Spring 2014


Now in its fourth year, The Paper Shell Review continues to provide undergraduates the opportunity to develop scholarly and professional skills associated with the critical and historical study and analysis of English literature. Indeed, since the essays are written, selected, edited, and published by undergraduates, this volume adeptly displays the skill with which these emergent scholars practice and promote research in the humanities.

The exponential growth in submissions since 2013 reveals the importance of this journal to undergraduates and their mentors. To assemble this volume, editors drew upon work sent from public and private universities and colleges large and small around the US and Canada.

Taken together, these five essays provide a lens into many facets of literary history, since they range from Beowulf to Shakespeare’s Merchant of Venice to seventeenth-century pastoral poetry, on to eighteenth- and nineteenth-century black women writers addressing both British and American audiences, and then to the twentieth century and William Faulkner’s Light in August. They share an effort to place these literary texts in context with the authors’ times, refracted against our twenty-first century concerns with race, gender, and economic conditions.

These young scholars juggle the evidence available from the literature, from other scholarly readings, and from the historical record, and render arguments of their own about how readers today understand these literary works that continue to inspire us. Indeed, this volume operates almost as an audio clip of awakening, increasingly authoritative, critical voices.  Its goal is to kindle within you, the reader, your own contributions to these conversations.

Karen Nelson
Associate Director, Center for Literary Comparative Studies
Department of English, University of Maryland

Essay Information

Submit essays using the Paper Shell Review Submission Form

Journal Information

Megan Cooley-Klein
Managing Editors
Shane Goodhue
Monica Parks 

Reading Group Leaders
Michael Lawrence
Emily Tuttle 

Layout Editor
Laura Pavlo 

Editorial Board
Greta Boller
Nicole Choi
Brady Fauth
Shannon Goff
Anna Johnson*
Luke Johnston*
Allison Hartley*
Theresa Park
Maya Pottiger
Michelle Rosinski
Chaviva Ruffer*
Madeline Wilson*

Graduate Student Reader
Amy Merritt

Editorial board members with an asterisk (*) provided additional editorial support.

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