School of Arts and Humanities News

School of Arts and Humanities, O'Donnell Institute Unveil New Journal


Dr. Ben Lima

Dr. Ben Lima

The School of Arts and Humanities and the Edith O’Donnell Institute of Art History at UT Dallas are launching a new, high-impact arts journal.

Modeled somewhat after The New Yorker, the Athenaeum Review will provide local, national and international readers with reviews and commentary that highlight the arts at UT Dallas and beyond, as well as provoke thought.

“We want this to be a place for critical, thoughtful conversations,” said Dr. Dennis Kratz, dean of the School of Arts and Humanities and the Ignacy and Celina Rockover Professor. “It’s to enlighten people about a wide range of subjects and also to annoy — to shake us out of our complacency.”

Dr. Ben Lima, editor of the Athenaeum Review, said the journal is not intended “for just a narrow circle of academics, but it should appeal to anyone who is interested in art, literature and culture.”

Printed copies of the Athenaeum Review will be available on campus, online, at local bookstores and, eventually, through bookstores around the country. In addition, the journal’s website will feature all of its essays and articles, while providing additional content, such as podcasts.

The first issue is 160 pages and includes articles by such UT Dallas professors as Dr. Charissa Terranova, associate professor of aesthetic studies; Dr. Ming Dong Gu, professor of Chinese and comparative literature; Dr. Thomas Riccio, professor of performance and aesthetic studies; and Dr. Kenneth Brewer, clinical associate professor of arts and humanities. Kratz and Dr. Richard Brettell, founding director of the Edith O’Donnell Institute of Art History and the Margaret M. McDermott Distinguished Chair of Art and Aesthetic Studies and the Edith O’Donnell Distinguished University Chair, also contributed.

Additional contributors will come from other universities around the world.

Lima cited an essay about Frankenstein as an example of the thoughtful and thorough treatment that topics will receive. In the first issue, the author explores the 200th anniversary of Mary Shelley’s “Frankenstein,” an upcoming Dallas Theater Center production of the novel and other societal aspects of the monster.

The first issue also will feature essays on democracy promotion, African performance, bioaesthetics, David Hume and Adam Smith, and much more.

“There’s a lot of really good material,” Lima said. “I’m excited that this journal is a way to showcase in a thoughtful way the many things happening at UTD and throughout the Dallas-Fort Worth area to a different slice of the public than is already seeing it.”

Kratz said the name of the journal comes from ancient Rome.

“The first Athenaeum was a school in ancient Rome. In the 19th century the term was adopted by learned societies in Europe and America dedicated to discussing science and literature. That’s what we are trying to do — create a discussion about the arts,” he said. “Not everyone will be interested in everything in every article, but you’ll find something in the issue that you don’t know and that you want to read more about.

“It’s something very different, which is what the University needs.”

The Athenaeum Review is a collaboration of the major centers in the school and will be published semiannually. The first issue will launch with two events, one Thursday, Sept. 27, at Interabang Books in Dallas and another Friday, Sept. 28, at the SP/N Gallery at Synergy Park North 2.

In addition to the website, readers can follow the journal via Facebook and Twitter.

This article originally appeared in the UT Dallas News Center.