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Saint Xavier University and Margaret Atwood Society announce partnership


The Margaret Atwood Society (MAS) and Saint Xavier University (SXU) have joined forces to convert the journal produced by MAS, Margaret Atwood Studies, to an e-journal. The journal features scholarly articles about the Canadian author, winning papers from undergraduate and graduate students, and information about the Society. MAS's e-journal will be produced at SXU, which provides a wonderful experience for SXU students, particularly English majors who can work as interns on the e-journal and gain valuable, real world experiences in the digital humanities. In addition, MAS will have its own mailbox at SXU and the journal will continue to be available electronically to its members and subscribing libraries.

This exciting partnership was made possible by a dedicated team of staff and faculty members, a SXU student intern, and the editor of Margaret Atwood Studies, Dr. Karma Waltonen from the University of California-Davis. However, Denise DuVernay, assistant director of Corporate, Government and Foundation Relations and adjunct professor for the Departments of Honors and Language & Literature, is credited with bringing the idea to the Department of Language & Literature. DuVernay served as secretary/historian of MAS from 2007 to 2015 and has been its treasurer for several years. She recruited the advice of Prof. Jean Mehta in computer science, who referred her to Prof. Angelo Bonadonna in the Department of Language & Literature and a student intern, Jason Banahan, to help configure the e-journal through Public Knowledge Project's (PKP) open source software. Romana Amato from University Relations also contributed her time and expertise to help get the project off the ground. The first entirely online issue was published in December 2015.

Having the journal under the auspices of SXU is "mutually beneficial because the e-journal stands to provide a unique experience for many of our students," DuVernay says, "and it will save MAS money in printing and mailing costs." A rotating team of faculty and students will maintain the e-journal indefinitely, currently under the guidance of Prof. Angelo Bonadonna of the Department of Language of Literature, a great place for the journal. Chair of the department, Dr. Shannon Ambrose states, "Course offerings in the Department of Language & Literature will be enhanced by allowing students access to this in-house, academic journal. MAS also increases opportunities for students to complete their Community-Based Learning requirement right here on campus, working for a not-for-profit organization. One possible project for students is to upload back issues of the journal to the new platform.

The Margaret Atwood Society, founded in 1984, is a not-for-profit, international association of scholars, teachers, and students who share an interest in the author's work. MAS is affiliated with the Modern Language Association (MLA) and hosts at least one panel at the MLA convention each year, along with its annual business meeting during the MLA each year. Dr. Shannon Ambrose is delighted to house the e-journal because Atwood is a popular, prolific, and daring writer. Her work provides rich topics for study. The topic for the panel on Atwood at next year's MLA convention has been chosen:  "Humor and/as social critique in Margaret Atwood's novels, short stories, and poetry." Those interested in presenting should send a 250 – 300 word abstract by March 17, 2016. Email it to panel chair and Margaret Atwood Society president Eleonora Rao ( More information on submitting abstracts, papers, or works for consideration in Atwood Society Contests can be found here.

DuVernay attended the MLA Convention and Margaret Atwood Society annual business meeting in January in Austin, Texas as a representative of SXU, funded in part by a Professional Development stipend from SXU's Adjunct Council.

For more information about MAS, please go to their website.