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New scholarly journal offers forum on contemporary culture
Notable - faculty and staff

In Memoriam


New scholarly journal offers forum on contemporary culture

The fox knows many things, but the hedgehog knows one big thing.
-- Archilochus, Greek poet (ca. 675-635, B.C.E.)

The Hedgehog ReviewBy Robert Brickhouse

In a globalizing consumer society of dizzying technological and social change, do we each have a "true self"? Or do we play, sometimes eatively, through a series of roles and images that we construct and that are constructed for us?

"Identity" in today's world is the theme of the first issue of The Hedgehog Review: Critical Reflections on Contemporary Culture, a new scholarly journal published at U.Va. The interdisciplinary, international journal, aimed at a general as well as academic readership, is published by the Institute for Advanced Studies in Culture, under the executive directorship of James Davison Hunter, the William R. Kenan Professor of Sociology and Religious Studies, who serves as the magazine's executive editor.

The first issue, with articles by European and U.S. scholars from a variety of fields, examines such topics affecting identity as glamour, consumerism, cyberspace, ethnicity and the body.

"We want The Hedgehog Review to be a forum for thoughtful, engaged discussion of important cultural questions by scholars from throughout the humanities and social sciences," said Jennifer L. Geddes, a religion and literature scholar who is the editor and a fellow at the Institute.

Issues, published three times a year, will address a single theme with articles, interviews, reviews and bibliographies written by scholars in various disciplines. Upcoming themes include democracy, evil, the university, diversity and the body. By focusing attention from many vantage points on one topic, the journal strives for both "the breadth of the fox and the depth of the hedgehog" and seeks to be a resource for learning about current discussions and new avenues of thought, said Geddes, who received her Ph.D. in religious studies at U.Va.

Authors in the first issue, based on an institute lecture series held at U.Va., include Zygmunt Bauman, emeritus professor of sociology at the Universities of Leeds and Warsaw, and author of Globalization: The Human Consequences; David Harvey, professor of geography at Johns Hopkins whose books include The Limits to Capital; Mike Featherstone, professor of sociology at Nottingham Trent University and author of Consumer Culture and Postmodernism; and Institute fellow Joseph E. Davis, who also served as the first issue's guest editor and who reviews some of the extensive literature on identity and social change, discussing directions in which contemporary scholarship on identity has moved. The purpose of the Institute for Advanced Studies in Culture is to examine the profound changes taking place in contemporary society. It has sponsored such major projects as a national survey of American political culture conducted with the Gallup Poll to determine public views about the state of political life and democracy.

Through a wide-ranging program of research, graduate training, lectures and conferences, the institute investigates contemporary cultural change and its implications for individuals and society.

For information about the institute, The Hedgehog Review, or subscriptions, contact the Institute for Advanced Studies in Culture, B-5 Garrett Hall, U.Va., Charlottesville, VA 22903, 924-7705, or hedgehog@virginia.edu.


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