perfect financial storm" that nearly brought down the U.S. economy.

Another storm, The Civil War, was the most important issue of Abraham Lincoln's presidency and "Why Lincoln Matters" is a cogent analysis by Philip C. Stone, president of Bridgewater College and a Lincoln scholar, of how the Lincoln presidency is viewed both historically and in contemporary society. Politics also is at the center of a lecture from Dennis Plane, associate professor of politics, as he explains in "Teaching American Politics in an Election Year."

The poems published in "Juniata Voices" vary widely in subject matter and style. Maryland-based poet Katherine Young contributed "The Last Flight of the Gypsy King" and "V-E Day." Peter Goldstein, professor of English, contributed two poems "Hemlock" and "Poetry."

A recently retired Juniata professor, Jack Troy, associate professor emeritus of art, offered three poems: "March 8, 200," "For the Standing Stone Coffee Company" and "Ice Fishing at Mountain Lake an Hour Past Dawn. Erin Murphy, professor of English at Penn State Altoona, contributed "Zip Code Man" and "After Reading a Wealthy Woman's Confession That She Had Never Changed a Bedsheet."

Loren Rhodes, professor of information technology at Juniata, offers his "A Trillion and Change." The final selection in the anthology, "Coming to 'Know Thyself?" is the 2009 Commencement address, delivered by Peter Marzio, a 1965 Juniata alumnus and director of the Museum of Fine Arts Houston in Houston, Texas.

Contact John Wall at wallj@juniata.edu or (814) 641-3132 for more information.