About the Journal


The Modest Proposal: A Journal of Books, Opinion, and Comment is a collectively edited e-journal primarily concerned with producing solid, critical writing on a broad range of contemporary issues. It was born out of a healthy respect for a direct engagement with intellectual life both inside and outside the academy. It demands a curious reader with a desire to think beyond their "comfort zone." Above all, it seeks to privilege the continued importance of critical discourse in everyday life through an intrinsic belief in the opinion essay, and, most importantly, that quickly vanishing art known as the "book review." With major newspapers liquidating their cultural writing in favor of advertisers, colorful charts, or "want" ads, concerned citizens must forge new communities elsewhere.

The Modest Proposal (known to the lazy as TMP) took root in 2007. Its initial participants (to begin with, it was a "thought experiment" carried out through several months of rigorous email discourse) desired to produce an electronic periodical that would marry their current intellectual lives with those lovely community virtues that often disappear with geographical distance.

While the audacity of Swift's "modest proposal" still rings in some circles, this Modest Proposal was started on the idea that people of varied professions, with little-to-no free time, could periodically band as one for the cause of publication. Thus, TMP as it is today, a thrice yearly journal fortified by a lively group blog to fill those gaps in content.

The Modest Proposal is always looking for well-wrought writing (WWW!) in a variety of forms. If you are interested in contributing, please direct inquiries to the editor. All pieces are subject to limited peer review (our work is collaborative and enjoys gestation). If proposing a book review, please include title, author, and date of English language publication.

Kevin Flanagan General Editor [email, twitter]
Bobby Schweizer Webmaster [email]


About The Contributors


Robert V. Aldrich is a novelist and serialist who specializes in fiction and literature for fans of anime, video games, comics, and general adventure. More of his work can be found at the newly-relaunched TeachTheSky.com

Frank DiTraglia is a PhD candidate in Economics at University of California, San Diego. He received his M.Sc. in Statistics from the University of St. Andrews. He is a keen actor and enjoys the works of Gilbert and Sullivan.

Kevin Flanagan, a PhD Candidate at University of Pittsburgh, is writing a dissertation on war in 1960s and 1970s British cinema. He is editor of Ken Russell: Re-Viewing England's Last Mannerist and has recently contributed chapters to such anthologies as Devised and Directed by Mike Leigh and Graphic Novels and Comics in the Classroom: Essays on the Educational Power of Sequential Art.

Emily Gercke is an enthusiastic board-gamer, napper, and question-asker. She works as a geologist at ARCADIS, where she does little traditional geology but enjoys her job very much. She recently hiked the entire John Muir Trail with her husband Chris, a biologist. They recently moved to Vancouver, Canada, eh.

Jim Goodwin received a Bachelor of Arts in History from the College of William and Mary in 2006. He currently lives in San Francisco, working for a consulting firm in the luxury hospitality industry. His amateur interests include aviation, general science and promoting Enlightenment values.

Kevin Jackson is an English writer, broadcaster and film-maker, who owes an enormous debt to the American popular culture of the 60s and 70s. He has recently published Constellation of Genius (Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 2013) and Nosferatu (BFI Classics, 2013).

Andy Jih is a web and software product manager living and working in San Francisco, CA. He has worked as a game producer and designer at various video game and themed entertainment companies. His fleeting academic aspirations have led to him contributing articles to the 2nd and 3rd editions of Well Played, edited by Drew Davidson. He holds a Master's in Entertainment Technology and a B.A. in Philosophy, both from Carnegie Mellon University.

Eric Knapp is a native Virginian who matriculated into and subsequently graduated from the College of William and Mary Class of 2006. He is currently working in film and television production in New York City as a freelance production coordinator. This is not, however, his end goal. He enjoys drawing, taking photos, attending flea markets, and riding his bike—hipstery stuff. His plans for the future are to draw t-shirts for a living.

Joseph Maddrey is freelance writer and television producer. He is the author of Nightmares in Red, White and Blue: The Evolution of the American Horror Film (McFarland, 2004) and The Making of T.S. Eliot (McFarland, 2009), as well as co-author of Not Bad for a Human: The Life and Films of Lance Henriksen (Bloody Pulp, 2011) and co-creator of the comic miniseries To Hell You Ride (Dark Horse, 2012-2013). Joe's other rants can be found at http://maddrey.blogspot.com.

Adam Miller is a PhD candidate in English at Vanderbilt University. He studies British antiquarianism and the Gothic novel through the lens of thing theory.

Christopher Muir is a PhD candidate in Evolutionary Biology at Indiana University. He attended the College of William and Mary as an undergraduate. He enjoys the outdoors, homebrewing, and piercing arguments.

Roshan Patel lives in DC and works with various conservation and environmental education non-profits. He also gives tours at the National Zoo's elephant house. He started a photography site and has contributed his photographs to Nature, The Washington Post, and various Associated Press articles. Roshan is pursuing conservation photography because of his interest in making nature relevant to people.

Kate Petty was born at home on Valentine's Day, and is waiting for Tom Waits to write a song about that. A graduate of the College of William and Mary and the University of St. Andrews, Kate is the MP fiction editor. Her work has appeared in Ambit and Mslexia, and she is starting her second novel. She currently lives in Washington, D.C.

Gabriel Ricard acts and writes short fiction, poetry, novels, reviews, and essays. He is the Film Editor at Drunk Monkeys, an Editor at Kleft Jaw, and expects his first novel to be published in 2014. He lives in Virginia.

Bobby Schweizer is a doctoral candidate in the graduate Digital Media program at the Georgia Institute of Technology. He co-authored the Newsgames: Playing with Journalism (MIT Press, 2010) with Ian Bogost and Simon Ferrari and is his dissertation is about videogame studies, space and place, and urban studies.

Adam Stackhouse is a 2004 graduate of the College of William & Mary, where he majored in American Studies and Film Studies. He is a two-time Emmy Award winning film and live event producer and is the owner of 1693 Productions, based out of Williamsburg, Virginia.

Kuhu Tanvir is a PhD Student in Film Studies at University of Pittsburgh.

Jim Welsh has taught and published for 40 years, lecturing most recently at Kuwait University in December of 2011. He founded the Literature/Film Association and was co-founding editor of Literature Film Quarterly. His latest book, just out, is The Oliver Stone Encyclopedia, co-authored with Donald Whaley for Scarecrow Press, and will no doubt change the world of Stone studies.