Community College Humanities Review Journal

Want a peek at the CCHR? See the teasers below!

The Community College Humanities Review Journal

The Community College Humanities Review (CCHR) journal, published biannually by the Community College Humanities Association (CCHA), has gone through an extensive redesign and reevaluation of editorial content. Along with the publication’s historical penchant for outstanding peer-reviewed scholarship, CCHR is now publishing essays on pedagogy, faculty profiles, book reviews, columns, fiction, poetry, and first-person reflections on life as a community college humanities professor. Further information on our Submission Guidelines below.

For “conventional” humanities disciplines such as history, philosophy, literary studies, composition, comparative religion, and ethics, CCHR provides the latest in research and pedagogy. The publication also leads the charge in expanding the definition of what studying the humanities may come to mean in the future. CCHR intends to explore, from a humanities perspective and with the intention of building bridges with other disciplines, such subjects as climate change, income inequality, environmental racism, terrorism, sustainability, media literacy, and biotechnology.

With expanded editorial content, CCHR is better able to serve CCHA’s members, as well as reach the larger higher education humanities community. CCHR is the go-to for the past, present, and future of humanities education in community colleges. Since the re-launch, CCHR has assumed its position as the signature publication of the Community College Humanities Association and be a welcome and important contribution for any individual and/or institution where the humanities are taught or explored.

Edited by Sydney Elliott, The Review is available via Amazon by clicking the link below. Additionally, more information about our Submission Guidelines can be found HERE.

The brown cover of the spring 2022 CCHR, featuring a bunny's head with particular focus on the ears, which are straight up..
EBSCO logo, white on blue

Get the Community College Humanities Review Journal (CCHR) delivered to your  library; it’s easy to do! Masyn Phoenix, Library Director at Tillamook Bay Community College, is here to tell you how just how easy it is. “Subscribing to the Community College Humanities Review is easy. Just ask your friendly neighborhood librarian to subscribe for you through EBSCONET. ISSN# 0748-0741.” Thanks, Masyn!

Want a peek at the CCHR? See the teasers below!

Contact information

Sydney Elliott, Editor

Submission guidelines

Community College


The Community College Humanities Review is published by the Community College Humanities Association (CCHA). The goal of the journal is to highlight the scholarly and creative work of community college humanities faculty. The editor encourages progressive approaches to writing about the humanities in community colleges, welcoming but also questioning conventional subject matter while inviting community college humanities faculty to take a fresh look at, for example, culture, the environment, the politics of food, climate change, genetic engineering, whatever new challenges a humanities mindset may help, in an integrated approach with other disciplines, to solve. The Community College Humanities Review strives to be the go to publication for community college humanities scholarship and creativity.

Submission Guidelines


Please query CCHR’s editor, Sydney Elliott, at Submissions will only be accepted through email in MS Word, 12 point, Times New Roman font, double spaced, left justified, with one-inch margins and page numbers in the upper right corner. There should be no headers or footers. CCHR rarely accepts any work over 7,000 words. Most texts should fall between the 2,000 – 7,000 word range. For additional format requirements concerning research submissions, see below.


CCHR accepts well-researched articles by community college humanities faculty. Along with the above writing guidelines, scholar writers should follow MLA format and use endnotes (not footnotes) when necessary. Please restrict the number of explanatory or digressive endnotes that are excessively long. Limit the total number of endnotes to bibliographic references. Use superscript Arabic numbers in text, avoid the use of other symbols like asterisks. Embed tables, figures, charts, graphs into the narrative as close to the in-text reference as possible. Limit the number of appendixes.

Creative Nonfiction

Essays – CCHR accepts well-written personal experience and critical essays as well as long-form, literary journalism written by community college humanities faculty. Essays on novel pedagogy and teaching experiences are encouraged.

Profiles – Creative profiles in the long-form tradition should focus on community college humanities faculty or those who are in some significant way associated with community colleges.


Interviews, in Q&A format, will be accepted as long as the interview subject has particular relevance to the teaching of humanities in community colleges. Please query Editor Sydney Elliott.


CCHR accepts well written short stories of any genre, generally 1,000 to 7,500 words. Higher consideration is given to quality writing and the ability to tell a good story. Both character- or plot-driven stories welcome for review. CCHR publishes one short story per issue, more depending on the discretion of the editor. Send your best work. No previously published material. Yes on simultaneous submissions.


Poets may submit up to five poems in any form. Publication design guidelines prohibit the guarantee of poet-designated line breaks. We’ll do our best to accommodate. Thoughtful, imaginative poems should resonate. Send your very best work. No previously published material. Simultaneous submissions are ok.



Subject to the editor’s discretion, The Community College Humanities Review accepts photography by community college humanities faculty. Photos may need to be conducive to the thematic content of a particular issue.

