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 cover of CCHR 5.1: Deer antlers in profile drawn in black on a gray background.
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
Michael Duggan:
“Teaching Fellow Faculty in the Age of Corona: From despair to Xanadu”

I had this terrible miniature mole in the corner of my eye. It was less than half a millimeter in diameter—not much bigger than a pinhead. It was so small most people didn’t notice it. But I did. My life seemed perfect otherwise, but I was bothered by that damned mole. I went to an eye doctor the week before I was leaving town, to check it. My ophthalmologist assured me it was just a minor skin thing and not to worry. But still, I worried. So there I was in Palm Springs in my hotel room, staring at it for hours, fretting. It was February, and I take an annual pilgrimage, as many fortunate middle-aged gay men do, to my Mecca of Palm Springs to write for a week. The combination of sunshine, kitschy cynical décor mocking most every social institution you can think of, eccentric personalities draped in brightly colored, mismatched florescent prints, and laughing senior retiree population provides the perfect inspiration for any artist. I suspect that somehow Dante’s Inferno was written there.

There was white noise on the radio about people getting sick in China. “Poor them,” I thought. I even joked with my husband, Wayne, while Facetiming with him over my morning mimosa. “Maybe the sickness will reach our borders, and we will turn into the Walking Dead,” I proclaim. I say it that joking tone one uses when they believe deep down nothing bad can happen. No, in my mind, my priorities were writing my last chapter of my new book, finding a good place for Happy Hour at 2 pm (“Why wait?” say the Palm Springs residents, who take pride in their early happy hours), and perhaps taking a long walk at the end of the day to watch the majestic sunset against the backdrop of the San Jacinto mountains. Meanwhile, somewhere in the back of my mind, I worry about my eye mole.

Fast forward three weeks later. I’m home and having dinner with my husband at our favorite Mexican restaurant. Both of us had been sent home from our jobs with the expectation we would be working remotely for the next two weeks. This change concerned us. “How will we conduct meetings? Teach classes? Talk to people?” We were worried, but the tone of our voices was, again, the one you take when you’re mildly concerned, but not really concerned. We’re having shots and laughing, “This may be the last meal we can have out for a while!” as our state was about to go to home quarantine.We figured this situation would last a couple of weeks—a month tops—and then we’d go about our lives. The eye mole is still irritating me, but less so.

Fast forward two months later. Shit has gotten real now. Thousands of people are reported as infected daily; hundreds of people are dying world-wide. We’re both working out of our two-room basement—one in each room. For me, I successfully stagger through the last six weeks of counseling appointments using Zoom and phone calls, while my husband finds ways to conduct his managerial responsibilities through a combination of remote meetings and email. Since I was teaching a class in interpersonal communications for students with autism that semester, the transition is pretty smooth. My students and I already have a good rapport by that point in the semester, so it doesn’t seem overly complicated to get everyone talking. My counseling appointments are also pretty easy— people are sad they are home but thinking this weird life has to end any day now, so in the meantime, they take advantage of the free time and stream their favorite series on Netflix.

But then the spring semester ends in May, and now just a week later, I am set to teach a class to faculty and staff on best practices for teaching students with disabilities. I’m suddenly filled with panic and anxiety. The course is one I’ve taught in some variation hundreds of times in my twenty-five years as a counselor for students with disabilities, so I’m confident in the content. But how do I do it remotely? I don’t know how to use these technological tools well. I don’t even know how I’m going to approach things like group discussions and projects. I worry about looking like a fool to my colleagues, people I know, and respect. I keep seeing this image of a toy monkey, with symbols smashing and later exploding in my head.

The weekend before my class is to begin, a group of police officers in Minneapolis viciously murder George Floyd, and the outcry is immediate. People are outraged, myself included, and the country takes a very somber tone. Stories of other African American travesties flood social media, and I’m disgusted with myself for never having taken the time to read about their injustices before. Breonna Taylor in Louisville, Kentucky; Ahmaud Arbery in Glynn County, Georgia; Tony McDade in Tallahassee, Florida; Dion Johnson in Phoenix, Arizona. I am filled with sadness. Everyone (at least anyone with a heart and soul) is. The tone of the world is one of despair, and my class starts on Monday. As a Charles Nelson Reilly–esque instructor who tries to put humor in most everything I do, I selfishly think about my class. I’m already nervous about teaching remotely and sink into my chair as I realize my greatest defense mechanism for nerves—cynical humor—is not at my disposal. The image in my mind has now turned to one of a car exploding. I couldn’t care less about my eye mole.

The day of my first class arrives. On my computer screen, I see digital box after digital box pop open—I’m guessing fifteen to twenty windows total. My laptop’s little green light is turned on, and now I know they’re all looking at me. It’s a few minutes before class starts, so I mute my microphone. Their faces tell me exactly what I’m thinking—the world is upside down and will be for a very, very long time. What’s worse, we know many more in the world are suffering to a far higher degree than we are, and this realization sinks us even lower. Our entire collective concept of what reality is has been busted apart like a crash-test dummy flying through a car windshield.

I’m so nervous at that point I can feel my teeth clenching together. My right foot is kicking back and forth like a cat’s tail. My voice cracks. “Hello . . . my name is Dr. Michael Duggan. Many of you I already know me, but I’m looking forward to getting to know all of you better over the next eight weeks . . .” Then I’m silent. What the hell do I say now? I freeze up. Thankfully, a piece of advice I picked up somewhere in my life resonates in the back of my head. “If you don’t know what to say, then talk about how you feel. Be honest.” So I do just that. I tell everyone I’m filled with sadness over the murder of George Floyd. I also share how incredibly depressed I am now that my mind has accepted that this virus is not going away for a long time, and worry about whether things will ever be like they used to be. In this moment of stream-of-consciousness sharing, I also say how badly I could go for some Popeye’s chicken to self-medicate the pain away. Everyone laughs.

