2020 has exacerbated longstanding pressures facing many institutions dedicated to liberal arts formation: ongoing technological developments, economic shifts, and political divisions have been intensified by the events of this year. The Liberating Arts has focused on how institutions of higher education might respond to these realities, but many magazines are seeking related paths forward as they seek to foster humane, liberating conversations. We’ve invited editors at three periodicals—Comment Magazine, The Hedgehog Review, and Plough Quarterly—to dialogue with Jeff Bilbro about their perspectives on these questions. Please join us to hear how these editors are shaping thoughtful conversations in an age where crises such as the COVID-19 pandemic and social injustice more often elicit soundbites, clickbait, and memes.
B.D. McClay is senior editor of The Hedgehog Review. She has written for The New Yorker, The Baffler, Commonweal, Image (forthcoming), The Outline, and other publications.
Peter Mommsen is editor of Plough Quarterly and author of Homage to a Broken Man: The Life of J. Heinrich Arnold (2016). He lives with his wife Wilma and their three children in Fox Hill Bruderhof in Walden, New York.
Anne Snyder is the Editor-in-Chief of Comment Magazine and the host of Breaking Ground, a collaborative web commons created in 2020 to try to inspire a dynamic cross-section of thinkers and practitioners to respond to the major crises of this year with wisdom, hope and courage. Anne is also a 2020 Emerson Collective Fellow and the author of The Fabric of Character: A Wise Giver’s Guide to Renewing our Social and Moral Landscape.