About This Journal
About the College
The College of Social Studies at Wesleyan University was founded in 1959 in order to offer a coordinated, multidisciplinary program in the fields of government, history, economics, and philosophy. The College encourages a capacity for intellectual independence and uses a mixture of conventional grades and special CSS grading modes to foster this in tutorials and colloquia. Close and sustained contact between students and their tutors is an important feature of the CSS, with the proximity of faculty offices, classrooms, and social areas fostering significant informal academic (and non-academic) exchange.
About the Journal
The Undergraduate Journal of Social Studies was founded in late 2010 as a reincarnation of the College's 1985-1987 Journal of the same name. The Foreword of the Journal's inaugural 1985 issue notes that "Despite the commonly-held notion that college students are supposed to learn as much from one another as from their professors and texts, undergraduates rarely, if ever, present their best work for the appreciation and critique of their peers." Despite the communal, cooperative and dialogic educational environment the CSS has fostered, this observation from 1985 remains just as true today. We believe, as did the editors of our previous incarnation, that the Journal will "serve as a vehicle for communicating for communication across departmental (or "disciplinary") lines" in recognition of the fact that "the disciplines which have often been called the 'sciences of man' do indeed have a common thread, such that any appreciation and useful application of one implies a familiarity with the rest." The former editors noted that if the rigor of disciplinary study "is not to degenerate into the intellectual equivalent of provincialism or xenophobia, it must be tempered by exposure to ideas from 'outside.'"
These beliefs motivated students from the College of Social Studies to found a publication committed to crossing disciplinary partisan lines in the past, and we are so motivated once again. We further believe that engaging young scholars in interdisciplinary thought early in their academic and intellectual formative years - as undergraduates - will yield greater returns in combating disciplinary ethnocentrism than attempting to approach established and entrenched scholars. We hope that the UJSS will affect, if only in some small way, how future disciplinary work is understood and contextualized as part of a broader search for social truth, at least for those few who write for or read it.