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  • A Message to Our Readers
  • Jessica Brantley, Elizabeth Maddock Dillon, Amy Hungerford (bio), John MacKay, and Laura Wexler

It is with sadness, as well as satisfaction, that we present this special issue of the Yale Journal of Criticism. It will be the last issue of the journal for the foreseeable future, though we hope that, at some propitious moment, YJC may be able to resume its work under new editorial guidance. At this moment, the best we can do is to remind ourselves and our readers what YJC was founded for, and what it has accomplished.

The Yale Journal of Criticism was founded in 1987 by a group of five junior faculty at Yale wishing to make space in the scholarly landscape for innovative scholarship that would help to shape the compelling contemporary debates in literary studies and literary theory. In particular, it aimed to foster cross-disciplinary conversation, taking advantage of the ways theory had already begun to move between disciplines. Since its founding, the journal has followed this mission, while promoting the work of both younger and established scholars. It published dialogues between scholars of differing methodologies and embraced an interdisciplinary bounty that included essays on multiple national literatures, on film and photography, on cultural history and religion, and on theory and philosophy of all kinds. It has been managed —through consensus—by a self-sustaining editorial collective made up of junior faculty in the Humanities at Yale, a collective that approached the work of reviewing and editing with generosity, seriousness and much pleasure. Over the years, new members of the collective brought new intellectual interests to the journal, and new energy to its work. The list of former editors and supporters who should be thanked for their contributions is too long to print here; suffice it to say that the list is full of dedicated people who have gone on to do important work in other pastures.

It is the mark of the increasing demands on junior faculty time and energy that we can no longer gather a quorum from the junior ranks in the Humanities at Yale to sustain the journal. We look forward to a day when immediate pressures no longer preclude the outward-looking task of presenting the excellent work of our colleagues from around the world. [End Page v]

And so we present to you this final special issue, "Countercultural Capital." We trust you will find it as thought provoking as the journal has always striven to be, and thus a fitting conclusion to YJC's first run.

Amy Hungerford

Amy Hungerford is the author of The Holocaust of Texts: Genocide, Literature, and Personification (University of Chicago Press, 2003). She is currently working on two projects: a study of postmodern religion and theory as these relate to American literature since 1945, and a student text, The Cambridge Introduction to the American Novel Since 1945. She is an associate professor of English at Yale University.



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pp. v-vi
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