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Sneak Peek
Evan Balkan:
“A Thousand Miles: Time Travel and the Rubens Vase”

As we continue to try and adjust to life during a pandemic, the inability to travel and be exposed to new worlds and experiences has hit many especially hard. Even in more normal times, museum visits have always been a way to engage in quick and accessible travel through time, geography, and culture. Fortunately, though with restrictions in many places, many museums have reopened their doors, allowing for a resumption of this particular kind of “travel.” There can be few greater gifts in a time of lockdown.

Baltimore is home to many world class museums. One of them is the Walters Art Museum, with a collection of more than 36,000 objects spanning more than seven centuries. One can easily spend days there, and while every corner offers something extraordinary, some pieces stand out above the rest. One such object is the arresting Rubens Vase.

According to the Walters’s records, the Rubens Vase was “Carved in high relief from a single piece of agate . . . most likely created in an imperial workshop for a Byzantine emperor,” sometime around 400 A.D. Agate is a type of translucent quartz that for centuries has been regarded as a prized semiprecious stone. Agate carvings were especially popular with Roman emperors; ultimately, many of their classical collectibles were taken to Constantinople by Constantine the Great. As for the Rubens Vase, it eventually wound up in France, “probably carried off as treasure after the sack of Constantinople in 1204” and eventually wound up in the possession of the Duke of Anjou in 1360. Subsequently, a series of notable collectors came to own the vase, including King Charles V of France, until ransacking Huguenots stole it from the Royal Collections in 1590. But it’s the vase’s most famous possessor who gives the vessel its name: the great Flemish painter Peter Paul Rubens (1577–1640), widely considered the seminal figure in the Flemish Baroque artistic tradition. Rubens purchased the vase at an Antwerp flea market in 1619.

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Sneak Peek
Allan J. Ballinger:
“Naked and Un-Ashamed: White Supremacy Rises Again”

I became familiar with Leonard M. (Mike) Scruggs’s The Un-Civil War during the Facebook wars following the events in Charlottesville, VA in late 2017. Among former colleagues and high school classmates (some of whom I’ve since unfriended), Scruggs’s work emerged as a flashpoint for the defense of Lost Cause mythology. Despite claiming to shatter the historical myths and tell the “real” history of the Civil War and Reconstruction, however, this un-abashed and un-documented narrative instead seeks to repackage the now discredited whitewashed narratives of the era for the twenty-first century.

Significant portions of The Un-Civil War are filled with polemics aimed at delegitimizing the efforts of the North to provide equal rights and equal protection under the law to the newly freed African Americans of the South. In this revisionist account, Scruggs defends the system that enslaved four million human beings as a benign and benevolent institution, justified by virtue of the orthodox theology of its Christian supporters and further proven by the fact that many abolitionists were “apostate” Unitarians and transcendentalists (Scruggs 45–50). How many Christians today would consent to the enslavement of 4 million human beings because, as in the words of Confederate President Jefferson Davis, “We feel that our cause is just and holy . . .”? How many would agree with the “Address to Christians of the World” by Southern ministers that “We are aware that in respect to the moral aspects of the question of slavery, we differ with those who conceive of emancipation as a measure of benevolence, and on that we suffer much reproach we are conscious of not deserving” (qtd. in Scruggs, 264– 265)? Dismissing the contemporaneous statements by Southern legislatures and statesmen to the contrary, Scruggs argues that the Morrill Tariff, passed only after formation of the Confederacy, was the primary reason for Southern secession, not “the proper status of the negro in our form of civilization” as proclaimed by the Vice President of the Confederacy, Alexander Stephens. Scruggs seeks to employ John C. Calhoun’s concept of the “concurrent majority” in service of states’ rights and the defense of secession, ironically only highlighting the centrality of slavery to secession and underscoring the illegitimacy of the newly constituted all-white southern legislatures following the war. His attacks on the Fourteenth Amendment are eviscerated by the historical record. Finally, his incredulous defense of the Ku Klux Klan as savior for both Southern whites and blacks ignores the overwhelming historical evidence of the reign of terror and lawlessness that permeated the South at the hands of the Klan and dozens of secret societies responsible for the murder of tens of thousands of African Americans over the course of Reconstruction.

The Un-Civil War does make a valid point, often obscured by history’s focus on emancipation as the end-result of the war, that the North did not set out to abolish slavery. In his monumental work Black Reconstruction, W.E.B. Dubois quotesFrederick Douglass on this very
point; the abolitionist orator argued that the Civil War was fought by the South to protect slavery outside of the Union, and by the North to keep slavery in the Union (Dubois 61). But while Dubois painstakingly documents the rebellion of hundreds of thousands of slaves and their relentless efforts to aid the Union cause as the key to turning the Civil War into a struggle for emancipation, Scruggs ignores these revolutionary acts and instead focuses on those slaves who were conscripted into Confederate ranks, or those who remained on the plantation, uncertain of the outcome of the war and unsure of their futures in the world that would follow (Scruggs 233–258). Recent scholarship has debunked the myth of the black Confederate soldier (Levin), and Scruggs’s view adds insult to injury for the people whose lives were controlled by terrorism and violence by interpreting their subjection to terror as complicity. More importantly, it completely ignores the pivotal role that over 200,000 black soldiers and sailors played in the eventual outcome, 68,000 of whom gave their lives fighting for the Union cause.

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