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Amalgam 2006 Spring Issue
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Spring 2006 Publication, Volume 1

Preface:

After assembling the inaugural issue of Amalgam, we can attest that starting something from scratch–whether a journal, a republic, or a pie–is an arduous process. One of pathbreaking's few benefits, however, is the (relatively) fewer persons to thank. That said, a few acknowledgements are in order. First, we would like to thank Amalgam's academic advisors, Dr. Kearns, Dr. Aley, and Dr. Bloom, for their meticulous work in judging and editing submissions. In addition, it was in Dean Glassman's student advisory council that Amalgam was first discussed, and he provided insight and encouragement at each step. We would also like to thank USI's Liberal Arts Council, who committed the requisite funding to Amalgam, and the USI professors who offered advice and encouraged students to submit.

Our biggest debt, however, is to the contributors, and we could not ask for a more eclectic group in Amalgam's first issue. In our first essay, Daniel Frank uses Chaucer's fictitious Knight to study medieval chivalry. From testosterone-laden knights, we turn to literary representations of needlework, and Candice Thomas shows how this motif allows women to create a "paradoxical barrier" to navigate through various conflicts. While Mitch Harden's essay is egalitarian–mentioning neither testosterone nor estrogen–he does discuss the effect of the brain's chemicals on the study of ethics and morality. Fortunately, here our straining segues end, but Clinton Omohundro offers an enlightening examination of the political milieus of novels by Don DeLillo and E. L. Doctorow. Blake Benham's research ranges further back, constructing a detailed and accessible look at a local Civil War regiment and its various brands of notoriety. Finally, Elizabeth Coverdale presents her essay on the effect of gender in Online Chat Communities, part of her ongoing research.

We trust you will enjoy and learn from these excellent essays; we know we did. And we hope you will join us in anticipating next year's issue, when we will likely have more persons to thank.

Craig Fehrman and Jon Webb

Table of Contents:

Daniel Frank is a senior, majoring in English. He wrote "The Knight Dismounted" in Dr. Elizabeth Passmore's "Chaucer" course. Daniel has also published creative writing in the Aerie. In addition to writing, he enjoys rock climbing and backpacking. He hopes to attend graduate school to study creative writing.

Candice Thomas is a junior, majoring in English/Creative Writing. She wrote "Through the Eye of Her Needle" for Dr. Susanna Hoeness-Krupsaw's Contemporary Fiction class and presented it at a conference in Bloomington, Illinois, last September. Candice is a member of Sigma Tau Delta and the Student Writers' Union, and she works as fiction editor for the Aerie

Mitch Harden is a graduating senior, majoring in psychology. He wrote "Chimps Don't Read Kant" in Dr. Julie Evey's "History and Systems of Psychology" course, and later revised it for presentation at the Mid-American Undergraduate Psychology Research Conference at Franklin University in 2005. Mitch is the President and Founder of the USI Discordian society, contributes the Gadget Geek column to the Shield, and is an officer in USI's Psychology Club.

Clinton Omohundro is a graduating senior majoring in English. He wrote "Politics and Literature" for Dr. Susanna Hoeness-Krupsaw's "Contemporary Fiction" course. He plans to attend graduate school to continue his study of Literature.

Blake Benham is a junior majoring in Social Science Secondary Education. He wrote "'The Largest Men We Have Seen': The 27th Indiana Infantry 1861-1864" in Dr. Darrell Bigham's "Civil War America" course in the Fall of 2005. He enjoys traveling to historical sites in his spare time, especially Civil War battlefields. In addition, he is an avid fan of Major League Baseball and dedicated viewer of the sitcom "Seinfeld."

Elizabeth Coverdale is a senior, majoring in English Literature. She wrote her Amalgam essay, "Cyberculture and Gender Identification in Online Chat Communities," in Dr. Dominic Micer's "Advanced Composition" course. After graduation, she plans to pursue a doctoral program in Cultural Studies and emerging technologies. In addition to all manner of books, she enjoys obscure music, third world travel, and participating in interactive, online endeavors with creative people.