Thinking it Through: Marist’s Undergraduate Philosophy Journal Gives Students Peer-Reviewed Publishing Experience
April 20, 2018 — The titles of papers in the fourth edition of the Marist Undergraduate Philosophy Journal range from “Beyond the Utilitarian Principle” to “Violence for Peace: Examining the Ethics of Terrorism,” illustrating the breadth of topics that philosophers delve into.
Every year the Journal’s editorial team reads 30-40 submissions to make selections for the publication. They come to the task with scholarly rigor and a strong sense of creating a cohesive journal. The best part? They’re all undergraduates.
Associate Professor of Philosophy James Snyder started the publication four years ago and conceived it as a way to give philosophy students professional development and “a home on campus.” Philosophy, he noted, is often considered a discipline that’s divorced from the practical. “The Journal is an enormous undertaking for the five or six students who participate each year,” said Snyder, who serves as the faculty advisor for the publication. “They get great experience in a complex, start-to-finish process. It’s aUndergraduate Philosophy Journal strong opportunity for skill building to bring together a serious academic journal.”
This year’s editorial team is led by editor-in-chief Marc Andrews ’18. Brendon Boldt ’18, Shane Brennan ’18, Louis Higuera ‘20, Ryan Karimabady ‘20, Marisa MacCaro ‘17, Michael Pipko ‘19, and Olivia Shannon ’20 make up the editorial board.
“It’s terrific to find those submissions that shine above and beyond the work of most other undergraduates,” said Boldt. “The creativity and skill behind some of the writing is intriguing, and it’s a joy that we get to give these works recognition by publishing them.”
Brennan concurs. “Typically, as a philosophy student, I am reading texts by established philosophers; it is extremely interesting to see what undergraduate philosophy students are writing and thinking about.”
The students do it all: sending out the call for entries, running editorial meetings, making selections, commenting and editing, and design. The student editors also interview a prominent philosopher, and that’s included as well. “One of my favorite parts of working on the journal is that it’s 100 percent student-run,” Andrews enthused. “Dr. Snyder is there for guidance, but he really lets us run things.”
The Journal is available online and is distributed to philosophy departments all over the U.S. It is also in the Undergraduate Philosophy Index and can be accessed for scholarly use. This year, a limited number of hard copies will also be available.
Located on the banks of the historic Hudson River and at its Florence, Italy campus, Marist College is a comprehensive, independent institution grounded in the liberal arts. Its mission is to “help students develop the intellect, character, and skills required for enlightened, ethical, and productive lives in the global community of the 21st century.” Marist is consistently recognized for excellence by The Princeton Review (Colleges That Create Futures and The Best 381 Colleges), U.S. News & World Report (9th Best Regional University/North), Kiplinger’s Personal Finance (“Best College Values”), and others. Marist educates approximately 5,000 traditional-age undergraduate students and 1,400 adult and graduate students in 47 undergraduate majors and 15 graduate programs, including fully online MBA, MPA, MS, and MA degrees.