Spillways and Hydras: 110 years of student publishing at DePaul

Lisa Geiger
April 27, 2017

In April, the Loop and Lincoln Park libraries celebrated Student Workers as part of National Student Employment Week. Springtime at DePaul heralds the release of new literary magazine editions, often culminations of an academic year of creative work. Here in the archives, we took the opportunity to look back at DePaul student publishing work with the help of some of our student assistants.

1931 'Spillway'

The 1931 'Spillway' featured a series of comical characters like the noire detective Algeron Glump. (Image courtesy of Special Collections and Archives)

Some of DePaul's earliest student magazines blended short fiction and verse with campus life and non-fiction essays, a catch-all of student writing. The 1908 "DePaul Review," a short-lived magazine published before commencement, included recaps of DePaul football games along with essays and creative fiction. The quirky "Spillway" collected jokes, puns, and short stories, some from the "DePaulia," into a yearly volume. Amidst poems and literature reviews, the winter 1930 "DePaul Quarterly" included a solemn essay arguing that television would help humans receive visual signals transmitted by intelligent life on other planets.

The post-World War II enrollment boom helped initiate growth in student magazine production. Literary publications like "Trajectories," begun as a supplement to the "DePaulia," and the alternative paper Aletheia paved the wave for themed journals. "Hydra" was published from DePaul's First Step coffee house in the late 1960s and featured collage art and political essays. Beginning in 1965, "Shantih" collected short fiction, visual art, and poetry under leadership from DePaul Honors Program students. "Shantih" became "Threshold" in 1980, expanding to formally include undergraduate and graduate student submissions. The student-run art and literature magazine continues today as "Crook and Folly," released each spring.

A range of academic and personal interests have continued to drive diverse student publications over the past forty years. "Essays and Ideas" accepted student submissions across academic disciplines to represent the best in undergraduate non-fiction work in the 1980s and early 1990s. French students have written and edited the French language journal "Mille-Feuille" since 1992, while College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences students and faculty have edited "Creating Knowledge" since 2008. Student groups have also created their own publications. Examples include DePaul Students Against the War's zine "Raise the Fist," published from 2000 to 2007, and the Black Student Union's support of "The Hawk" and "Onyx" magazines from 2006 to 2011.

These publications have allowed students to develop their creative and persuasive voices through prose. They also provide experience editing copy and design, communicating with peers, and working collaboratively toward a deliverable product. University Archives is proud to hold an extensive record of student literary magazines and publications, in addition to campus newspapers and faculty journals, as a record of past work and creative inspiration for new generations of DePaulians.