Reviewed by: Cheryl LaGuardia, Research Librarian, Widener Library, Harvard University
Bearing Witness: Joyce Carol Oates Studies focuses on the writing of Joyce Carol Oates and related subjects. The journal’s goal is to “advance[e] the knowledge of and deepening the conversation about Oates's massive literary project,” and the editors seek submissions on all aspects of Joyce Carol Oates's writing, particularly “those works and genres that have yet to receive much critical attention.” The journal editor, Randy Souther, is Head of Reference and Research Services at the Gleeson Library, Geschke Center, University of San Francisco, and has, for nearly twenty years, maintained the Joyce Carol Oates web site Celestial Timepiece. The international editorial board is composed of an impressive array of Oates’ scholars.
The current volume available at the time of this review, Volume 2 (2015), offers four articles: “Fiction in Fact and Fact in Fiction in the Writing of Joyce Carol Oates,” “Whiteness as Cursed Property: An Interdisciplinary Intervention with Joyce Carol Oates’s Bellefleur and Cheryl Harris’s “Whiteness as Property,”’ ‘"I know you!": The Implications of Knowing In Joyce Carol Oates's Marya: A Life,” and “Deadly Girls' Voices, Suspense, and the "Aesthetics of Fear" in Joyce Carol Oates's "The Banshee" and "Doll: A Romance of the Mississippi." There are also two reviews included, “Review of The Sacrifice” and “Review of Joyce Carol Oates's Jack of Spades.”
The writing and scholarship here are both outstanding; although this is an academic journal, the prose is almost lyrical, and is more accessible than many other literary journals (as in, well-written, IMHO). As a journal devoted to the study of Oates and some of her less well-known writings, Bearing Witness: Joyce Carol Oates Studies is first rate, both in purpose and execution. A go-to, must-see journal for Oates’ scholars.