The Mind’s Eye is a research and praxis initiative of Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts that explores a wide range of cultural topics, socio-political inquiries, theoretical concerns, and creative practices from within an interdisciplinary framework.
The Mind’s Eye aims to stand as a model of the civic engagement and critical thinking constitutive of a liberal arts education by engaging in scholarly and creative pursuits that transcend disciplinary boundaries.
In collaboration with neighboring institutions, like MASS MoCA, The Mind’s Eye aspires to expand the cultural footprint of the southern Berkshires by creating innovative programming and events for local and global audiences alike.
The first issue of The Mind’s Eye was published in January 1977 and consisted of a single sheet of paper and one piece, a review of an article in the New York Times Magazine on systemantics, by MCLA’s former library director Charles McIsaac. McIsaac wrote to a friend that The Mind’s Eye: A Review of the Press was intended to be a monthly publication and “mini-Atlantic or Harper’s in that it imitates the kind of thing they do, and it apes the New Yorker with drawings.” It quickly became a biannual, then annual publication. Following the death of Charles McIsaac in 1984, issues were published in 1987 and 1989 and then not again until Fall 1997, when it was resurrected under the leadership of Professor Tony Gengarelly. Since then, at least one issue has been published, except for 2010, every year.
In 2013, all issues of The Mind’s Eye—papers copies of which are held in the Freel Library archive—were digitized. The digital files were uploaded to the Internet Archive, whose goal is to offer permanent and free access to historical collections that exist in digital format.
In 2017-present, The Mind’s Eye has undergone a transition to an online format and forthcoming symposium in collaboration with MASS MoCA. With reinvigorated interest in fostering rigorous interdisciplinary scholarship and creative work within and beyond the MCLA community, the new direction of The Mind’s Eye is designed to be far-reaching and engaging of diverse audiences.
(A different version of this article was originally published in November 2014 issue of the Faculty Center News, a newsletter for MCLA faculty and librarians.)