Loyola University Maryland

Writing Department

Course Descriptions for Fall 2022 Offerings

WR200: Intro to Creative Nonfiction

Counts as a Peace and Justice Minor Studies elective

Instructor:  Prof. Jane Satterfield

Section 01:  MW  4:30 – 5:45 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, share your discoveries with the world, or speak out for social justice, 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. Dominic Micer

Section 01:  MWF 1:00 – 1:50 PM


Welcome to Introduction to Rhetoric! Through close analysis and production of non-fiction prose, you will develop an understanding and appreciation of how speakers and writers employ strategies—first articulated by classical rhetoricians—to persuade a variety of contemporary audiences. Special emphasis is given to the dynamic relationship between writer, audience, text, and social context. This class is ideal for students who wish to further develop skills essential in both academic and civic settings.


As a domestic diversity-designated course, we will specifically use rhetorical concepts to help us understand the connections between persuasion and diversity in the U.S. Together we will examine the connections between language, identity, and power, and you will learn and practice how to produce prose that is sensitive to diverse audiences and capable of addressing complex social issues. Some of the questions we will explore this semester include: How do people construct particular identities through language, and how do they use their identities to support particular arguments? How do people’s social, political, and cultural power affect the rhetorical choices they make? How do rhetorical practices translate across group boundaries? How does a diverse audience affect the persuasiveness of an argument?


Readings include: Plato, Aristotle, Martin Luther King, John Lewis, The 1619 Project, Alexandria Ocasio Cortez, Audre Lorde, Gloria Anzaldua, and many others.


WR230.01: Intro to Poetry and Fiction

Instructor:  Prof. Lucas Southworth

TTH 3:05 – 4:20 PM


In Writing 230, we will embark upon a crash course in creative writing. Through in-class and out-of-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.


WR230.02: Intro to Poetry and Fiction

Instructor:  Prof. Karen Fish

TTH 12:15 – 1:30 PM


This course is an introduction to creative writing. No prior experience is needed. We will read contemporary poetry and short stories and talk about the choices writers make in order to create meaningful art. We will study image, voice, narrative, dialogue, character, and setting, and you’ll have a chance to try out new ways of writing. This course is designed to give you a broad overview of the types of creative writing being produced today as well as an opportunity to produce and revise your own creative work.


WR244: Fundamentals of Film Studies

Counts towards the Film Studies minor

Instructor:  Dr. Brian Murray

MWF 2:00 – 2:50 PM


In Fundamentals of Film students watch and analyze movies that represent different eras and countries, and reflect a variety of styles and genres, including Comedy, Horror and Science Fiction. We will also become acquainted with the language of film—with the wide variety of shots, angles and special effects that have made movies by such directors as Orson Welles, Alfred Hitchcock, and Steven Spielberg both highly popular and critically acclaimed. Along the way, we will also discuss and write about such related topics as violence and censorship, as well as some of the technological and economic factors likely to change the way movies are made and watched in the future. Course requirements include weekly written responses and a critical essay on a related film topic of the student’s choice.


WR322: Gendered Rhetoric

Service-learning optional; counts towards the Gender & Sexuality Studies minor

Instructor:  Dr. Andrea Leary

MWF 11:00 – 11:50 AM


Have you read anything Catherine of Sienna, Hortensia, or Anna Weld wrote? How about Elizabeth Cady Stanton or Anna Julia Cooper? Perhaps Rachel Carson or Toni Morrison? In this class we will learn about them and a number of other women writers from centuries ago until the present. We’ll examine the constraints under which they wrote and tried to have their voices heard. It's a class devoted to hearing women writers’ voices with a chance to discuss the impact of gender (and, to some extent, class, race, and sexuality) on what voices get heard, by whom, and why. As a class, we’ll have many engaging discussions, you’ll sharpen your writing skills, and you’ll have a chance to serve. Our class is going to partner with Oak Crest Retirement Community and some of their women residents. You’ll have a chance to offer a service of presence to a woman living there:  listen to her stories, discuss ideas, and write her story. In effect, we’ll add her voice to the lineage of women’s voices and stories, to offer inspiration to those who come after her. In “The Love of Books,” Gloria Naylor talks about representation and its critical importance. More fully understanding the “heritage of writers behind me,” she writes, empowered her as a writer. Let’s see how it empowers you. 


WR325: Professional Writing

Counts toward the Forensics major and minor

Instructor:  Dr. Kefaya Diab

Section 01: MW 3:00 – 4:15 PM

Section 02: MW 6:00 – 7:15 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 reader-centered 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. All students will present on their capstone assignment at the end of the semester.


WR 333: Writing Fiction

Instructor:  Prof. Lucas Southworth

TTH:  1:40 – 2:55 PM


Many writers believe that the short story is one of the most ingrained forms of human expression. In fact, whenever you tell anyone anything, report something that happened, or make something up, you are, in essence, writing a short story. We know when we’ve read a good story or watched one unfold on TV or when we’ve heard our grandparents tell one, but composing a good short story can be as difficult as producing a symphony, as intricate as the gears in a pocket watch, as personal as anything we do. In Writing Fiction, we will work to hone our storytelling abilities, or as writer George Saunders puts it, our “magic.” We’ll immerse ourselves in all shapes of contemporary stories and learn to identify the moves authors make in each. We’ll think about how to mine their strategies for our own uses and try our own hands at them. By the end of the course, we will have thought hard about the backbone of all fiction: character development, story structure, image, voice, point of view, and language. And we’ll have written our own stories by covering the process of writing: from experimental drafting to re-seeing to revising to editing. 