In This Issue:

Sneak Peek
Jason S. Whitmarsh:
“On the Heel of Achilles: Hero & Antihero in Modern Epic”

The epic hero has evolved extensively since his foundation in Mesopotamian literature some four millennia ago. Yet his fundamental qualities have endured with each example, from Gilgamesh, to Beowulf, to Anakin Skywalker. His pursuit of glory. His sense ofhonor. His pride before the fall. His achievement of excellence. Heroes retain similar traits. Perhaps no hero is as pertinent to this as swift-footed Achilles. Many scholars have viewed him as a monolithic figure, but there are arguably more facets to his character than any hero in Classical mythology. His fame is not because he represents the foundation of the epic, an honor which goes to Gilgamesh. It is not solely due to his might as he was not even the strongest hero, a feature belonging to Herakles. It is because Achilles is a hero to which we can relate. Despite being a demi-god, Achilles is the most human of heroes. He feels a greater range of emotion than Herakles or Aeneas, struggles with more realistic trials than Odysseus, and comes to terms with his fate more readily than Gilgamesh. He is hero and antihero, because he is, like us, human. Achilles has evolved beyond the ancient hero cult to become the standard through which we vicariously live, permeating modern pop culture as an archetype found in comics, film, and television. As we perpetually seek to understand our own nature, we recognize, and even embrace, our commonality with the persona of Achilles.

The son of Peleus has been analyzed since Ancient Greece. One of many of Homer’s epithets calls himθεοῖς ἐπιείκελος, ‘like to the gods,’ referencing how Achilles stands out from the pack. He is perceived as head and shoulders above others at Troy, revered as having no equal in combat and feared by mortal enemies and allies alike. Several heroes in The Iliad exhibit an aristeia, their great-est moment of heroic excellence. Diomedes enjoys it in Book V; Agamemnon in Book XI, but as Harvard Classicist Gregory Nagy points out, it is Achilles alone who continually earns the accolade ‘best of the Achaeans’—he experiences a consistent areisteia whenever he appears on the battlefield. In fact, the entire poem is written as a dedication to the glory, or kleos, of Achilles. More than any other warrior in the epic, Achilles is like to the gods. It is his exceptional prowess that gives him near-divine status, but also his genealogy. As he announces in Book XXI: “avow me to be of the lin-eage of great Zeus. The father that begat me is one that is lord among the many Myrmidons, even Peleus, son of Aeacus; and Aeacus was begotten of Zeus…”It is this position as the great-grandson of Zeus himself that permits him not only to excel, but to act dishonorably without consequence. When Achilles performs his most famous act of vengeance by dragging the corpse of the Trojan prince, Hector, behind his chariot, the gods are shocked and horrified, but Zeus delays punish-ment for the act. Rather, the ruler of gods and men orders Thetis to convince the hero to show compassion. The Greeks believed that Achilles’ wrath—his mênis—was an essential component of the Trojan War, deemed necessary by the will of the gods. His mother’s role was to calm her son’s wrath to create a resolution to the plot. Therefore, Achilles’ acts were justifiable. Diane Thompson’s article, Achilles’ Wrath and the Plan of Zeus points out thatAchilles asks Zeus for assistance both in his revenge against Agamemnon, requesting that the Greeks lose ground to the Trojans, as well as in his ultimate duel with Hector. He is given this special consideration each time; when Zeus bows his head, Achilles’ wish is granted.

Zeus’ compliance is a result of the circumstances surrounding the hero’s birth. Achilles’ divine mother, Thetis, was courted by Zeus but had been prophesized to bear a son greater than his father. Alarmed, Zeus married the goddess off to the minor hero, Peleus, and Achilles was the result of that union. Yet there is a notion that Achilles was bitter at being cheated out of ruling the universe. Thus, Zeus perhaps felt obligation, allowing Achilles to behave in ways no other would be permit-ted. Classicist J.T. Sheppard notes that Achilles is referred to as ‘Zeus-loved’ more than any other. Agamemnon and Hector also enjoy the title, yet as they act as foils to Achilles, it is evident that he is the highest Zeus-loved hero as he overcomes both opponents in their conflicts. Achilles is utterly insubordinate to Agamemnon, not only refusing to fight, but threatening to kill his commanding officer. Hardly heroic, it is selfish, and in Greek culture, serves as a crime of hubris. Yet Achilles is still the hero. He then humiliates his enemy by desecrating Hector’s corpse, mocking him and demoralizing the opposing army. This violates the tîmê, the honor, of Hector. Yet Achilles remains heroic.

The reality that no matter the sin, we are still loved in the eyes of God attracts us; a free pass to act as we wish because God is in our debt. While one hopes our actions bear little resemblance to those of Achilles, our very real human sense of entitlement does. We pride ourselves on our humanity, on our supposed altruism towards others, but few can doubt we feel things are owed to us in life. When we rationalize how we deserve the promotion over another, argue that our political or social viewpoint is intellectually superior to the other side, or even when we speed up upon noticing the adjacent driver’s turn signal threatens our lane—it all stems from pride in ourselves. We are all guilty of hubris, and we are all willing to defile another’s tîmê if they offend us. Like Achilles, we may disagree with our superiors over an administrative decision or seek to demean others for their political views; we simply keep it to ourselves . . . ideally. Thus, while Achilles acts in a less than altruistic manner, he displays typical human emotion. His behavior is contrary to conventional society, but his feelings are not. They are relatable, yet he reaches an unrelatable, though perhaps envious, level. He breaks the laws of the gods, but the behavior is exempted. Doubtless Agamem-non or Diomedes would have been punished accordingly had they acted similarly. Achilles is above and beyond them. He is outside the law of man or god.

