The Negative Space of Music: Jacob Collier’s Djesse Vol. 3

If you’ve had a conversation with me about music recently, it’s likely that Jacob Collier has come up. His most recent album, Djesse Vol. 3, has become somewhat of an obsession of mine—I haven’t been able to stop listening since its release this past August. The extent to which Jacob Collier has captured my imagination is rather odd, because his music is, well, rather odd. … Continue reading The Negative Space of Music: Jacob Collier’s Djesse Vol. 3

Originalism: An Introduction

In recent weeks, the judicial philosophy of originalism has been in the news thanks to the confirmation hearings of Justice Amy Coney Barrett. Many discussions of originalism, however, have caricatured its understanding of the judicial role. We hope to address these misconceptions by clearly defining originalism.  Simply put, originalism insists that judges interpret the Constitution based on the original public meaning of its text. Although … Continue reading Originalism: An Introduction

The New Abnormal: On Flourishing in a Pandemic

We live in apparently unprecedented times. If common parlance speaks truly, humanity is encountering uncertainty as never before. A pandemic ravages the globe. Schools close. Quarantines, stay-at-home orders, and lockdowns begin. The economy is shut down, subsequently crashing. Armchair virologists crack open their laptops, taking to Facebook to report the results of their research to the general public. Zoom’s quarterly revenue increases to over $600 … Continue reading The New Abnormal: On Flourishing in a Pandemic

To Conquer a Virus and Unweave a Rainbow

When the recent coronavirus shut-in hit, and the Michigan governor’s stay-at-home order forced its way through my phone by emergency text message, I took one last fleeting look at my campus office bookshelf for any last-minute tome I might bring with me as I escaped to the safety of my country estate. For a moment that old copy of Boethius’ Consolation of Philosophy looked like … Continue reading To Conquer a Virus and Unweave a Rainbow

Reborn in Wonder: How Belize Re-Taught Me to Love the Liberal Arts

Last August, I moved to Belize to teach humanities at a liberal arts junior college. It would be natural to assume that my decision, coming on the heels of four years of studying history at Hillsdale, arose from my confidence in the value of liberal arts education. That assumption would be wrong. If there’s any message a liberal arts college wants you to believe, it’s … Continue reading Reborn in Wonder: How Belize Re-Taught Me to Love the Liberal Arts

Love and Attention: The Films of Greta Gerwig

In a scene near the beginning of Lady Bird, the heroine argues with her mother on the drive home from visiting colleges. Frustrated by the mundanity of life in 2002 Sacramento, she protests, “I wish I could live through something.” The mother, irritated, replies, “Aren’t you?” The conversation swiftly devolves, ending with Lady Bird throwing herself out of the moving car in dramatic frustration. But … Continue reading Love and Attention: The Films of Greta Gerwig

Things Below: Thoughts on the World and Literature, Part Two of Two

Continued from last issue. O’Connor’s sense of the fantastic nature and Rev. Ames’ wonder at the lovely particularity of creation are, in my experience, unusual among Christians. In fact, it’s rare among people anywhere, no matter their religious perspective. This general inattentiveness to nature’s quiet glories draws the attention of Emerson, for instance, in his book Nature, where, regarding the stars, he writes, “Seen in … Continue reading Things Below: Thoughts on the World and Literature, Part Two of Two

Letter From the Editor, December 2019

William Hazlitt once wrote that the best essayists are those who can “contract or dilate” their attention to see the endless variety in “this huge and proper life,” and then write about it with one stirring quality: gusto. Here, we have a collection of essays with a literary bent—all of them, I am proud to say, written with gusto. Cait Weighner writes about a visit … Continue reading Letter From the Editor, December 2019