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Common Room


Chieko Dunham '25


Submit Your Deposit
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Publish your critical work on literature from any discipline.

The Common Room, founded in 1997, is an online magazine sponsored by the Knox College English Department. Twice yearly, we publish literary and cultural criticism by undergraduates who seek to illuminate what a text means or how it works while at the same time connecting the text to contemporary issues of justice, power, and politics.

Our goal is to make literary criticism relevant, innovative, and accessible to a broad audience by connecting literature more closely with current cultural and political trends. We want literary criticism to be an engaging experience as well as an intellectual outlet for both English Majors and the wider academic community. We seek to showcase writing with personality and purpose, instead of run-of-the-mill academic essays. The Common Room strives to bring literary criticism closer to the public and the public closer to literary criticism. Lit crit doesn’t have to be boring anymore!

For more information, please check out our website.

Any Knox College student can submit work to the journal for publication consideration. There are two formal calls for essay submissions during the academic year. Students are encouraged to make submissions and contribute to yet another aspect of the literary community on campus.

Past essays

  • "If the reader be inclined to judge for himself": Narrative Shifts and the Allegory of Art in Hawthorne's "Rappaccini's Daughter"
  • Transformative Qualities of "the Wilderness" and the Role of "Non-Property" in Valerie Martin's Property
  • Pity, Division, and the Creation of the Female in The First Book of Urizen
  • "Belly-empty, hollow-hungry": Hemingway's Hunger and the Human Condition
  • The Problem of the Poet-Philosopher: Limitations of the Imagination in Coleridge's This Lime-Tree Bower My Prison
  • From the Cradle to Depraved: The Structures of Containment and the Inevitability of Prostitution in 18th Century Literature
  • Montana Standish, Paradox as Meaning in The Book of Urizen

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Printed on Monday, May 20, 2024