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Sneak Peek
Sydney J Elliott:
“Writing it Cool: Changing the Language of Trauma”

I was on the final draft of my critical thesis, a requirement for my MFA. It had been an arduous process, complete with a total rewrite as requested by my thesis mentor. I was just days away from the submission deadline when a message popped up in my Facebook messenger. It was none other than Barry Lopez, the nature writer, after I had reached out to him months earlier. I had a loose connection with his partner, Debra Gwartney, also a writer, and I had added Lopez as a friend and messaged him, dropping her name, knowing full well that I most likely wouldn’t hear back as he had no clue who I was.
When the first message from Lopez came, I was nearly done with my second draft of my paper, but the short few email exchanges would not only change the scope and tone of my paper, but unknowingly at the time, it would change how I teach. But this was a few years away yet.
My critical thesis was an attempt to understand about why and how people write about trauma. I was getting my MFA in Creative Nonfiction, and although tried to avoid it, I found myself writing about my own childhood. I read a lengthy list of books on craft and non-fiction, and it became clear to me early on, how easy it is to write about trauma badly.
My paper ended up exploring what went right in work that left me feeling hopeful rather than despairing. I focused on just a handful of books that addressed childhood sexual trauma, poverty, disfigurement, home invasion, and severe illness and began to look for themes or ideas I could apply to my own writing (see Appendix A).
There was a lot that made these books successful, in my eyes, in writing about trauma. However, three main themes emerged: Distance, context, and resolution. Distance was a quality of either time that had passed or an emotional distance from the subject; context was putting the trauma or event into a broader scope (as part of a larger social or cultural issue); and resolution was the ability to assure the reader that the narrator is somehow okay or going to be able to transform their trauma. The writers were able to transform their internalized struggles and ordeals and externalize them via narrative that inspired and championed the human spirit. The writers were also honest that their process was just that, a process. Transforming trauma is akin to grieving. It is life-long, and it can be brutally hard.
But what these writers also demonstrated is that they were aware of what they had been through. A great many of people who have been through traumatic events are not aware of how it informs their day-to-day lives and choices. I began to think about my students at the small community college where I work, how a writing assignment can trigger fear and tap into the trauma loop, as I call it, and stop a student from even trying as their automatic nervous system hijacks reason, and the frontal cortex shuts down. Internalized messages begin to loop, and the student is afraid to ask for help.
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Sneak Peek
Stacey L. Mascia:
“Knowing Nature, Knowing Self: A Look at the Benefits of Nature for the Psyche”

In a place where gentle streams and cavernous lakes nourish plants and aquatic life—where mountains boast their glory over village-valleys and woodland creatures—there is solitude for the mind, soul, and body. The Northern Adirondack Region in Upstate New York is well known for its natural beauty and calm. Solace-seekers come from all over the world to take in Nature’s scenery and to inhale the fresh mountain air that attracts so many from clogged cities. But what else can the Adirondacks offer us? Surely, there is more to this area than pristine lakes, towering peaks, and rugged forests; there must be something spiritual here, something beyond the physical realm of beauty. There is a healing quality in these environs, the only place in the world that I have ever felt completely grounded. The psychological benefits abound in the physical properties of Nature, and much has been yielded by the study of ecopsychology and ecocriticism.

Through an investigation of prominent ecocritics and Eco psychologists such as Carl Gustov Jung, Liz O’Brien, Theodore Roszak and many others, I find that writers have sought healing of the mind, body, and soul in waters such as these and that the possibilities of ecological benefits are boundless. Through this journey, I have personally reconnected with Nature and have revisited the language of the region that has helped to heal my own psyche; I have regained my Adirondack spirit.

In an effort to understand the psychological benefits of living in the Adirondack Region through the lens of ecopsychology, several terms should be discussed in detail, including revisiting the great works of literary critics, philosophers, and psychologists. Much of the academic research material available that includes the concept of healing through Nature involves finding a place of solitude and “groundedness” for the individual. An exploration of this healing is found in Theodore Roszak’s The Voice of the Earth: An Exploration of Ecopsychology: “All psychologies turn to the unconscious to find the root of neurosis, as well as the powers that will heal the troubled psyche” (304). Ancient Eastern philosophers were more sensitive to the metaphysical than Western physicians were and even now, a Naturalist’s approach to wellness and healing is often scoffed at; the pharmaceutical industry would become bankrupt otherwise. It seems that in an age of big business and commerce, we lose sight of the simpler pleasures of life: a jaunt through the woods, a night of stargazing, or a weekend without technology. As Carl Jung writes, “whenever we touch nature we get clean . . . by walking in the woods, lying on the grass, taking a bath in the sea, are from the outside; entering [ourselves] through dreams, is touching nature from the inside and this is the same thing, things are put right again” (207). Is healing really as simple as communing with Nature?

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