Editor's Introduction

1. A culture can be known by the mental and emotional associations of its people. A true guide to a people’s abstract and sentimental associations is the set of stories that are significant and meaningful to the people. The history of a culture can be profitably made by understanding the history of powerful stories and their duration. A moment in time and a location in space can be known by the stories the people in the time and place tell.

2. This volume of UNIversitas features many different stories and studies and expressions indicative of the vibrancy of intellectual and humane activity at UNI and extending out from UNI. The Forum for this volume concentrates on UNI’s Ecology. It provides various ways of understanding experiences of the natural world and our effect on the natural world. Notable about this forum is its unfailing confidence in humanity’s capacity to know well and to do good, even as it acknowledges and even details some insalubrious and nature – degrading facts. “By honoring co – creation as part of being (and being part of UNI),” as the curator of the forum puts it in her introduction, “each of us – faculty, staff, students, administrators, Cedar Valley citizens, alumni, birds, bees, feral cats, insects, native grasses and flowers, butterflies and foxes – is free to be, grow, emerge.”

3. Fragmentary documents and memory and the value of such is explored in the contributions to the section of Essays, Studies, and Works. In an elaborate study richly illustrated, scraps of old manuscripts of Spanish music, owned by UNI, are elucidated by means of digital humanities tools and resources. In an applied linguistics study, the challenges of suboptimal memory are measured in relation to learning a foreign language.

4. In the Reviews and Responses section, there is a sustained consideration of studies surrounding the obstacles rural women encounter with breastfeeding. Also, there is featured two book reviews. One is of Barbara Lounsberry’s second book about Virginia Woolf’s diary reading and diary writing, a review that complements the review published a couple years ago of Lounsberry’s first book about Woolf’s diary reading and writing. The second review is of the handsome and informative book about Frank Lloyd Wright and Mason City by Roy Behrens.

5. Of the many qualities implied by the stories and studies and expressions that compose this volume of UNIversitas, certainly empathic, imaginatively intelligent, and abiding commitment to others is chief among them. Read well.

Jesse Swan
Professor and Editor


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