The Aleph: a journal of global perspectives takes its name from the 1945 short story “The Aleph” by Argentine writer Jorge Luis Borges. In the story, the narrator (a writer) comes upon “a small iridescent sphere of almost unbearable brilliance” in which “without admixture or confusion, all the places of the world, seen from every angle, coexist.” Through this encounter with the mystical Aleph, he is able to see all things from all perspectives – yet he despairs the daunting task of trying to convey the enormity of this experience to his readers.
Our affinity for Borges derives from his desire to draw connections and seek clarity in a complex and chaotic world. His story resonates as our students face much the same challenge when they return from abroad: after crossing borders and cultures, navigating societies different from their own in which they are exposed to new values and perspectives, how can they make sense of it all? How can they convey the significance of the experience to those who did not share it?
The journal was created to address this dilemma. All too often, students lack opportunities to build upon and to continue to process their international experiences once they return home. To this end, the journal provides a space for reflection, analysis, and dialogue that benefits contributors and readers alike. The pieces, both written and visual, offer insight into what captivates, challenges, and inspires our students – and through these words and images we learn about the people and places they encounter, we see how they change along the way, and we are exposed to “all the places of the world, seen from every angle.”
Take a look inside Aleph 14!