In an ordinary year in the life of the Center for the Humanities, this foreword would have welcomed you to the sixteenth volume of Slideshow, the annual journal of our Merle Kling Undergraduate Honors Fellowship Program.
Of course, this is not an ordinary year. Everyone associated with the Kling Fellowship Program agreed that trying to print and distribute a hardcopy journal made little sense in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic; instead, we have decided to publish our sixteenth volume of Slideshow in digital format. We still hope to publish these articles as part of a print double issue of Slideshow in May 2021, but we did not want to wait another year to share the results of our senior fellows’ scholarly labors.
Our Class of 2020 Kling Fellows span the humanities and the humanistic social sciences, with projects drawing on majors and minors in Anthropology, Economics, Environmental Policy, History, International and Area Studies, South Asian Languages and Civilizations, Spanish, Text and Tradition, and Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. Their work also displays impressive geographic breadth, providing new insights into Chinese nationalist cinema, African American sorority sisters, Bolivian feminist movements, Filipino revolutionaries exiled to Guam, Canadian politicians navigating South Asian identities, a hip-hop group based in Staten Island, New York, and an industrial suburb just across the river from St. Louis.
While I have been fortunate enough to watch their projects emerge in our seminars over the past two years, I was joined in 2018-19 by Professor Rebecca Wanzo and in 2019-20 by Professor Shefali Chandra, both of whom offered critical direction and generous feedback to the Class of 2020. Each Fellow also received ongoing mentorship from Arts & Sciences faculty members in their respective disciplines. But the Kling Class of 2020’s work is, in the end, their own — and they should take great pride in their accomplishments.
I think I can speak for everyone involved in the Kling Program when I say that we are not only proud of our Class of 2020’s scholarship, but also appreciative of how much we have learned from them. We look forward to celebrating with them again in 2021!
Wendy Love Anderson
Assistant Director of Academic Programs, Center for the Humanities
Managing Editor, Slideshow