Special issue of New England Journal of Public Policy features selected writings by Shaun O’Connell

CoverThe most recent issue of the New England Journal of Public Policy collects twelve essays and reviews written by UMass Boston faculty member Shaun O’Connell. Since the publication was founded in 1985, O’Connell has published articles, book reviews, and more in the New England Journal of Public Policy.

Shaun O’Connell has been a faculty member in the English Department at UMass Boston since the university opened in Boston’s Park Square in 1965. Describing the roots of his long connection to UMass Boston in a 1998 interview, O’Connell told the interviewer: “One of my former teachers at UMass Amherst told me that there was a Boston campus opening. This would have been in late 1964, and that I should call up Paul Gagnon and Al Ryan, who were the two people who were hiring at that time. They had set up shop in David Riesman’s house in Cambridge. And so, I called them and went for an interview, and shortly thereafter, I was offered a job, a one-year position. I had no idea at the time that it would last this long, but as I say, I am delighted that it did.”

Read a transcription and listen to the full interview here.


Professor of English Shaun O’Connell, circa 1970s

In his introduction to this Special Issue of the New England Journal of Public Policy, O’Connell reflects on the process of selecting essays for inclusion: “It has been a tense task, rereading essays I wrote some decades ago, but in the end satisfying, for they remind me of the times, tempers, and cultural contexts in which they were composed and they have things to say that I had forgotten I said. My hope is that these essays, granted a second time around, will have worthy things to say to current readers.”

And in his foreword to this issue, New England Journal of Public Policy founder and editor Padraig O’Malley writes about O’Connell’s history with the journal: “Throughout the tenures of five U.S. presidencies, eight UMass presidencies, six governors, and five UMass Boston chancellors, Shaun O’Connell has regularly produced scintillating essays distilling the essence of several books, ‘bundled,’ as it were, because of common themes that run through their pages, into masterful expositions—profound, reflective, social critiques that invariably tie knots between fiction and nonfiction and a range of pertinent public policy issues.”

The New England Journal of Public Policy has been published since 1985 by the John W. McCormack Graduate School of Policy and Global Studies at the University of Massachusetts Boston. After folding in 2006 due to financial constraints, the New England Journal of Public Policy resumed publication in 2013 as an online, open access journal. Full issues of the entire run of the New England Journal of Public Policy are available on ScholarWorks.

Explore the Special Issue of the journal here and view all of O’Connell’s writings from the journal here.

You can also see photos and interviews with Professor O’Connell on the digital collections site for University Archives & Special Collections in the Joseph P. Healey Library at UMass Boston.

ScholarWorks is the University of Massachusetts Boston’s online, open access institutional repository for scholarship and research. ScholarWorks serves as a publishing platform, a preservation service, and a showcase for the research and scholarly output of members of the UMass Boston community. ScholarWorks is a service of the Joseph P. Healey Library at UMass Boston.

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