In an extraordinary year, Rutgers students have continue to produce excellent work despite the tumult. As classes moved online in Spring 2020 due to COVID-19, students and teachers adapted to new ways of learning. Some things worked and some did not. Zoom meetings replaced in-person instruction, with virtual office hours being held in living rooms. Camera-ready meant a nice shirt and pajama pants below the desk. There was a presidential election. Black Lives Matters demonstrations brought attention to systemic police brutality. We clamored to get groceries, masks, and vaccination appointments. At the end of a day, it may have seemed absurd to think about writing an essay, or editing a research paper. Yet, that is exactly what students everywhere did.
This volume of Dialogues@RU contains work that reflects the concerns and interests of college students living in uncertain times. Rather than be defeated by that ambiguity, these young writers dive into it and explore topics such as the psychology of terrorism; neoliberalism and the carceral state; whitewashing the Latinx identity in cinema; queering traditional marriage in China; climate refugees; and media representations of African American male athletes. Healthcare and medicine also provide inspiration for discussions on deep-brain stimulation for depression; physicians’ roles in the opioid crisis; the commodification of healthcare; and the expanding practice of integrative medicine. These are only a few of the themes in this year’s volume. All essays were written for the Writing Program’s Research in the Disciplines course, in which students spend an entire semester studying a topic of their choice to produce a final scholarly essay. The 27 included here were selected from over 400 submissions.
The Editing Internship offers the opportunity for undergraduates to participate in the publication process. Interns select, edit, and finalize the essays for Dialogues@RU. This is also a semester-long undertaking of working with authors on substantive changes, technical edits, and source verification. At several points during the internship, students are asked to reflect on the various stages of the editing process. Meeting deadlines and managing the workflow of their projects provides interns with practical skills and prepares them for careers in publishing. And like the authors, these students are carrying full-time course loads, working jobs outside of Rutgers, and coping with the upended schedules and routines of the past year. Many thanks and much gratitude goes to these hard-working interns.
Dialogues@RU could not be possible without the continued support of the Writing Program, especially Executive Director, Lynda Dexheimer, and Director Kurt Spellmeyer. Professor Spellmeyer has been the center of the Writing Program at Rutgers University for more than 30 years. Under his guidance and direction, the Program has flourished and become a model of success for many colleges and universities nationwide. Countless students have benefitted from Writing Program courses. Instructors, too, have benefitted from Kurt’s leadership and genuine kindness. As he returns to teaching full-time, I would like to thank him for his tireless dedication to students, faculty, and staff these many years.
Editorial Board Fall 2019
Ana Barbosa Couto
Han Seong Kim
Editorial Board Spring 2020
Ana Barbosa Couto
Corine Joy Tamayo