Confluence

Editor's Note

When I considered themes for this year’s issue that were representative of the arts, humanities, and social sciences, “wonder” came to mind for many reasons—the curiosity that leads students and faculty to ask questions and explore the unknown; the delight felt when learning or experiencing something new and / or astounding; the admiration developed over time as one’s knowledge deepens but the unknown expands and / or evolves. 

As always, the subjects of this year’s stories broadened my conceptualization of the theme. 

In many ways, I was pushed to ask what I take for granted—what hard-earned skills have become overfamiliar to me? What remarkable sights have faded into the background? What guiding ideas have I assumed to be true without interrogating them myself? What acts of joy have I brushed off in the race of completing daily tasks? 

How lucky am I to have small children at home who invite me to lay on the floor with them and look up? Who ask me why someone has purple hair? Who shriek in delight when Cheerios spill everywhere after they accidentally drop the box? Who want to test what sinks or floats? Who hand me book after book after book to read to them?

In short: how lucky am I to have the daily reminder to look at things anew? 

I hope the stories in this year’s issue of Confluence reinforce the value of wonder for you and encourage you to find more opportunity for it in your routines.

portrait of Whitney Jacobson



Whitney Jacobson 
Editor, Confluence
 

View the 2023–2024 Confluence Publication

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A collection of College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences highlights and features from the academic year 2023–2024.