Editorial Statement

The Abigail Adams Institute and The Veritas Review are primarily focused on students at Harvard and students in schools in Cambridge and nearby. We are happy to extend outreach beyond; regionally, nationally, and internationally as appropriate.

In each generation, it is generally difficult for the young to get a start, and therefore the chief aim of the journal is to address that challenge and transform it into an opportunity. The Veritas Review, a journal of thought, interpretation, and the arts that will begin with one issue in 2021 with the hope of having two issues each year in subsequent years, will do just that, opening closed doors for students to help give them a start in essays, reviews, the visual and literary arts (poems and brief fiction and the like). In The Veritas Review’s brief essays and reviews, the journal will concentrate attention on coming to terms with the past in order to create the future. For instance, we plan to focus exclusively on reviews of films and books before the Second World War. A review-as if you were there at the time (using historical imagination)-of Phillis Wheatley’s first book of poems in London, although she lived in Boston, or of Red Cloud’s lecture in Boston, or of Chaplin’s first silent film, or of Massachusetts Hall at Harvard, or a portrait hanging in one of the Harvard Houses or buildings, or of a letter of Asa Gray in the library of the Harvard University Herbaria, or of some trace of T.S. Eliot at Harvard, and so on and so forth.

The poetry, fiction, and visual arts will also focus on craft and beauty, art as a shared experience. The artistic work will concentrate on the elemental, on what makes us human, on our place in the natural world. The artistic contributions should evoke rather than prescribe or proscribe. Art can heal and bring people together, as we see in medical humanities, with how art, stories, music, and poetry all help to heal. While encouraging creativity, the journal does not wish to duplicate the work of journals that promote instrumental or political art, which is important, because there are many outlets for this kind of work. The journal hopes to create art that speaks to our elemental humanity and the elements of nature. We hope for art that suggests and does not hector or lecture.

Given the divided times in the United States and worldwide, this journal wants to emphasize what brings us together as humans in culture and nature, and not what divides us. There are plenty of venues for that division, but few to bring us together. The Veritas Review is an interdisciplinary journal encouraging explorations of beauty, truth, and justice in fine arts, humanities, social sciences, and science; we stress evidence, intersubjectivity, objectivity. In the public forum, aesthetics, shared experience, science, and evidence can be overlooked or obscured today. The journal hopes to focus on what we can do harmoniously together. What do nature, logic, art, science, libraries, and archives tell us? How do we share this with others, not as a means of persuasion, but as something rooted in nature and life, in art, science, mathematics, and language, and not a zero-sum game? Aristotle recognized that humans are by nature political, and we have politics and political division all about us. This journal is about love, sharing, healing, common art and thought that bring us together to express our humanity, our respect for one another, and for nature.

So, while recognizing politics, this journal is not a political journal, not a review of contemporary divides. It looks to the past in thought and art, as in the reviews mentioned here, as a way to think creatively. Those who lived in the past can share their wisdom, justice, and beauty with us. They helped to make liberal arts, science, and fine arts. We go deeper in love, wisdom, and knowledge if we understand those who came before us, and we build creativity if we make visual and literary arts.

Students, then, get to explore freely in these pages. Other established faculty and visual and literary artists will be affiliated with the journal or try to contribute to it. These faculty, writers, and visual artists may set examples or mentor the students. We will feature faculty and artists in each issue to encourage and show solidarity with students, who by looking deeply into the past will become leaders in the fine arts, liberal arts, and science in the future. The journal and the institute are here to help achieve that. Scientists are also writers, musicians and visual artists and those in the arts and fine arts should understand science. As individuals, we are in a community of seekers, we research or search again or back to move forward.

Harmony is at the heart of The Abigail Adams Institute and The Veritas Review. We encourage students to come together in understanding. We invite you to contact us so we can do this together, start something new for students to get a new start.

Jonathan Hart, 7 June 2021