With this, the fantastic fourth issue of the WRoCAH Student Journal, we come to a crucial point for the team.  As we prepare to bid farewell to some of our original members and express our gratitude for their hard work in setting the journal up, we must of course also thank our authors and reviewers for their valuable contributions, without which the journal’s continuation would not be possible.  For the newer members in our team, work on the current issue has been an eye-opening experience.  Not only have we seen the hard work that goes into preparing articles for submission first-hand, the editing, reviewing and proofreading.  We also are in a privileged position to see the breadth of research carried out by our colleagues from across the White Rose universities.  We are of course delighted to share some of this research more widely through this publication.

What then of the work in this current issue?  It is seldom easy to find a common thread in such a diverse collection of papers, representing research clusters including English and Cultural Studies, Creative Arts, Heritage and Material Culture, and Thought.  Even so, some broad themes are apparent. Issues of representation emerge through Sarasola’s examination of Latin American femininity in novels by Allende and Angel, and Armstrong’s analysis of stigmatisation and degeneracy in the opera Die Gezeichneten.  In a similar vein, Magro’s paper reflects on how the idea of a past Golden Age has been portrayed historically.  These papers are linked by considering the tension between social ideals and social realities.  Interpretation, within readership and authorship, is another theme underlying this latest issue.  Walton considers how the Emersonian language of Proust was used to convey sensory human experience, through creative reading. Gould’s reflection on the complex relationship between artistic and natural beauty suggests that creative practice depends on an understanding of nature.  Meanwhile, Ellison and O’Key report on last year’s workshop on the potential for new scholarship on the work of W.G. Sebald.  We are also pleased to publish our first poetry submission, by James Lewis, which we hope serves as a reminder that alternative original contributions are always welcome.

We think you will enjoy this latest issue of the Journal, which represents just some of the excellent scholarship of postgraduates in the arts and humanities at the Universities of Leeds, Sheffield and York.  It is with thanks to WRoCAH and our community that we confidently look forward to receiving more thought-provoking submissions for the next issue.

The WRoCAH Student Journal Team