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Welcome to Watermark, an annual scholarly journal published by graduate students in the Department of English at California State University, Long Beach.  We are dedicated to publishing original critical and theoretical essays concerned with literature of all genres and periods, as well as papers representing current issues in the fields of rhetoric and composition.  Reviews of current works of literary criticism are also featured  in Watermark.  As this journal is intended to provide a forum for emerging voices, only student work is considered for publication.

All of the CSULB graduate students that have had a hand in forming and continuing the tradition should feel proud. This journal has given, to the members of this program, an opportunity to contribute their ideas. While also digesting the knowledge of fellow domestic and international graduate students. Watermark, over the course of its brief run, has published from around the globe. In these pages, you can travel the world, from local CSU’s to Indiana, Florida, New York … and then jump across the waters to London, Denmark, and Tawain. This current iteration has tried to take the opportunities given to us and expand on them. With that said, here is a word from the current managing editor.

Watermark 10 Editor’s Note

I feel fortunate to have the honor of writing the opening note for Watermark in its decennary volume. By some strange and arbitrary alignment of place and timing, I find myself in a position to be marking a momentous occasion in the life of this journal. What is not a matter of chance, however, is the fact that Watermark has achieved the level of success that it has.

For ten years now, dozens of graduate students in the English department at CSULB have committed their time and energies to the publication of this journal. To show our appreciation of all those who came before us, we decided to dedicate our cover to all the outstanding students who have been involved in the creation of Watermark over the years. For this reason, the names of every Watermark staff member and faculty advisor from the last ten years have been included on the cover of this volume. This is our way of saying thank you for building Watermark into the success that it has become.

We not only want to reflect on where we’ve come from, but we’d also like to take the opportunity on our 10th anniversary to look forward. We were amazed by the number, range, and especially the quality of the submissions we received this year. Our inbox was flooded with excellent essays from students here at CSULB and around the globe. The essays we’ve selected for this issue explore new territories in literary study, and we’re proud to continue the tradition of publishing important new approaches in the field of English studies. From Chaucer to Cherrie Moraga, the essays within challenge dominant narratives of race, gender, and sexuality and suggest approaches to the study of language and narrative that will inspire continued critical inquiry in these areas.

Finally, on behalf of the entire Watermark staff, we’d like to thank our submitters and readers for their continued interest and support in our journal.

Nicole Bennett
Executive Editor