Loyola University Maryland

Writing Department

Course Descriptions for Fall 2021 Offerings

WR200 Intro to Creative Nonfiction

Counts as a Peace and Justice Minor studies elective.
Instructor: Prof. Jane Satterfield
Section 01: TTH 12:15 - 1:30 PM
Section 02: TTH 4:30 – 5:45 PM

Creative nonfiction is true stories artfully told. Nonfiction writers hail from all disciplines and walks of life; they top bestseller charts with styles that range from the traditional to the experimental. They pay witness to and advocate for the common good. In Introduction to Creative Nonfiction, you’ll learn strategies successful writers use to protest, persuade, and entertain while drawing on the dynamic energy of great fiction. We’ll read personal essays and profiles with a special focus on today’s cutting-edge flash nonfiction to help you explore outlets for your publishing future. Our class will offer a supportive atmosphere where you can receive feedback and cultivate creativity. By semester’s end, you’ll have a portfolio of work that showcases your unique take on stories that matter most to you. Whether you want to preserve the people and places and things you love or share your discoveries with the world, our class will help you harness the power of real-life stories to reach a wider audience in the classroom, in the workplace, and beyond. All majors and levels of experience welcome!

WR220D Intro to Rhetoric

Fulfills the diversity requirement
Instructor: Dr. Martin Camper
Section 01: MW 4:30 – 5:45 PM
Section 02: TTH 9:25 – 10:40 AM

We know that great speakers and writers—from Susan B. Anthony to Martin Luther King, Jr.—are able to persuade their audiences to change their beliefs and actions. But how? To answer this question, we will mine the rich tradition of classical rhetoric, developed by Greco-Roman language theorists such as Aristotle and Cicero. As you will learn, rhetoric is more than the verbal spin of politicians, though we’ll certainly examine political discourse. Rhetoric is the art of writing and speaking to move people to change. Rhetoric is also a way of seeing how we are constantly persuading other people or being persuaded ourselves, and many students find this course alters their view of the world. As a domestic diversity-designated course, we will be especially concerned with the connections between persuasion, diversity, identity, and power in the U.S. Through the close analysis and production of non-fiction texts, you will learn and practice how to produce prose that is sensitive to diverse audiences and capable of addressing complex social issues in a variety of academic, public, civic, and professional settings. 

WR230 Intro to Poetry and Fiction

Instructor: Prof. Lucas Southworth
Section 01: MW 3:00 – 4:15 PM
Section 02: TTH 1:40 – 2:55 PM

In Writing 230, we will embark upon a crash course in creative writing. Through in-class and outof-class reading and writing, we’ll examine how poems and stories use language to evoke both deep insight and complex emotional response, and, more importantly, how they go about keeping readers engaged and reading! We’ll also write many of our own stories and poems, focusing the same magnifying glass upon our work. The goal will be to broaden the way we read and think about language, to further discover our own writing voices, and to nourish our own personal ways of seeing. Overall, this class is intended to be a place to encounter and attempt all different types of creative writing, to find fun and fulfillment in the act of creation, and to engage with language in new and inventive and surprising ways. It is equally for those serious about creative writing and for those who want to try it out.

WR244 Fundamentals of Film Studies

Instructor: Prof. Lucas Southworth
MW 4:30 - 5:45 PM

Since the first film screeningsin the late 1800s, critics have compared moviesto magic and dreams. George Méliès, one of the earliest narrative filmmakers even said that movies allow us to “travel further in the domain of the marvelous.” Fundamentals of Film Studies is for anyone who enjoys watching movies and wants to peek behind the screen, to learn to identify and analyze camera angles, lighting, and genre, and to glimpse the levers and pulleys used to create those dreams, that magic. Watching a movie is an intense and personal experience, but it is also a universal one, and we’ll discuss the ways films manipulate us on every level – every decision an actor or director makes is meant to add to our experience, to create emotion, to gather meaning. Through the semester, we’ll study terms like auteur and deep focus; we’ll analyze the significance behind a pan and a jump cut; we’ll obsess over the difference between a full shot and an extreme close up. We’ll travel from the very beginnings of film to the contemporary and pour all our film knowledge into our own essays as we try our hands at film criticism along the way.

