The University Record, June 5, 2000

‘MQR’ releases an unusual issue

By Jill Siegelbaum
News and Information Services

This summer, Michigan Quarterly Review (MQR) readers will be treated to a special, two-part, spring/summer issue. The theme is “Secret Spaces of Childhood,” and it features many University of Michigan contributors, as well as an art section—a first for MQR.

“It’s difficult—but so important—to know what happens when children play on their own,” says lecturer Elizabeth Goodenough, issue editor and an expert on children’s issues. “Writers and photographers help open that world up.”

According to Goodenough, childhood itself is changing, as the physical landscape changes and play is pulled more and more towards technology. “Children are spending less time creating their own physical spaces. It’s hard to process what that does to childhood,” Goodenough says.

For this edition of MQR, Goodenough was inspired by the classes she teaches on children’s literature. “So many children’s books involve some space, some creative center, outside of the grown-up world. Huckleberry Finn is an example,” Goodenough explains. “These spaces that children create become a part of who they are, of their autonomy and creativity.”

Many members of U-M faculty and staff contributed to MQR’s special issue: James Steward, director of the Museum of Art, explores the works of noted photographer Sally Mann. Laurence Goldstein and Thylias Moss, professors of English, describe the workings of childhood through poem and memoir. Nicholas Delbanco, professor of English and director of the Hopwood Program, contributed the second chapter of his novel-in-progress titled “What Remains.” Kathleen Faller, professor of social work, includes her study of sexual abuse and its effects on children. In addition, artwork from many members of the U-M and Ann Arbor communities is featured in the graphics portfolio.

MQR is published quarterly, and yearly subscriptions are $18. Single copies are $5—however, the spring and summer issues will cost $8 per issue, $16 for both issues. Contact MQR at Room 3032, Rackham Building, for more details.