Many of you may be familiar with Moneta, the Mount Holyoke literary magazine. You may not know, however, that Moneta was not always the literary magazine of Mount Holyoke College. In fact Mount Holyoke has an expansive history of literary magazines, with each embodying their own take on the creative outlet.
|The Mount Holyoke|
|Mount Holyoke Monthly|
The selectivity of Mount Holyoke Monthly’s content may have contributed to the addition of a new literary magazine, or in this case journal, on campus in 1932 called The Challenge. While still a publication of student works, this new literary magazine held a different and more specialized theme to its content. In the introduction, The Challenge states that its primary purpose is to “challenge some of the existing problems on the college campus and at the same time to present some interesting and constructive ideas” and to “promote sincere and intelligent thinking.” Many of the articles hold up to the name and challenge the thinking of the Mount Holyoke community. For instance, one article, titled "On Law and Order," challenges how the student community is "all too ready to complain... however, when an opportunity arises to reconstruct these phases of our community life, we are unwilling to assume any degree of responsibility or readiness to act." Much of the content in The Challenge is also influenced by the state of the economy as it began in the midst of the Great Depression, which was from 1929 to 1939. The editor of The Challenge remarks that the works in this journal are a reflection of a group of students who “feel an intellectual, cultural and social stagnation, as in the outside world we all feel the economic depression.” This literary journal was received with interest and criticism by faculty and students before ending in 1936.
In 1948 Pangynaskean came to its end and was followed by Pan and then Tempo in 1951. Both were very similar to their predecessor, however, the need to increase student subscription, participation, and criticism lead to the new design and names. Tempo’s first edition describes its hope to make the revamped magazine “a campus wide interest” and its attempt to “counteract the feeling that the magazine is primarily published for English majors,” which shows the developing interest in making a magazine open to all kinds of content and student expression. This aim to extend student contribution continues into the 1950s when Mount Holyoke literary magazines once again take an old magazine and make it into something new. Literary magazines from the 1950s to the present will be continued in The Evolution of Mount Holyoke Literary Magazines Part II blog post next week.
Brittnee Worthy is a student Archives Assistant in Archives and Special Collections.
To explore Mount Holyoke's literary magazines in person, visit Archives and Special Collections in the basement of Dwight Hall!