CCHR Journal Vol. 1, No. 2 (Spring 2017)

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

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, Volume 1, Number 2 of The Review is available via Amazon by clicking the link below. Additionally, more information about our Submission Guidelines can be found HERE.

CCHR Cover Spring 2017

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.

Sneak Peek
Andy Rusnak:
“The Banality of Memory”

Holocaust survivor Joe Engel is the 2016 CCHA Southern Division’s Distinguished Lifetime Humanities Educator/Advocate Award winner.

And something else, Daddy …
You promised to bring me books
because truly, I have nothing to read.

So, please, come tomorrow, right before dusk…

                                             —Your Faithful Son, Anonymous

                                                                    —From “I Never Saw Another Butterfly: Children’s

                                                                        Drawings and Poems from Terezin Concentration Camp, 1942-1944”

To write profiles is like being given a great gift. There’s something profound, intimidating, and even culpable about trust and the human condition when someone who barely knows you quickly opens up and discloses the intimate details of their personal and professional lives. To hear their stories is to accept the unsettling responsibility of a precious gift.

Two Jewish brothers who escaped France just prior to the Nazi invasion in 1941 is the closest I’ve ever come to writing a Holocaust story. Jacques and Jean Kohn made it to America and started a successful balsa business. Balsa is used for composite sandwich fabrication, for the manufacture of fiberglass boats. Jacques ran Baltek’s trim, sales, and distribution main office in New Jersey, while brother Jean managed the balsa farms in Ecuador.

Another great gift is raising our 10-year old son, Jake. My wife Lori and I believe in a balanced, experiential, and book-learned approach, one that promotes love, curiosity, imagination, passion for all disciplines, and confidence that the truth, whether cruel or kind, should always be honestly delivered no matter how old our son, that postponing incipient awareness and understanding in order to safeguard verdant emotions can do more harm than good.

One of our big dilemmas lately is how to decide when is the best time to introduce our Legend of Zelda-playing, tablet-hoarding son to the Holocaust and other of history’s genocidal afflictions. Jake is mature for his age, a hard-working honors student who yearns for scientific fact, attacks math problems with relish, pens his own poetry, and reads adventure tales like Ed Stafford’s Walking the Amazon.

The horrors of the holocaust are simultaneously simple and complex. On its surface, it was nothing less than the state-sponsored, systematic murder of millions, mostly Jews (six million), but also several million Slavs and thousands of Roma (gypsies), homosexuals, Socialists, and the disabled.

Underneath, everything about the Holocaust is ineffable. To attempt to write about evil, “big evil,” the perpetration of which was endorsed by so many, is to unwittingly yearn for the other side, to measure the myriad ironies that fold into contradictions, then to leave it behind, wrapped in some measure of understanding. This too is paradox that circles back on itself, far more the exclusive province of those who experienced Holocaust, the Elie Wiesels, Viktor Frankls, and Primo Levis of the world.

That leaves others, me for instance, to struggle with an inescapable, self-conscious presumption that lurks near the doorway to every word and every description of every unimaginable wanton act of inhumanity. Albeit a sophomoric starting point, this insolent, paranoid fate is nothing compared to that surreal moment when Hannah Arendt’s banality of evil is imminent, and you can do nothing but watch your own death unfold in front of you. The responsibility of the rest of us is to record and remember the best we can.

Want to continue reading? Please consider purchasing a print copy or becoming a member.

Sneak Peek
Terri L. Barnes:
“Vikings, History, and the Search for Ourselves”

Last year I embarked on a new project to teach a class on the Viking Age. As a historian who specializes in medieval and early modern Europe, I know the Vikings well, but in the college history surveys I usually teach, I never have enough time to get to them. Part of my interest in creating the class stemmed from a trip to Norway, and also documenting Scandinavian ancestry in both my parents’ families. But, in the end, the most compelling tipping point was the interest in the Vikings expressed time and again by my students. Little did I realize that they, and the class, would teach me important lessons about history and human nature.

As I began researching (and prepping) the course, I was confronted with a frequent problem for historians of medieval Europe: since the Viking Age ran from roughly 800 to 1100 CE and featured a pre-literate Scandinavian culture for much of that time, sources are almost non-existent, and there are many problems with those that do survive. This  makes the Vikings difficult for historians to pin down. And yet for my students, the Vikings had a very real and certain presence. When I asked them what their conception of a Viking was at the beginning of the class, an incredibly specific and unified picture emerged. It begged the question: what drives our fascination with these people who lived so long ago, about whom we know relatively little and yet who my students see very clearly and definitively? How is this historical disconnect possible? I was intrigued and began to think more (than I usually do as a professional historian) about how we engage with the past, how we tend to remake it in our own image and interests, and most importantly, why.

Want to continue reading? Please consider purchasing a print copy or becoming a member.

Sneak Peek
Chris Jensen:
“Wi-Fi in the Wilderness”

A few years ago, editors of the Oxford Junior Dictionary came under fire after it was reported that they had deleted scores of words from their new edition—words about nature they no longer deemed relevant to childhood. Gone were acorn, dandelion, fern, heather, heron, ivy, nectar, pasture, and willow. In their place came blog, broadband, bullet-point, chatroom, cut-and-paste, and voicemail. Some were outraged by the news, seeing fresh evidence of a generation’s growing estrangement from the landscape, of its divorce from the natural world in a glut of virtual indoor activity. Others, however, defended the Oxford editors, noting that dictionaries are supposed to document usage, not dictate it. “Attacking a dictionary for removing archaic words,” wrote one critic, “is like punching your thermometer when it’s cold.”

Whatever your response, the episode highlights a growing cultural angst over how the digital age is changing our relationship to nature—evidenced by concerns about “Nature Deficit Disorder” or about whether millennials will care enough to protect our national parks in the future. The controversy also calls to mind the well-worn nature-vs-culture narrative, a bi-polar pattern of thought embedded in U.S. cultural life since at least the Wilderness Act of 1964. We have been trained to assume that the human and the natural are radical opponents in a zero-sum game: when one gains, the other loses. After all, the purpose of the Wilderness Act was to protect natural spaces from the technological fad of the day, the automobile. So roads, cars, and any motorized machines—now even bicycles—have been written out of the wilderness script. The famous legislation, decades in the making and now admired worldwide, sought to protect large areas of land that were “untrammeled by man,” retained a “primeval character,” and had “outstanding opportunities for solitude.” And it did this. Marvelously. But cognitively, it came at a price: We have tended to overlook the truth that humans are part of nature, and that nature and culture are better viewed as allies than enemies. Indeed, it took us decades to acknowledge that our very idea of wilderness is a unique blend of American frontier ideology and the Romantic sublime: a complicated, imperfect cultural invention that, among other ironies, had to evict or ignore Native Americans entirely.

So it’s not exactly a matter of choosing between ferns and flash-drives or between daisies and downloads. Rather it’s about acting thoughtfully in a rapidly-evolving world that includes all of these things, which in fact requires all of these things. If Henry David Thoreau is correct in his famous dictum that “In Wildness is the preservation of the World,” then Wendell Berry is equally right to emphasize its corollary: “In human culture is the preservation of wildness … If wildness is to survive, then we must preserve it.”

Want to continue reading? Please consider purchasing a print copy or becoming a member.