For four centuries, Harvard has served as a beacon for innovative thought and cerebral output. Its students have produced masterworks of mathematics, philosophy, fiction, poetry, policy and science. Now, Harvard students will exhibit their talents in a whole new way.
Hoping to create a forum for Harvard students to discuss issues of sexuality, Camilla A. Hrdy ’05 and Katharina Cieplak-von Baldegg ’06 have dreamed up the magazine H-Bomb, with the help of Professor of Psychology Marc D. Hauser and the recent approval of the Committee on Campus Life. The much-discussed biannual publication will feature fiction, essays, photography, art and humor on many issues related to sexuality and sex.
Though a news article in the Crimson described the magazine as porn, the founders say they were disappointed by the incendiary and inaccurate portrayal.
“Although it may have nudes or feature erotica, it’s a literary arts magazine about issues of sexuality,” says Hrdy. “It’s about being open about sexuality.”
H-Bomb is still in its nascent stages—the editors have no concrete plans for content. But the fledging publication has garnered national media coverage across the country, from CNN to Fox News.
“We knew it would attract attention, but I guess we were a little naïve,” says Hrdy.
H-Bomb aspires to create a comprehensive dialogue about sexuality, soliciting pieces from and pertaining to students of all life experiences and sexual orientations. Baldegg says she hopes H-Bomb will allow for an “intelligent, constructive, frisky and honest discussion” of sexual issues.
“[We] hope that the magazine will be meaningful and interesting to all Harvard students without marginalizing or offending anyone,” says Baldegg.
Even before its first issue, H-Bomb has sparked debate about whether or not the University should endorse such a publication—seemingly substantiating the founders’ claim that Harvard students need to discuss nudity, pornography and other issues of sex.
“We’re past the point of Sex Ed....But clearly there’s no location for students to express opinion on this part of their lives,” says Hrdy. “This is an outlet that’s needed.”