“Introduction to Volume VIII”: Writing with/in Community

Emergence is a journal of advanced undergraduate scholarly and creative writing by students participating in the Arnhold Undergraduate Research Program in the Department of English at the University of California, Santa Barbara. It was launched in 2010 in conjunction with the Arnhold Undergraduate Research Fellows Program, which is made possible through the generous support of John Arnhold, a ‘75 English Department alumnus, and his wife Jody Arnhold. 

The works that Emergence comprises are the result of students pursuing their intellectual and creative interests beyond the boundaries of the traditional classroom. Each Arnhold Undergraduate Fellow develops and designs their own original humanities-based project that can be written as a creative piece, a critical essay, or a hybrid between the two. The fellows work on their projects throughout the winter and spring quarters with the support of their peers and the Arnhold graduate fellow and faculty member. While these works are based on each fellows’ personal interests and are independently written, they were developed in community by sharing ideas with others, engaging in difficult conversations, and supporting one another through peer workshopping and constructive criticism. 

As fellows developed their work, they also extended themselves into communities, scholarly and artistic, both within and beyond UCSB. They read theory, collected critical sources, studied aesthetic models, and consulted with trusted friends and mentors. Each work bears the mark of community in numerous ways. In the creative pieces, artists explore the deep histories and daily movements that shape family; the consciousness and futures of the planet Earth, particularly as envisioned by Black, Indigenous, and trans communities; and the pressures and horrors that one experiences when they feel like an outsider within. In the critical pieces, scholars investigate art and literature’s capacities both to reinforce and to resist systems of power, such as capitalism, racism, and sexism, and the inequalities they produce. Finally, in the hybrid pieces, artist scholars braid genres of writing together to uncover the complex interactions of identity as it is experienced in various cultural contexts and settings. 

By sharing these works with you, reader, we hope to bring you into our community of Arnhold Undergraduate Research Fellows as we celebrate their work. 

Lexxus Coffey Edison, Emergence  Summer Research Assistant 2022

Maite Urcaregui, Arnhold Graduate Fellow 2021-2022

Creative Projects

At the Table by Rayanne Asuncion

How to Live up to Perfection by Lorelei Olivas

Visions of the Sweet Pea Woman

a collection by Ronan F. Swanic-Weber

Critical Projects

Hybrid Creative/Critical Projects