We started this journal after a very isolated first semester of graduate school. New to the master’s program, we had no benchmark to compare our online learning environment to in-person history courses. Was graduate school supposed to feel this… disjointed?
We found ways to connect with our cohort online: Zoom happy hours hosted by the department, group chats and social media. We shared and supported each other’s scholarship and commiserated over anxieties and ambitions in an increasingly digital environment.
A common frustration we all shared was the lack of publication opportunities for scholars such as ourselves who were new to academia. We were eager to share our work but found barriers to publishing professionally. Some, like the global pandemic slowing down the process, were unalterable. Some, like finding the process a mystery, were due to lack of experience.
The idea for Beyond Boundaries came from a casual conversation one day in December of 2020 when Bryan, one of the co-founders, stated, “why don’t we start our own journal?” So, we did: a student-run publication exclusively for master’s students in the College of Liberal and Fine Arts. We imagined it as a platform for new scholars and an avenue for engagement with other students and faculty.
Creating a journal with relatively no experience during a pandemic had its fair share of challenges. Nevertheless, we persevered and moved forward. We enlisted, and are very grateful for, the help of interdisciplinary reviewers and editors. This journal would not exist without the participation of students and faculty across COLFA. It brings us great joy to see the participation of such departments like Anthropology, Art and Art History, History, English, and Modern Languages and Literatures. Thankfully, we have had the incredible support of our advisor, Professor Catherine Clinton, and Dr. Yaeger. Without either of them, this project would not have achieved realization.
This inaugural issue is a testament to the capabilities and endless possibilities that graduate students have at the University of Texas at San Antonio. When we envision Beyond Boundaries in the near future, we see it in the capable hands of UTSA’s graduate students. We hope incoming, interdisciplinary editors will make this journal an enduring part of the UTSA experience.
We are proud to present the first issue of Beyond Boundaries: Mastering the Liberal Arts.