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The Madison Journal of Literary Criticism is a study group focusing on topics of social justice from an abolitionist framework. Registered as a student organization at the University of Wisconsin Madison, our group meets weekly to discuss a selection of content ranging in format from essays, book excerpts, articles, news broadcasts, films, podcasts, and more. These weekly readings are often chosen by our co-Editor in Chiefs in order to provide background information on abolitionist thinking while simultaneously letting group members vote on/present other content they feel would be interesting for the group. Additionally, our study group features open forums, guest speakers, round table discussions, and a space to produce art and journalistic materials that respond to discussion materials. As members of the group, all participants are allotted space to include writings in the Journal.
As our group works to discuss topics tied to social justice, they are also invited to bring their own skill sets towards producing and editing the Journal itself. The Madison Journal of Literary Criticism is a product of the study group—combining staff features, reading reflections, and selected submissions. For study group members who are more interested in the literary editorial process, we invite them to consider applying for our executive board, a group that meets for an additional 30 minutes following each study group session to curate and edit submissions for the journal.
Finally, we hope that our group is a starting place for educational, activist, and artistic initiatives. In order to ensure productive discussions, our co-Editor in Chiefs shall produce a lesson plan and outline prior to each meeting and take notes to adjust the previous outlines. Following each weekly meeting, a pdf including the pre-meeting lesson plan and post-meeting notes/reflection will be posted on this website under the educational materials tab. We plan to post our lesson plans and notes in part due to total *transparency, and in hope that others might be able to utilize said lesson plans in order to conduct similar group discussions/study groups.
In summation, our study group meets to discuss both art and abolition, as art and discussion are both forms of abolitionist praxis. Materials produced for the study group are made public alongside the journal produced by the group (and editorial staff).
*The educational materials produced for this study group are a product of the research project that served as a prerequisite for the social justice oriented MJLC