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  • Note from the EditorRoots, Revitalized
  • Karen L. Kilcup

Shortly after finishing graduate school many years ago, I published my first professional essay—in ESQ. Everyone I knew who worked in nineteenth-century American literature aspired to publish in Emerson Society Quarterly: A Journal of the American Renaissance, and I was astonished at my good fortune. Nearly thirty years later—over sixty since the journal began—ESQ: A Journal of Nineteenth-Century American Literature and Culture remains a touchstone publication, its more capacious new title emblematizing its growth.

Over the years, many hands—and I cannot name them all here—have carefully cultivated the journal. Many have seen it through the nearly disastrous drought that followed 2008’s Great Recession. I am privileged and humbled to become ESQ’s most recent steward, and I am deeply grateful to Consulting Editor Laura Dassow Walls, Managing Editor Heloise Abtahi, Senior Editorial Associate Denise Stripes, YiC Coordinator Marlowe Daly-Galeano, WSU Department Head Todd Wayne Butler, and the Advisory Board members for their encouragement and support, as well as their help in making the editorial transition seem effortless.

In this issue the journal acknowledges its roots, presenting essays about traditional American Renaissance authors Emerson and Thoreau, as well as a contribution that reaches from Irving to Melville and James. These essays exemplify the journal’s emphasis on excellent analysis, historical sensitivity, and scholarly conversation, while they branch out in innovative directions. The two Provocations essays expand ESQ’s continuing commitment to scholarship that makes a difference in multiple dimensions. I look forward to suggestions from readers as the journal welcomes new voices and features—always grounded in its robust and fruitful precedents.

online access

ESQ is available online through Project MUSE. For subscriptions, visit [End Page ii]

Karen L. Kilcup
University of North Carolina, Greensboro


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