Year-ish in Review

The Ratty opened its pitches and published its first article in February 2020, which I’m sure we’ll reflect on for many years to come as some of the worst possible timing. Of course, hindsight is 20/20 and at the time, we were beyond excited to put this thing out into the world. Publishing has been more sporadic than we would have liked. Getting pitches has often been an uphill battle. But we get it. Things have just been really hard. In addition to looking out for ourselves and our staff, we’re doing our best not to add to the already heavy burdens graduate students are carrying. So, we’re publishing what we can when we can, and continuing to support graduate student public scholarship to the best of our ability. 

This isn’t so much a “year in review” as a look back on everything we have done. In the midst of a global pandemic, we have managed to publish 10 pieces and pay our editors and our authors for their work. We’re choosing to think of this as a win. So, we’re pleased to share with you all a list of the brilliant scholarship that we’ve had the privilege to help share with the world. 

The Cows of Alabanda by Sam Butler

Traveling through modern-day Turkey for his research forces Classics PhD candidate Sam Butler to think more deeply about his role in the field of Classics and what it means to study Classics beyond just Greece and Rome. 

Fake News and the Agency of Women in Viking Age Iceland by Sarah Christensen

While many of us may have been introduced to the term “fake news” around the time of the 2016 US presidential election, the concept of “fake news” has been used to undermine women and their agency for at least 1,000 years. 

The Hebrew Bible from Below and Beyond by Shane M. Thompson

When most people think of the Hebrew Bible, they think of the area that is now occupied by modern-day Israel. But this view often overlooks the role of Egyptian and non-elite actors in the history and politics of the time. 

You Are What You Do Not Eat: The Problematic Relationship between Fashionable Bodies and the Consumption of Food from Nineteenth-Century France to Now by Elise Bouley

The image of the Parisian model dressed to the nines in couture surrounded by a lavish dinner setting while looking like they are undernourished is not new to your Instagram feed. Graduate student Elise Bouley explores the contradiction in these images and their deep-rooted past in French fashion. 

You’re Not Alone by The Ratty Team

In April of 2020 the pandemic was still new, but all of the financial, mental, and physical issues we are still struggling with today began to rear their ugly heads for graduate students in particular. Underfunded and under-supported, we turned to writing as a way to let out some of our feelings, feelings of anger, frustration, sadness, and guilt. Hopefully, this piece shows some of you that whatever you are feeling, you are not alone. 

Indigenizing Colonization: How Indigenous Knowledge Can Help Us Do Better When Looking to Colonize Other Planets by Sierra V. Kaufman

Colonizing a hostile planet like Mars can seem like an impossible task, until you remember that humans have done it before. Using her indigenous knowledge, graduate student and Shinnecock Nation citizen Sierra V. Kaufman studies how we might grow food on other planets. 

A New Personalized Cancer Treatment–Will “Gliatrap” Be Able to Lure and Treat Cancer Cells to Prevent Tumor Recurrence? by Yusuke Suita

A diagnosis of brain cancer has the potential to rank among the scariest experiences of your life. Glioblastoma in particular is especially aggressive, which means it is one of the most important targets of current cancer research. Graduate student Yusuke Suita works with a team at Brown University Rhode Island Hospital on an innovative treatment for glioblastoma. 

The Prospects for Limiting Nuclear War and the Strategy of “Escalate to De-escalate” – A Research Note by Daniel Post

The threat of nuclear war has been a political reality for many of the world’s superpowers for decades now, and experts are still debating the best ways to eliminate the threat. Sharing his preliminary dissertation research, Daniel Post critiques the “escalate to de-escalate” strategy, showing why ramping up may do more harm than good. 

The Hashtag that Became a Movement: #MeToo Fiction 2017-2021 and Beyond by Jess Amy 

In 2017 #MeToo became a worldwide movement, calling on survivors of sexual assault to share their stories and stand together in solidarity. Since then, the movement has found its way into contemporary fiction, working its way into the mainstream cultural conversation. 

BIOMASS: Exploring Sustainable Fuel and Alternative Power by Abdulrazaq Omo

The threat of climate change is immediate, and greenhouse gases sit at the center of the urgency. Is it possible to turn some of this greenhouse gas-producing waste into a viable fuel source. Abdulrazaq Omo walks us through the process of turning fruit waste into an alternative power source.