By Ourselves: Rutgers Student Literary Magazines, 1923–2017, a joint exhibition of the Paul Robeson Library and the Rutgers–Camden Writers House, is on display from September 1 through October 31, 2017.

Rutgers has a rich history of student literary production, beginning in the 1920s with the Chanticleer, a student humor magazine whose arts editors included Ozzie Nelson of Ozzie and Harriet. Around the same time, students at the New Jersey College for Women introduced Horn Book, a publication more earnest in tone that featured short stories, poems, and brief narrative essays. The ‘20s also saw the first issues of The Anthologist, which would become Rutgers’s longest-running art and literature magazine. Students who went on to illustrious careers in letters helmed the magazine, including poet laureate Robert Pinsky and prolific novelist and critic Alan Cheuse. The Anthologist saw its heyday in the 1960s and ‘70s, when many students were influenced by the civil rights movement, the Beat poets, and protests against the Vietnam War. The Anthologist continues production today.

In 1970s Camden, students’ creativity can be tracked through the nearly two-decade evolution of Quintessence, a zine-like art and writing magazine whose faculty advisors included Kenneth Hohing, Lisa Zeidner, and others. Current English professor Paul Lisicky CCAS’83, GSC‘86 published some of his first poems in Quintessence. In 1993, Quintessence fell out of production and was eventually replaced by Matter, which focused more exclusively on visual art. After the inter-campus journal Untitled folded in 1981, the Camden magazine Undiscovered became an additional forum for student literary work. 

This exhibition will be accompanied by an interactive station in the Campus Center where students are invited to create their own handmade journals or zines. Post a picture of your finished zine to Instagram with the hashtag #ByOurselves.

Alumni are also invited to share their memories of working on, publishing in, or reading these journals using #ByOurselves on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Pictures are encouraged!

Date & Time
September 1, 2017-October 31, 2017

Admission Information

Event posted in exhibitions, Rutgers history, student journals.