WR323 Writing Center Theory and Practice

Enrollment by permission only, service-learning mandatory, fulfills the diversity requirement.
Instructor: Dr. Craig Medvecky
TTH 9:25 – 10:40 AM

WR323 prepares students to tutor in the Writing Center by addressing both practical and theoretical issues of one-on-one peer tutoring, such as consulting strategies, the role of grammar instruction, the role of computers, and record keeping. Students read current literature in the field, develop a sense of themselves as writers, role-play tutoring scenarios, observe tutors in the Writing Center, and tutor students (under supervision). Writing Center Practice and Theory is designed to provide you with the knowledge and practical experience to develop your skills as a tutor, as a writer, and particularly as a tutor of writing. As a group discussion and writing-focused seminar, we will work together to develop these skills through a variety of activities, including: the observation of experienced tutors; readings in writing center theory and other disciplinary areas; class discussion and guest presentations; a critical evaluation of your own writing process and philosophy of tutoring; a final project; professional development; and most importantly, a weekly commitment to tutoring Bridge students and undergraduate students in the Loyola Writing Center. The course begins with a theoretical and historical foundation. You will read about the various philosophies and definitions of Writing Centers and the role of institutional and departmental forces in shaping these definitions. Having begun to see the various shapes and sizes and (in)stability of Writing Centers, you will then insert yourself—a future tutor. At this point, you will investigate the praxis of Writing Center tutoring, including the importance of talk and of collaboration, the difference between non-directive and directive tutoring, how to prioritize between higher and lower order concerns, and how to be mindful of cultural and linguistic diversity. The course will focus on the rhetorically-charged situation of the Writing Center tutoring conference, and you will develop strategies for tutoring a variety of students in all disciplines. Finally, you will conceptualize and write your own working tutoring philosophy.

WR325 Professional Writing

Counts toward the Forensics major and minor
Instructor: Dr. Tiffany Curtis
M 3:00 - 5:30 PM

Each discipline has its own unique requirements for writing. But one requirement they share is the ability to write clear prose that meets readers’ needs and expectations. For this section of WR325 Professional Writing, we will work with a contemporary rhetorical theory known as the readercentered approach, which allows you to compose effective workplace documents for a wide range of readers. The workplace documents you will complete in this class include cover letters, résumés, memos, reports, and proposals. The job search document assignment will help you apply for internships, co-ops, and positions in your field. You may also create documents for application to graduate school. The report on workplace writing assignment will help you understand the unique requirements of writing in your discipline. You will conduct secondary research, and you will interview a person in your field to discover more about the writing you will do in your career. For the capstone assignment, you will compose a proposal to address an ethical issue facing your discipline. This issue could be a topic in forensic science, education, medicine, business, or a field in the Humanities. Allstudents will present on their capstone assignment at the end of the semester. 

WR 327 Civic Literacy

Service-learning optional
Instructor: Dr. Terre Ryan
MWF: 1:00 – 1:50

In Civic Literacy, we’ll focus on social justice as we examine the nature and history of literacies, education, and political power. We’ll collaborate with Baltimore Youth programs in this service learning course, integrating what we learn from our readings with the practice of civic action. Students will write essays, advocacy pieces, and reflections, and complete a group project. This course challenges students to see literacy as multifaceted and to think critically about the links between literacy and choice, power, democracy, and freedom.

WR 333 Writing Fiction

Instructor: Dr. Marian Crotty
TTH: 1:40 – 2:55 PM

This course is an introduction to writing short stories. We’ll read a variety of short stories and study how they are put together. You’ll learn to write dialogue, manipulate time and point of view, and experiment with voice and language; and, by the end of the semester, you’ll have a portfolio of your own fiction. This course is designed to foster your creativity and give you the technical skills needed to transform your ideas in the art. Throughout the semester, you’ll also exchange writing with your classmates and encourage each other along the way.

WR 340 Writing Poetry

Instructor: Prof. Karen Fish
TTH 12:15 – 1:30 PM

You don't have to want to be a poet to take this class—just someone interested in experimenting and playing around with language. This class is for anyone interested in writing poems and deepening and expanding their knowledge of modern poetics. We will look at the work of Elizabeth Bishop, Robert Lowell, Sylvia Plath, Ai, Adrienne Rich, Yusef Komunyakaa, Sharon Olds, Charles Simic, Louise Gluck, Kevin Young and others. I find it impossible to teach writing without teaching close reading. For me, the aim is to foster a creative an environment that is supportive and conducive for you to generate new work. I am interested in creating an atmosphere where it is enjoyable to experiment and practice, rewrite and revise. Writing is finally about studying good writing and finding things worth writing about.

WR 354 Writing About the Environment

Counts toward the Environmental Studies Minor, the American Studies Minor, and the Peace and Justice Program.
Instructor: Dr. Terre Ryan
MWF 10:00 – 10:50 AM

Writing about the Environment is a discussion-based, nonfiction writing course exploring representations of the American environment. Through analyses of film, poetry, nonfiction, news articles, webpages, scholarly articles, advertisements, and other cultural texts, we’ll explore what myths influence American perceptions of the environment. We’ll consider how our lifestyles impact the environment, what is just, and what is sustainable. Students write creative and critical pieces, participate in one group project, and submit a final portfolio of polished writing. Whether you prefer the great outdoors or the great indoors, the city or the country, this course is ideal if you enjoy learning about American culture, envision a career in creative writing, law, business, journalism, or science, or if you simply want to hone your writing skills.

