Spring 2017


The essays featured in this issue of Paper Shell Review boldly tackle challenging material, ranging from the Victorian novel’s encounter with disability to the cultural history of an African American military hero whose official recognition for valor arrived about a hundred years too late.  They also venture into the primitive dreamscape of a modernist “nightwood” and bear witness to the brutal legacy of Christianity in the postcolonial Caribbean.  Surefooted and strongly argued, they have much to teach us about the power of imaginative writing to unsettle familiar worlds and envision alternative ones.

In its own way, each of these essays negotiates past and present.  We learn how Djuna Barnes’s Nightwood retells the Edenic narrative of Genesis as a modernist fall into knowledge of self and other.  We see the valuable resources of contemporary disability theory mobilized to discover in Wilkie Collins’s Poor Miss Finch a critique of the ableist and sexist ideologies that created Victorian ideas of the “normal.” We are exposed to the violent histories of religious colonial intervention in the Caribbean, seen from the perspective of postcolonial fictions from the region.  And we are introduced to the true story of World War I hero Henry Johnson, whose brave critique of racism at the time not only cost him all the adulation he had received for courage on the Western Front but remained unremarked, even up to 2015, when President Barack Obama posthumously awarded him the Medal of Honor.

The critical journeys undertaken in these essays make for powerful and rewarding reading.  Congratulations to their authors for their engaging—and engaged—scholarship.

Theresa Coletti

Professor of English, University of Maryland

Essay Information

Submit essays using the Paper Shell Review Submission Form.

Journal Information

Hannah Meshulam
Jonathan Offenberg

Managing Editor
Lauren Baker

Cover Design
Anna-Bella Sicilia

Editorial Board
Nicholas Brown
Rosa Perez Ceballos
Leila Dawson
Shaliah George
Christian Ivey
Brianna Lale
Meiling Liu
Maryam Mashayekhi
Ellen McDaniel
Caitlyn Roberts
Heather Seyler

Graduate Advisor
Elise Auvil

Copyright © 2017 by The Paper Shell Review

All rights reserved under International and Pan-American Copyright Conventions. Published in the United States by The Paper Shell Review, the University of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742, U.S.A.

Publication is limited to essays written during an author’s undergraduate career at accredited institutions of higher learning around the world.

The editorial board is composed of separate reading groups that largely function independently of one another. All identifying information is removed from each submission prior to review. Essays submitted by editorial staff members are assigned to a different reading group to ensure the integrity of our review process. Once a final pool of essays is selected, a high ranking from the reading groups in addition to the support of the graduate advisor most occur before a submission is accepted.