This year’s Voces Novae: Chapman University Historical Review, a student-run e-journal, covers a diverse array of topics among the papers published including political violence in South Africa, Dr. Ruth Westheimer (German-American sex therapist and Holocaust Survivor), Feminist History, and the 1937 Chinese Massacre.
Celebrating its twelfth anniversary, the award-winning journal, published by the Alpha Mu Gamma Chapter of Phi Alpha Theta (History Honors Society), includes seven student-written papers, all senior History majors in Wilkinson College.
“I think that this year we had a really strong set of student submissions to choose from, and it was very difficult to narrow ourselves down to the seven papers we ultimately published,” said Senior Voces Novae Editor Joseph Dickinson (’20, BA History and Minor in Secondary Education, current MA War & Society Accelerated Candidate).
Considering the current difficult times with the COVID-19 pandemic, the team of undergraduates worked through the crisis collaborating and relying on Zoom sessions to get them through.
Once papers are collected from all graduating history seniors, they are read and ranked by an executive board of students. The board determines which papers are the best-fit for the e-journal, including most prepared for publication, and which provides unique and interesting scholarship.
“Once we narrow down the pool, we create groups of about three people, with one board member and two general editors who closely read the paper and provide comments on them in terms of clarity, grammar, and word choice,” said Senior Voces Novae Editor Leana Sottile (’20, BA History and BFA Television Writing and Production, current MA War & Society Accelerated Candidate). “We also encourage the editors to respond to one another’s comments and provide rubrics in terms of what they thought of the paper and if it should be published,” they said.
From there, the board returns the edits to the authors. Once edits have been made and bios and abstracts provided, the senior editors post the papers online.
“This year’s Voces Novae editorial board did an exceptional job. Not only did they publish seven stellar essays – an unusually high number – but they did so during a pandemic. The authors also did fantastic work. They had to be creative because the library was closed. We History faculty are so proud of this cohort,” said Dr. Shira Klein, Associate Professor of History and Voces Novae faculty advisor.
“I think this year’s volume really shows how much freedom one has to forge their own path when pursuing a history degree at Chapman, as well as showing an excellent amount of diversity among the perspectives and interests of our authors,” said Dickinson.
According to the Voces Novae website, the mission of Voces Novae is to provide undergraduate students a forum to contribute original research to the body of historical knowledge, seeking to bring students and teachers together in intellectual dialogue with the goal of promoting and assisting historical research and analysis.