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Winter 2014

Inquiry Magazine Archive

  • Spring 2016

    Spring 2016: Premium Blend

    Found in everything from space shuttles to dental fillings, composite materials have thoroughly infiltrated modern society. But their potential is still greatly untapped, offering researchers ample opportunity for discovery.

  • Fall 2015

    Fall 2015: Collision Course

    Within the particle showers created at the Large Hadron Collider, answers to some of the universe’s mysteries are waiting.

  • Spring 2015

    Spring 2015: Almost Human

    Model systems like pigeons can help illuminate our own evolutionary and genomic history.

  • Fall 2014

    Fall 2014: Small Wonder

    UT Arlington's tiny windmills are bringing renewable energy to a whole new scale.

  • Winter 2014

    Winter 2014: Overdue for an Overhaul

    The stability of our highways, pipelines, and even manholes is reaching a breaking point.

  • 2012

    2012: Mystery solved?

    Scientists believe they have discovered a subatomic particle that is crucial to understanding the universe.

  • 2011

    2011: Boosting brain power

    UT Arlington researchers unlock clues to the human body’s most mysterious and complex organ.

  • 2010

    2010: Powered by genetics

    UT Arlington researchers probe the hidden world of microbes in search of renewable energy sources.

  • 2009

    2009: Winning the battle against pain

    Wounded soldiers are benefiting from Robert Gatchel’s program that combines physical rehabilitation with treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder.

  • 2009

    2007: Sensing a solution

    Tiny sensors implanted in the body show promise in combating acid reflux disease, pain and other health problems.

  • 2006

    2006:Semiconductors: The next generation

    Nanotechnology researchers pursue hybrid silicon chips with life-saving potential.

  • 2005

    2005: Imaging is everything

    Biomedical engineers combat diseases with procedures that are painless to patients.


Uncovering a Forgotten Literary Treasure

Newly discovered work by nation's first published African-American poet leads to shift in understanding of his views 

Cedric May

Cedrick May stumbled upon one of Jupiter Hammon's previously unknown poems.

People who follow early African-American literature likely know the names Phillis Wheatley, W.E.B. Du Bois, Richard Wright, and Langston Hughes. But what about Jupiter Hammon? More than 200 years after Hammon’s death, Cedrick May is helping bring attention to the important writer, as the English associate professor recently discovered a previously unknown, handwritten poem that challenges what scholars know about him. 

It was a serendipitous finding. In the fall of 2011, Dr. May instructed his graduate students to acquire scanned images of Hammon’s writings from various libraries and archives. A librarian at the New York Public Library helpfully pointed one student toward Yale’s collection. There, among 80 boxes of documents donated by the Hillhouse family in the early 1940s, was a listing for a poem by Jupiter Hammon called “An Essay on Slavery.” 

“I purchased a scanned image of the poem, and when it arrived I knew right away I was looking at a never-before-known poem by Jupiter Hammon,” May says. “There are many features of the artifact that merit mention, but the most important find for historical purposes is the shift in Hammon’s thinking about the nature of slavery itself.” 

Hammon spent his entire life in bondage, but unlike most other slaves at the time, he was allowed to learn to read and write. He was a devout Christian and most of his works focused on religion and spirituality, skirting around the issue of slavery. But in “An Essay on Slavery,” for the first time, Hammon declares—unambiguously—that slavery is the work of man and not the will of God: 

Dark and dismal was the Day 

When slavery began 

All humble thoughts were put away 

Then slaves were made by Man. 

“And that’s a real big issue at this point, because theologically speaking, there had been a lot of talk about the compatibility of slavery with Christianity in the colonies, and now he’s defying that idea,” May explains. “This will be a game-changer in the field of early American literature.” 

The full poem was published in June 2013 in the journal Early American Literature. May is currently working on a scholarly edition of Jupiter Hammon’s poetry and prose. 

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