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The cover design comes from a reflection on the theme for this year's issue, "Acquiring a Sense of Self". We find that our self is an amalgam of different identities that we perform in different contexts. Thus, the image of the mask provides a way of thinking about how we experience putting on different selves like masks. Our sense of self is altered as we don a mask and act our the role of another, and our views are shifted while the boundaries of our reality are tested, as we question truth and fiction. What is real, that which lies on the surface of that which is underneath?


This image, inspired by the Aztec jaguar warrior masks of Mesoamerica, is a collaborative effort by Brandon Laufenberg (digital design) and Marin Laufenberg (ink drawing and watercolor). The artists have interpreted the symbol of the mask to represent the ways in which we perform, try on, transform, hide, or reveal different identities. The image is also suggestive of the ways in wchi we use poetry and literary fiction to explore different permutations of the self.


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No. 8. Spring 2017 (496 KB)





MARIN LAUFENBERG is a PhD candidate in Latin American Literature at UW-Madison. In another life, she would be a naturalist on an Alaskan island, kayaking along the coast and exploring tide pools. She has always been inspired artistically by the animals and sceneries of nature.


BRANDON LAUFENBERG is a photographer and digital illustrator from Madison, Wisconsin. He is intrigued by combining modern digital tools with ancient and traditional artistic styles, and he will bike anywhere for pie.



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