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New literary magazine to feature multimedia

Synecdoche’s first issue will be published in print at the beginning of the spring semester

Rising from the ashes of now-defunct Issues Magazine, Synecdoche launched this semester as the newest literary arts magazine on campus. In contrast to Issues’ focus on creative writing, the fledgling publication will expand to include visual arts and will strive to facilitate a conversation between readers and contributors.

Editors-in-chief Joshua Kurtz ’17 and Kimberly Meilun ’17 are the brains behind Synecdoche, which will be published biannually. The two served as junior editors-in-chief of Issues last year, priming them for the positions of lead editors-in-chief this year. But over the course of last semester, they conceptualized a rebirth for the magazine that would take its content in a different direction.

“Issues had a creative theme every semester, but there was no real connection to a bigger theory or conversation,” Kurtz said.

Kurtz and Meilun sought to address these shortcomings with a twofold vision: to feature a greater variety of genre-defying work and to put artists in contact with the community surrounding the magazine.

Kurtz and Meilun said they are especially interested in artistic forms inspired by technology’s rise in the world today.

“Our mission is very much focused on multimedia work, things that are revolutionary and new techniques,” Meilun said.

Kurtz and Meilun personally solicited much of the first issue’s content, focusing on artists whose work transcends form and engages with the contemporary world.

Associate Professor of Visual Art Paul Myoda is one of the artists whose work will be featured in Synecdoche’s inaugural issue. He agreed to contribute because the magazine’s mission resonates with his own artistic values, he said.

“The editorial attitude focuses on how art can make meaning for us in the present by shining lights in two directions at once: the past, which is increasingly available through searchable archives, and also the future, where art will no doubt become something unrecognizable, given its impulse to perpetually redefine itself,” Myoda said.

In keeping with the magazine’s experimental approach, Myoda said he departed from his usual three-dimensional work, which primarily includes sculptures and public art installations,  to create two-dimensional pieces for the magazine.

The editors’ focus on collaboration and conversation emerges from a desire to allow readers to engage with artists like Myoda. Plans are underway for a conference this summer to bring artists featured in Synecdoche face-to-face with its readers, while online platforms will allow readers to connect with the magazine throughout the year. The main avenue of contact between artists and readers will be a blog linked through the magazine’s website, with Facebook and Twitter accounts featuring weekly quotes and components from the magazine.

“It will be an online base where we can get everyone involved from everywhere,” Meilun said, referring to the national presence she and Kurtz hope to cultivate for the magazine.

Synecdoche accepts submissions from across the country, and plans are in the works to distribute nationally. The first issue will go to press over winter break and be distributed around campus at the start of next semester. Four hundred copies will be printed.

Though still in its nascent phase, the project will create “a synecdoche of a greater art and literary world as a whole,” Meilun said.


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