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About Us






The Valley Humanities Review is an online journal dedicated to the publication of excellent undergraduate research in the fields of the humanities. We believe that undergraduates are capable of exemplary research, so our goal is to showcase the best research in the humanities going on at colleges across the globe. We have received hundreds of submissions from students at colleges including Columbia, Brown, Gettysburg, Harvard, Rhodes College, McGill University, Princeton, and the Baha'i Institute for Higher Education. The spring 2013 issue is our fourth.

Publishing excellent undergraduate research allowsus to serve both professors and their students by providing an opportunity for active learning. Current research on effective teaching talks a great deal about concepts like "active learning," "authentic tasks," and "natural critical learning environments." Though the value of such authentic, hands-on experiences seems clear, the humanities present unique challenges in producing these experiences for students. Professors' research generally consists of individually produced papers presented at conferences and published in journals, none of which usually welcome undergraduate participation. Some professors may ask their students to present their papers to the class, but this does not extend the scope of student research beyond the course into a broader society where it could have a larger impact, and this is a major stumbling block for professors who would like to model membership in a scholarly community for undergraduates. This is also a problem for students, who may have trouble taking work produced solely for a grade seriously. When a student writes a paper just for his or her professor, that paper can be seen as a practice exercise for some time in the future when students will actually "use" those skills.  Their work is produced in a vacuum that bears little resemblance to the world beyond the classroom.

The VHR combats these difficulties in the humanities in two key ways. First, we provide a place for exemplary undergraduate research in the humanities to be published, thereby showing students that the potential rewards for excellent scholarship go beyond receiving an "A." Second, the VHR models participation in a scholarly community for all the students involved. The VHR employs student editors, web developers, copyeditors, and interns. Students participate in-and have equal control over-all choices made for the journal. On the editorial level, the journal is a collaborative project between faculty and students. Faculty editors work with students from each of the humanities' departments (Art, English, Religion, Philosophy, History, Foreign Languages) as equal partners in publishing decisions. Thus, the VHR is deeply invested in challenging borders-the borders between disciplines in the humanities, between teacher and student, and between paper journals and online publications.

The goal with all our projects is to encourage a culture of undergraduate research at our college and in the wider academic community, where excellent undergraduate work can attain a wider audience and appreciation, inspiring students to greater application and imagination in their fields.

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