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With the inaugural volume of The Chautauqua Journal, Eastern Kentucky University’s highly successful Chautauqua Lecture Series now has a literary companion.

The interdisciplinary journal features essays, articles and creative works from internationally known scholars, writers and artists that explore the annual themes of EKU’s Chautauqua Lecture Series. It is co-edited by Dr. Erik Liddell and Dr. Minh Nguyen of the University’s faculty and hosted online by the EKU Libraries Encompass platform at, which is fully cross-referenced and searchable.

Liddell, who also serves as coordinator of the University’s annual Chautauqua Series, said in his introduction that the journal is “a natural outgrowth” of the popular series, now in its 17th year at EKU. “(It) seeks to provide a written counterpart to the series, bringing together a variety of scholars, creative artists and public intellectuals in the exploration of a significant chosen theme approached from an interdisciplinary range of perspectives. Like the lecture series, the journal aims to stimulate intellectual curiosity and to challenge our assumptions and attitudes for progressive ends and within the bounds of civil discourse.”

The inaugural volume draws primarily from the 2010-11 lecture series on the theme “Nature’s Humans.” In addition to the philosophical essays, social commentaries and scientific analyses that were originally presented in the series, the first issue of the journal includes a selection of poems and short stories that complement the interpretive discussion of the art exhibition, which itself incorporates images from the national juried show, as well as a photo essay.

“Thus,” Liddell said, “this inaugural volume, true to the interdisciplinary spirit of EKU Chautauqua, contains a range of approaches to the question of the relation of human beings to nature.”

The first issue includes contributions from Graciela Chichilnisky, Columbia University; Robert George, Peter Singer, Princeton University; Trinh T. Minh-Ha, University of California-Berkeley; and Kentucky Poet Laureate Frank X Walker. Other contributors include Jonathan Balcombe, Lee Alan Dugatkin, Lisa B. Markowitz, Justin E.H. Smith, Carol Kaesuk Yoon, and EKU faculty members Harry Brown, Julie Hensley, Laura L. Newhart, Matthew Pianalto, Esther E. Randall, Young Smith and Dorothy Moseley Sutton.

Artistic contributions come from Bill Bodish, Katie Brooks, Cynthia Chang, Phuong Phan and Janet Powell, in addition to those featured in the juried exhibition discussion, and with cover art from Isaac Powell, an associate professor in EKU’s Department of Art and Design.

With Liddell and Nguyen serving as editors-in-chief, the editorial board consists of Russell Helms, University of Tennessee at Chattanooga; Nhi Huynh, an independent scholar and author; Chris Jackson, art director with Bullhorn Creative; and Matthew Pianalto of EKU’s Department of Philosophy. Matthew Thacker of EKU and Katie Brooks of the Kendall College of Art and Design are serving as editorial assistants.

Liddell is also an associate professor in the Department of Languages, Cultures and Humanities and Faculty Fellow in the Honors Program. Nguyen serves as a professor of philosophy, associate director of EKU Honors, director of the Asian Studies Program and coordinator of national and international scholarships and fellowships.

The Chautauqua Journal invites scholarly and creative submissions related to the annual themes of the Chautauqua Lecture Series, for further consideration and review. After consideration by the general editors, submissions are sent for double peer review, and authorial revisions are requested as necessary. All inquiries and submissions should be sent to Erik Liddell at

For more information on EKU’s 2016-17 Chautauqua series, visit All Chautauqua events are free and open to the public. Video recordings of past lectures are available in EKU Special Collections and Archives.


Inset photo: Cover image of artwork by Isaac Powell as graphically designed by Katie Brooks.