As new editors of Estro we welcome you to this, the first edition of the new academic year, and the first as an editorial team. We are excited to say that this issue offers a broad range of topics that represent the University of Essex and the achievements of a number of its talented students, both undergraduate and postgraduate alike. We are proud of the diversity and multidisciplinary nature of this issue and would like to celebrate the articles which create a varied and yet cohesive publication. The first two pieces are united through the theme of Literature and Art. The first, by Jeremy Raymond, is ‘‘The Work Lets the Earth be an Earth’ (The Origin of the Work of Art). Heidegger and Poetry’, which explores the interaction between art, truth and the world, and how Heidegger’s philosophy could hold the key to the difficult question; what is art? This is followed by Katie Dillon’s essay ‘The Author is Dead, Long Live the Fan?’, a consideration of the relationship between Barthes’ announcement of “The Death of the Author” and the responsibilities placed on the reader by ‘Reader Response’ theories’. Dillon explores fan fiction as an example of the declining deification of authors in Western society. Both essays raise significant questions, particularly in a time when the importance of the humanities is often questioned.
The next two essays of this issue are united under the theme of corporate governance and are kicked off by Lindy Cuiwan Lim’s ‘Enron and Corporate Governance’ which explores the importance of ethics in successful business practices and how the collapse of Enron highlights the magnitude of ethical decision making in business. As Lim states, ‘The Enron saga...brought to light many weaknesses in the accounting, auditing, and corporate governance of various firms’. Following this, Endrit Bajrami investigates the role of culture in international business in ‘Culture & Leadership: How Leadership Impacts Cross-Cultural Management’. Ethics are seen here through the veil of culture and how the globalization of the business world requires a better understanding of culture to work effectively. Both essays raise topical ideas about the culpability and responsibility of business ethics in an ever more globalised world, at a time when the layman can begin to appreciate the global gravity of financial decisions in the business world.
The next two essays consider the ideas of health and, most notably in ‘The WTO and Pharmaceutical Access in Developing Countries’ by Rachael Smith, the economic impact that the ideas of corporate governance and business ethics have on the health of millions. This essay investigates the problems faced by the developing world regarding access to pharmaceuticals. Clearly pharmaceutical companies in the developed world need to consider profits and this creates problems with regards to poorer countries. Here, Smith offers many possibilities for solving such problems, an undeniably important topic, as is the next essay, ‘ Male Circumcision for HIV Prevention’ by Kazeem Omobolanle. Omobolanle considers the possibility of male circumcision as a method of HIV prevention, analysing the existing studies to critically assess the suitability and effectiveness of male circumcision in certain regions of Africa as a method of HIV prevention. Both these essays under the umbrella theme of health, demonstrate the importance of ethics and cultural knowledge in the fight for better health throughout the world.
The next essay is a fantastic piece of creative writing ‘summer’ by Alice Morris which tells the touching story of twin sisters through the interesting technique of remembering the summers they have shared and the boy who turns their worlds upside down. And last, but by no means least, the issue is rounded off by the article ‘The Influence of Enlightenment Ideals on the French Revolution’ by Lawrence Jayatilaka, which combines many of the ideas from the previous essays. It is true that looking to history can lead to answers in the present and Jayatilaka links the problems of contradicting Enlightenment thought with the preceding circumstances and ultimate consequences of the French Revolution. Jayatilaka looks at the situation in France at the time of the Revolution through ideas of power in government, the importance of the financial situation of the country, both in government and personal aspects, which challenges the popularly held belief that the French revolution was a ‘peasants uprising’. It is through looking at history that lessons are learned for the present and Jayatilaka certainly expresses how this is the case.
Finally, we would like to take this opportunity to thank all those who aided in the production of this issue from contributors and reviewers and beyond and without your help this issue would not have been possible. We hope that you enjoyed your contribution as much as we have and above all we hope you relish reading it.
©Aaron Reeves and Lucy Cook. This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Licence (CC BY).