WR 340: Writing Poetry

Instructor: Prof. Karen Fish

TTH 10:50 – 12:05 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 343: Writing About Sports (Special Topics in Writing About Culture)

Instructor: Dr. Brian Murray

M 6:00 – 8:30 PM


In Writing About Sports students will encounter a range of journalistic and literary essays about professional and amateur sports in the US and elsewhere, using both classic and contemporary examples. This is a huge topic, since sports intersect with culture and society in so many ways. In addition to submitting weekly responses to our readings and related video materials, students will be asked to write two longer essays connecting to the topics we discuss in class. These are likely to include (for example) the ethics of “tanking”; the rise of soccer as a professional sport; the decline of baseball—reality or myth; the effects of gambling on the sports industry; the growing use of technology and analytics in baseball, soccer and other sports, noting how these innovations may enhance or diminish their appeal. Students will also focus on the principles of good writing, planning and revising their work for inclusion in a final portfolio.


WR 347: Writing with Images

Instructor: Prof. Helen Hofling

MW 4:30 – 5:45 PM


This course introduces students to theories and practices of writing with images, providing regular opportunities to develop visual literacies through creative experimentation. Students will study and write image-enriched texts across a variety of genres and mediums from fairy tales to advertisements, including comics and graphic narrative, visual poetry, diagrams, art writing, visual journalism, and illustrated fiction and nonfiction. As a group, we will aim to create a community of writers and artists engaging in a playful, hands-on exploration of text-image interaction.  


This course is designed to offer entry points to students with diverse interests and skills—no experience with image-making necessary. Topics explored will be relevant to students interested in publishing, advertising, and marketing, as well as writing and artmaking. 


WR 355: Travel Writing

Instructor: Dr. Marian Crotty

Asynchronous virtual


In this section of Travel Writing, you will read contemporary travel writing and use these essays as inspiration for your own work. Throughout the course, you will maintain a travel blog that documents your experiences studying abroad or exploring Baltimore. You will also connect online with other Loyola students and learn about each other’s locations by reading and responding to each other’s writing. I hope this class will encourage you to more fully immerse yourself in your surroundings by prompting you to explore your location and to reflect upon the challenges and rewards of travel.  


WR 358: Literary Reviewing

Instructor: Prof. Jane Satterfield 

TTH 12:15 - 1:30 PM 


Writing reviews is one of the easiest ways to get published and enter the world of professional (freelance) writing. This course teaches you how to write reviews for a wide range of publications online, in magazines, and for other outlets.  In addition to novels, nonfiction, etc., literary writers often review other types of creative work (movies, music, live performances, games, plays, et al.), as well as graphic novels, arts exhibits, and more. Whether you’re already skilled as an influencer or simply curious to try your hand at this versatile craft, the course will enhance your persuasive skills and help you find ways to advocate for the creative work that matters to you. 


Our class will offer lively discussions and a supportive atmosphere where you’ll receive plenty of feedback. By semester’s end, you’ll have a final portfolio of work that showcases your unique take on subjects that matter to you—work you may choose to send into the world. No expertise required: all majors and levels of experience welcome! 


WR 385: Writing out of the Archives: Loyola, Slavery,  & Its Repercussions (Special Topics in Creative Writing)

Written or electronic permission of the instructor

Instructor: Dr. Lisa Zimmerelli

W 4:30 – 7:00 PM


This class will explores Loyola University Maryland’s relationship to slavery, Native American land dispossession, and Latin American immigrants and labor. Students use archival research in the Jesuit Maryland Province archives, which were used for Georgetown University's research of the 1838 sale of 272 Africans who were enslaved, as well as local archives in Baltimore and other archives farther afield.  One of two Center for Humanities grant-funded Aperio courses, partnered with Dr. David Carey’s HS 432.  Dr. Carey’s students in HS 432 will focus on producing historical accounts of Loyola’s connections to slavery, dispossession, and/or labor.   In this class, students will be producing rhetorical analyses of archival materials and previously published historical material, as well as a variety of creative pieces informed by the research and discovery process (creative nonfiction) and the material discovered (poetry, fiction, essay). Collectively, students in both classes will contribute work to produce a single volume, containing a variety of genres and perspectives informed and inspired by the archival material.  Note: this class includes summer-funded archival research for summer 2022 for 5 select students who must apply. Contact Dr. Zimmerelli ASAP if you’re interested!  


WR400.01: Senior Seminar

Required capstone for Writing majors and minors

Instructor: Dr. Martin Camper

T 3:05 – 5:35 PM


In this culminating course for writing majors and minors, we will read primary and secondary source texts in rhetorical theory, historical and contemporary, to survey a range of perspectives on, questions about, and debates over persuasion. Most of the rhetorical theory we read or read about will be from a diversity of rhetoricians in the Western rhetorical tradition, but we will also sample and read about theories from non-Western traditions. In addition to engaging with rhetorical theory through various modes and means, students will substantively revise significant work that could help them gain employment, apply to graduate school, or even become published, in light of one or more theories they encounter in the course. Students interested in taking this course from a creative writing perspective should consider registering for Dr. Crotty’s section of WR400.


WR400.02: Senior Seminar

Required capstone for Writing majors and minors

Instructor: Dr. Marian Crotty 

Th 4:30-7:00 


Senior Seminar is a capstone writing course required for all writing majors and minors that is designed to serve as a culmination of your writing coursework. In this section, you will read innovative contemporary creative writing from a variety of aesthetics and genres and use this writing to inspire your own work. You will also read and discuss author interviews and essays about writing that reflect on some of the artistic and ethical debates within the contemporary writing world. In the final portion of the course, you will write an artist statement and revise creative work that can be used in applications to jobs or graduate school. Students interested in taking this course from a rhetorical perspective should consider registering for Dr. Camper’s section of WR400. 


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