Re:New is the alumni and friends magazine of New College at the University of Toronto, published annually by the Office of Advancement at NEW.
What Is home?
“I do not think of home as a place, only. Nor do I think belonging is the most important of our possibilities, long for it though we might. I believe home is a way of thinking, an idea of belonging, which matters more to us than the thing itself. Where we are, who we are, who we are with: these are so intertwined as to be inseparable. What we owe to ourselves we owe to others.”
Home as an idea, a guide, an abstraction beyond place, though without excluding geography—that is where the Canadian writer Esi Edugyan arrives toward the end of Dreaming of Elsewhere: Observations on Home (2014), her beautiful meditation on that seemingly familiar yet elusive concept. In the pages that follow in this latest edition of New College’s alumni and friends magazine, we too, in true NEW fashion, have attempted to shine a light on the term home from various angles. And like Edugyan, we perhaps arrive at more questions than answers, at possibilities rather than firm convictions. But that will be up to you to decide.
We invite you to come along on the journey that winds its way through the stories and images we have gathered here. You will hear about alumni recent and slightly less recent, about teachers, current students, a former principal and our beekeeper. All of them, we hope, will make you think and rethink the concept of home, both as reassurance and as contention. You will find home discussed in terms of place (and its history), but also in terms of the body, contemporary technology, citizenship, belonging, the environment, personal objects and more.
Our college prides itself on a diverse community—at this moment, our students hail from 72 different countries, while NEW alumni reside in 35 distinct nations around the globe. But as one of the articles in this issue will remind you, these numbers tell you very little about the actual richness that exists among the people of New College.
Thank you for being one of them, and thank you for reading. We would love to hear from you, so if you would like to share your thoughts with us, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.