From the Editors
The texts by NSU faculty and graduate students collected here explore the College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences annual academic theme of “identity.” They record and interrogate the ways in which we act to construct our identities, and how history and tradition serve to construct them for us. Not only do we define ourselves through individual acts across time, we also identify with the places and people from where we live, developing and evolving in concert with the world around us. The cover image for this issue comes from Paul Arena’s photo-essay “Wastelands to Wonderlands,” which draws attention to the role that our environment plays in our identities in its exploration of the unique landscapes of Florida and Alaska. Now in its sixth year of publication, Quadrivium provides a digital venue for such inquiries utilizing a range of media and genres from a broad range of disciplines, and remains committed to its objective to showcase scholarship from across the college.
This issue offers opportunities to reflect upon the shaping of our identities by environment and culture. While Paul Arena’s essay provides a broad historical reflection upon the environments of Florida and Alaska, Josh Feingold encourages us to focus on the present reality through images of local butterfly populations in Davie, Florida. Eileen Smith-Cavros and Yvette Fuentes engage historical identities constructed through events such as the Zapatista movement in Mexico and the movement of children from Cuba in Operation Pedro Pan. Darren Hibbs’ analysis of the logical problem of evil provides a philosophical counterpoint to the practically-minded report by Corey Peacock, Tobin Silver, and Pradeep Vanguri regarding the efforts of NSU faculty, staff, and students to fight the physical “evil” of college obesity rates. Finally, the writing of NSU graduate students Keren Moros and Kevin Lichty reminds us of the history and identity of NSU itself, working from interviews with the people who led us to where we are now. Throughout, these authors challenge us to reflect on who we are and where we have come from, and direct our gaze critically and excitedly to the years ahead.
Special thanks to Don Rosenblum, Ph.D., dean of the college, for his ongoing support of faculty initiatives and to the Office of Information Services for their assistance and technical expertise.