A Letter from the Founders


BRINK arrives at a moment of profound unease.

Our nation is at odds with itself, unsure of what it is and what it wants to be. Our world has grown wary of democracy, of globalism, of the virtues of progress and diversity, and opportunistic strongmen have capitalized. The environment, scientists tell us, will soon yield to our repeated assaults, and will change in devastating ways. And millennials, raised in the warm afterglow of the End of History, have only now begun to realize how much we need to fight for and how much we need to preserve.

Our generation cannot fail to to confront this moment head-on. But first we must understand what is happening to the world around us. We need a forum where we can think carefully, and then refine our thoughts by engaging with others. We need that forum to be in the public sphere—that precious space currently under siege.

That is why BRINK is a review of books: a format that invites discussion and debate. Each issue of BRINK includes essays on campus affairs, American and international politics, science and technology, theater, poetry, and film. The diversity of topics is deliberate. It represents our commitment to thinking across genres, disciplines, and eras. We believe that this can be done without sacrificing rigor or depth, a principle evident in each of the careful, considered articles in this issue. This approach to public writing—critical engagement across a wide spectrum of subjects—is our best way forward.

BRINK is a political statement. It is in response to the 2016 election and the corruption it ushered into the highest echelons of American government. It is in response to the racism that continues to plague our society. It is in response to the withdrawal of the United States from the Paris Climate Accords, and to the existential anxiety we feel every day as natural disasters portend even greater crisis.

But BRINK goes beyond politics. It also seeks to preserve a space for serious thought about art. That is why our issues will contain poetry, photography, and articles on literature, film, and exhibitions. In these times, intellectual discussion for its own sake is itself a kind of civil disobedience.

BRINK will publish three issues per year. We do not have staff writers; instead, our contributions are solicited by the editors with assistance from professors in the relevant field, and are encouraged to range broadly on their topics. The only requirement is that they write and argue well.

Some of what you read in these pages will be controversial. If you wish to join the conversation, please write a letter to the editorial board, and we will solicit a response from the contributor in question. Our hope is that you, our readers, will be more than a passive audience. It is with your help that BRINK will become a place where our generation thinks through—and writes for—the world we are about to inherit.