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Literary journal archives its past

Diacritics, a journal of criticism and theory, is celebrating its 40th year of publication with a complete redesign in print and online, and the donation of its archives to Cornell University Library. Vol. 40, No. 1, to be published in October, honors the past by reviving the original cover title design from 1971-72.

Subtitled "A Review of Contemporary Criticism," diacritics was founded by then-Romance studies chair David Grossvogel, who served as editor until 1976. The journal debuted in fall 1971, announcing itself as "a forum for discussion of critical approaches to literature and experiments in literary creation." It featured an eclectic mix of criticism, works in progress and articles ranging from film theory to semiotics.

Diacritics soon established its reputation as one of the leading journals in literary theory and continental philosophy. Philosopher Jacques Derrida came to Cornell as an A.D. White Professor-at-Large, 1982-88, due in part to his association with the journal.

"Diacritics played a major role in the international recognition of French thought in the 1970s and '80s," said Laurent Dubreuil, general editor of diacritics since 2011. "Almost all the prominent scholars in our fields writing in English, Italian or French have been published by us at some point of their career."

To read the full story and see photos of the journal, visit the Cornell Chronicle's website.