Current Issue Volume 3, Issue 1
“The Nature of Writing”
by Jamie Kouba

The first written languages were formed in Mesopotamia around five thousand years ago. Scribes used wooden sticks to push lines into clay slabs; it was called cuneiform. After clay slabs, came papyrus scrolls, then vellum, then paper, and eventually the technological revolution of the computer. From the earliest writings to the present day, we find that they are not just about survival or to communicate rules, but also about nature: nature as the material source that sustains life; nature as the representation or manifestation of God; nature as human nature; and, nature as the object of beauty that is as Read More »

Love and Responsibility in War
by Angela Jeffery

The Vietnam War transformed civilians into soldiers, boys into men, and it would transform moments of tragedy into moments of clarity.  Before these soldiers were transported from their comfortable homes to a combat zone they were issued physical tools for survival; however, there was not an extra duffle bag issued for the emotional turmoil they encountered. That baggage would have to be carried by the heart and mind.  The soldiers in Vietnam lived by a code of responsibility that was meant to keep them alive.  When a man who is charged with the responsibility of men’s lives is preoccupied with Read More »

“Unconstitutional Aspects of Religiosity in the American Presidency”
by Alex Miller

Hints of religiosity have been embedded in the entirety of United States history. From George Washington taking the oath of office with his right hand on the Bible in 1789 to Barack Obama ending his 2009 oath with “So help me god,” religious influence in the American presidency has continuously been pervasive. The prevalence of religion in American government, specifically Christianity, has caused a number of efforts to change the Preamble of the United States Constitution to reflect a more Christian society. While the nation’s current Preamble mentions promising ideas of justice, tranquility, and general welfare, Stephan Newman in his Read More »

“Making Sense of John Donne’s Death”
by Angela Hadley

Death. The topic provokes anxiety in most human beings. Fomeshi states, “Death is an inevitable destiny for humans, and for this reason it has always permeated his/her thoughts at all levels” (77). It is in response to this fear that humans find ways to calm themselves with the reality of this inevitable fate:  all things must die. Perhaps this preoccupation with death is why literature has manifested so many pieces about the subject. John Donne is among the authors who have developed such a fascination, some suggest an obsession, with death. “Death Be Not Proud” is a prime example of Read More »

“Why We Tell Monster Stories”
by Harmony Libby

Storytelling has long been a human tradition. Dating back to thousands of years ago, even the simplest of cultures had their own myths and stories that have been orally passed down from generation to generation. Over time the stories may change slightly in their telling, but usually the key ingredients to what made the story a myth, remain. Traditionally, myths have been recounted orally, passed from parent to child, but in more modern cultures, stories are related through written tradition. Children today have access to many different stories from many different cultures, and to stories that have been written down Read More »

“Heaven and Earth: Are Religion and Science in Conflict?”
by Brande Mora

If one were to explain a belief system as “a way of thinking versus a body of knowledge,” and further describe this belief system as “subject to interpretation, and requiring courage because it questions conventional wisdom,” would it be surmised that we are discussing religious and spiritual belief systems?  Surprisingly, these were the words Carl Sagan used to describe science (Sagan 44).  Throughout history, and even today, there are many who believe science and religion are in conflict with each other, but there are also those who believe them to be in perfect agreement.  The focus here is to discuss the Read More »

“STEAM Curriculum”
by Maile Pahoa

There is a growing divide occurring between STEM-focused education and a liberal education in the U.S.  Currently, there is a need for scientists and engineers to drive the U.S. economy, but that should not, and does not, mean the arts and humanities have nothing to offer in the way of “hard science”. Although this need for STEM-focused education continues to put the arts and humanities on a back burner, there is growing evidence that an integrated curriculum is proving to be more beneficial than a single-focus education. Fostering critical thinking skills through arts and humanities allow students to think outside Read More »

Letter from the Editor

September 5, 2017 It is an honor to welcome you to Volume 3, Issue 1 of the Ashford Humanities Review (AHR).  The AHR offers Ashford University students the opportunity to present high quality, original, critical essays in the humanist disciplines in a peer-reviewed and edited publication. This issue features the work of seven Ashford University students whose spirited essays span the wide-ranging topics of: the role of nature in writing; religiosity and the American presidency; the reason we tell monster stories; love and responsibility in war; the conflict and harmony between science and religion; and, making sense of death in John Read More »