The founders, Mark Huglen and Clarke Rountree laid the granite foundation for this journal. They assembled an editorial board and support staff. David Blakesley provided technical support and an arsenal of problem solving skills. For four long years Huglen and Rountree worked the threshing room floor, soliciting and winnowing manuscripts. They made decisions about graphics, format, and accessibility. They met deadlines, averted crises, kindled morale, and gave the journal an editorial philosophy. Using the KB Society as a platform, they expanded the interdisciplinary readership. Best of all, Huglen and Rountree gave the magazine a grace and poetic sense that Burke would have admired.
The next few years may be battle years. The specter of deep recession stalks the academy. New challenges may arise. Old scholars may abandon Burkean studies while new scholars arrive. The journal will have to cope with academic fads that now seem more like ticks than serious intellectual movements. The huge generative power of Burke’s legacy may be our only constant, our lodestone and pole star in times of intellectual incontinence and disciplinary chaos.
Editorial policy will remain within the granite foundations established by Huglen and Rountree. We will publish studies that utilize, clarify and expand Burke’s insights in creative and useful ways.
Regarding this, I must supply a word of caution. Lately I have been receiving a number of manuscripts that I can only label “Papa Burke” These are short manuscripts containing trivial news, details about nail clippings and cheese pairings. They are about Burke’s walking sticks, his manner of making stew, his attempt at brewing using hop flavored malt syrup and bay leaves. They contain his ideas about public transportation and his musings about what his ideal New York Book store might look like.
These pieces closely resemble the sorts of articles that threaten the reputations of such giants as Hemmingway and F. Scott Fitzgerald. Because of these articles we know that Ernest Hemmingway worked standing up at a large sideboard, that he kept barbells in every room, and that he liked to entertain his friends with boring slide shows that were longer than Ben Hur. We also have learned that Fitzgerald liked to visit old churches and always carried a rabbit’s foot for luck. It has been revealed that he always decanted his alcohol into small bottles immediately after purchasing it from his bootlegger.
In order to deal with this batch of Papa Burke manuscripts I have made up a large rubber stamp. I will download these manuscripts so that I can brand them in the manner they so richly deserve... When I press it hard against the title page my new stamp will produce large puce colored letters spelling out the word, EPHEMERA. As soon as this is done I will return the papers by mail in vulgar mauve colored envelopes. This will be their fate.
I should also say that I have received some very fine manuscripts several of which are in this issue. Thus, we go forward entering the lists at a brilliant, fitful pace.
I apologize for the lateness of this issue. I have been a victim of what Korean Scholar Tommy Park Byong Soo calls “Han.” Byong Soo explains: “In every life there is a moment when one feels a deep sadness. One feels that one has been crushed by he great material forces, abandoned by the world, without hope or future prospects. One’s mind aches, one’s body is in deep pain. Finally acceptance of complete failure brings a deep sense of peace. Within the peace of utter failure transformation occurs. And then behold! A new beginning lies coiled within us.” We in the editorial staff have been griped by Han. But we have emerged from its shadow!
Ryan McGeough, doctoral student in Rhetoric is my editorial assistant for the KB Journal. A brief sketch of his background and aspirations is in order. Ryan is a Ph.D. student in Rhetoric and Public Address at Louisiana State University. He received his B.A. in Philosophy and his M.A. in Rhetoric and Communication Studies from the University in Northern Iowa. In addition to Burkean criticism of religious discourse, his research interests include the study of public memory, visual rhetorics and new communication technologies. Ryan’s current research projects are focused on analyzing monuments and the reinsertion of institutionally marginalized groups into dominant public memory as well as studying the role of irony and satire in contemporary popular political discourse. He spends his free time working on environmental advocacy, exploring Southern cuisine, and watching LSU football.