WR 355 Travel Writing

Instructor: Dr. Marian Crotty
Asynchronous virtual

In this section of Travel Writing, you will use writing to enrich the experiences you have while studying abroad. You will learn about the types of travel writing being written and published today and will write short essays and blog entries about your time abroad. You will also connect online with other Loyola students who are currently studying abroad in other locations and learn about each other’s host countries by reading and responding to each other’s writing. I hope this class will encourage you to more fully immerse yourself in your study abroad program by prompting you to explore your location and to reflect upon the challenges and rewards of living in another country.

WR385 Memoirs of Crisis

Special Topics in Creative Writing
Counts toward the Peace and Justice Studies minor
Instructor: Prof. Jane Satterfield
TTH 3:05 – 4:20 p.m.

Why does disaster fascinate us? How do writers respond to the challenges of living in troubled times? What are the social benefits and ethical dimensions of writing about a crisis in our lives or the lives of others? Memoirs of Crisis will answer these questions and more. We’ll read memoirs that explore a wide range of crises—from public crises (like war) to the smaller crises that mark our everyday lives. In our readings, you’ll discover strategies for crafting vivid and powerful writing of your own work that investigates an issue close to your heart or weighs the effect of personal challenges. Lively class discussion and informal writing exercises will push your own work in new directions, and supportive workshop sessions will raise the bar for writing in a variety of genres. The course is for anyone interested in learning how to see crisis—personal or public—through a literary lens and how to shape challenging subjects into compelling art.

WR 386 Rhetorics of Resistance in Women's Writing

Special Topics in Rhetoric
Counts toward the Gender and Sexuality Studies program and fulfills the diversity requirement.
Instructor: Dr. Lisa Zimmerelli
TTH 10:50 AM – 12:05 PM

Throughout history, women have used words to speak truth to power, to give witness to their pain and desire, to draw the veil back from women’s unique experiences. They have used every available genre—novels, poetry, letters, speeches, cookbooks, prayer. They have simultaneously conformed to and resisted societal norms of gender, race, class, religion, vocation, citizenship. In this class, we will we travel across time and genre and geography to trace these lines of resistance across the map of women’s writing. We shall journey to the palaces of the Ming-Qing Dynasty in China, the French Salons of the French Revolution, and the lyceum platforms preceding the American Civil War. Among others, we will read an American lesbian coming-ofage novel, Irish labor rights speeches, and Anglophone West African political poetry. After rhetorically analyzing these various works, students will write their own pièce de resistance on a contemporary issue.

WR400 Senior Seminar

Required capstone for Writing majors and minors
Instructor: Prof. Karen Fish
Section 01: TTH 3:05 - 4:20 PM
Section 02: MW 3:00 - 4:15 PM

The seminar is a capstone required of all writing majors and minors. This is meant as a culminating experience. It is designed to help you refine and finish your interests in writing as an undergraduate. We will read several books across the genres closely—notable contemporary fiction, poetry and nonfiction. The seminar is intrinsically linked to the authors coming to campus as part of Modern Masters Reading Series and Writers At Work. You will be asked to write a couple essays to make sense of who you are as a writer. Since writing is revision you will have the opportunity to revise and rewrite as never before.

WR402 Writing Internship

Restricted to junior and senior writing majors, interdisciplinary writing majors, or writing minors. Written or electronic permission of the internship coordinator or department chair.
Instructor: Dr. Andrea Leary

You have taken the classes, completed the assignments, and polished your writing. You’ve worked hard in each writing class to hone the skills you need to make your mark in the workplace. Taking the internship class will give you that extra edge. Not only will you gain valuable work experience in this course, you will leave with a professional portfolio, a potential supervisor recommendation, and opportunities for reflection and discernment. WR402, the three-credit internship class, allows you polish your resume, locate a workplace that fits your future goals, and learn in that environment for 120 hours during the semester (essentially 8-10 hours per week). Because this is a class, you will be asked to do some reading and writing on your experiences, but we will not meet in a classroom in order to allow you ample time at your internship. Instead, much of our communication will occur online, as we discuss your goals, challenges, and successes. You will work with The Successful Internship: Personal, Professional, and Civic Development in Experiential Learning as a text, which will give you advice along with the opportunity to apply that advice to your experiences in your workplace. In addition, you will have the chance to read your classmates’ reflections and offer advice there as well. Classroom learning builds your foundation. Combine classroom learning with an internship, and you’ll have the experience you need to help you land that first job.

Jennifer Nordmark

Jennifer Nordmark

Meet Jennifer, a 2011 graduate who applies her Loyola education to mentoring high school students interested in film animation

Writing, Political Science