Impact – Winter 2019

Editorial Statement

Dear Readers,

Welcome to another issue of Impact: The Journal of the Center for Interdisciplinary Teaching & Learning. If I had to use one word to describe those of us who work at Boston University’s College of General Studies as well as the scholars who contribute to this journal, I would say we are engaged. We are engaged with the project of interdisciplinary teaching and learning, and we are engaged with respect to the various ways we encounter our world.

In this issue of Impact you will find a humanities scholar deeply engaged with the arcing out of a new territory: the interdisciplinary study of the Grateful Dead. Impact’s own Christopher Coffman’s review essay should be required reading for scholars of popular music, performance studies and history. His review also serves as an important reference for those who aspire to teach a course on the Grateful Dead, as well as for those who wish to write review essays. In this issue we also hear from those who are engaged in teaching people who are incarcerated. Importantly, Stephanie Cage’s essay looks to incarcerated people themselves to find out what they think about prison education. Peter Wakefield encourages us to see The Great Gatsby anew, in particular in the context of American racism and White supremacy. Wakefield’s essay is important too because it had its genesis in Writing, the State, and the Rise of Neo-Nationalism: Historical Contexts and Contemporary Concerns, a conference sponsored by the Center for Interdisciplinary Teaching & Learning.

Our Impact reviewers inform us about everything from the newest scholarship on Shakespeare (hint: it has to do with cognitive science), to inroads into the scholarship on teaching and learning, and to teaching traumatized students. Our final reviewer examines a book destined to be a significant contribution to or even a forerunner in studies of the intellectual and personal development of graduate students. One doesn’t need to be especially engaged with the world to teach and learn in an interdisciplinary fashion, but as our winter 2019 contributors make clear, it sure does help!


Megan Sullivan, Editor-in-Chief