The Virginia Quarterly Review, 1925-1935: a "National Journal" in the New South

Fort III, James Bruce, Department of History, University of Virginia
Gaston, Paul, Department of History, University of Virginia
Ayers, Edward, Department of History, University of Virginia

The Virginia Quarterly Review was first published by the University of Virginia in Charlottesville in the spring of 1925. Conceived as a "national journal of discussion," the journal was created by liberal Southern educators who sought to cultivate a "fellowship of uncongenial minds" among editors, writers and readers in the South, in an era when the region was publicly derided for its lack of intellectual leadership and debate. But while every issue of the Quarterly made room for Southern authors and Southern topics, the VQR was self-consciously styled as a national journal. It contained articles on topics of national interest, written by authors from all parts of the nation, and was read by a broadly national, although very limited, audience. By publishing a "national" journal based in Virginia, the VQR editors -- first James Southall Wilson (1925-1931), later succeeded by his assistants Stringfellow Barr (1931-1934) and Lambert Davis (1934-1938) hoped to draw the South into conversation with the rest of the nation, not as a junior partner or as an oddball cousin, but as an equal participant in discussions of national scope.

MA (Master of Arts)
New South, James Southall Wilson, Virginia Quarterly Review
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