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Course Descriptions for Fall 2024 Offerings

WR200.01: Intro to Creative Nonfiction

Counts as a Peace and Justice Minor Studies elective.

Instructor:  Prof. Jane Satterfield 
TTH 3:05-4:20pm

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.01: Intro to Rhetoric

Instructor: Dr. Martin Camper
MW 6:00-7:15pm

We know that great speakers and writers—from Cesar Chavez to Shirley Chisholm—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 enact change. Rhetorical theory also reveals how we are constantly persuading other people and being persuaded ourselves, and many students find this course alters their view of the world. As a diversity/justice-designated course, we will be especially concerned with the connections between persuasion, diversity, identity, and power in the United States. 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. 

WR230.01: Introduction to Poetry and Fiction

Instructor: Prof. Karen Fish
TT 1:40-2:55pm

This is a foundational course for those with little or no experience with fiction and/or poetry. You might simply want to “try it out.” I find it impossible to teach writing without teaching close reading. This semester you will read like a writer and gradually learn how to notice the many technical choices that authors make. Reading closely can give us ideas and provide context. I am interested in inspiring you and fostering 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.


WR244.01: Fundamentals of Film Studies

Fundamentals of Film also counts toward the Film Studies minor

Instructor: Dr. Brian Murray
TTH 4:30-5:45pm

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 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. 

WR305.01: Writing for the Web and Social Media

Instructor: Dr. Andrea Leary
MWF 11:00-11:50am

“Billions of people use digital tools and technologies every day to communicate. It is worth examining how these tools can be used effectively and ethically.”
–Dan Lawrence, Digital Writing

Why? Because nearly everyone is writing for the web, and you want to do it well—you want to stand out. How will you do that? With your voice. We will focus on developing your own brand voice and writing with the voice of your service partner. A clear, unique voice will set your writing apart.

Writing for the Web will focus on the practicalities of web writing—ethics, distinctiveness, persuasiveness, vivid writing style. You will produce social media marketing packages, reviews, e-newsletters, blogs, infographics, press releases, and a website. You’ll use multi-modal strategies appropriate for your audience and genre as you write persuasively. And nearly every assignment will be produced for your service partner—a nonprofit who will be able to use the portfolio of materials that you produce. By the end of this course, you’ll have honed your own distinct voice, have a portfolio of a variety of genres of web writing that are ready for your next internship or job opportunity, and you’ll have served an organization in our community. 

A win-win.

WR322.01 Gendered Rhetoric

Instructor: Dr. Andrea Leary
MWF 1:00-1:50pm

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. 


WR 325: Professional Writing 

Instructor: Dr. Tiffany Curtis  
.01 MW 3:00 – 4:15 p.m. 
.02 MW 4:30 – 5:45 p.m.
.03 M 6:00-8:30pm

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. In WR325 Professional Writing, we will focus on the reader-centered approach, which allows you to compose effective workplace documents for a wide range of audiences.

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 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 and your group will compose a proposal to address an ethical issue facing your discipline. This issue could be a topic in forensic science, a social science, education, a pre-health area, business, or in the humanities. All students will present their capstone assignment, with their group, at the end of the semester.  


WR333.01: Writing Fiction 

Instructor: Dr. Marian Crotty
TTH 10:50am-12:05pm
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 revised short stories of your own. 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. 

WR340.01: Writing Poetry

Instructor: Prof. Karen Fish
TTH 3:05-4:20pm

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, Langston Hughes, Sylvia Plath, Adrienne Rich, Yusef Komunyakaa, Charles Simic, Ross Gay, 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.


WR343.01: Special Topics in Writing About Culture: The Mafia in Film

Instructor: Dr. Brian Murray 
TTH 3:05 PM - 4:20 PM

We start by reading about the history and influence of the Mafia as it evolved from Sicilian roots to exert influence in Italy, Europe, and the United States. We will examine the organizational structure of the Mafia, and how it reflects tendencies present in human societies throughout history. The Mafia, or “The Mob,” or “The Outfit” or whatever it’s called has been a continuing topic of interest in American and European movies from the silent era until today. We will watch, discuss, and write about some of those films, including Mafioso (1962), The Godfather trilogy (1972-1990), Goodfellas (1990) Gomorra (2008) and Black Souls (2014), considering (for example) how organized crime has been sometimes glamorized in the movies, a tendency some recent titles have aimed to redress. We will also consider a few films that reveal Mafia-like structures and practices in other influential spheres. Course requirements include weekly written responses and a longer critical essay.    

WR343.02: Special Topics in Writing About Culture: Literature of Magic, Witchcraft, & Spells

Instructor: Prof. Laurence Ross
MW 3:00-4:15pm

Just as writing is a practice, magic—for some—is a practice. In this course, we will explore writers who engage with the Esoteric Arts as the basis of their work. Where can magic be found outside fairy tales, fantasy novels, films with high-budget special effects, or love spells purchased on Etsy? How do contemporary authors write about their lived experiences with ritual, mysticism, and the spiritual realm when these experiences are often deemed ineffable? How can writers use a magical practice to orient themselves in the world—and figure out how they’d like to proceed?

Magic is itself a mutable term that changes from culture to culture, experience to experience. Such practices range from Tarot to Brujería to dreamwork and much more. Consequently, our classroom conversations will investigate topics in Occult Studies that include but extend beyond traditional European magical and astrological practices. We will read nonfiction, essays, and poems by Native, Indigenous, Latina, Black, Asian, Queer, and Trans authors to counterbalance the more readily available Eurocentric, heteronormative narratives. Many of these texts experiment heavily within their genre, providing us with plenty of inspiration for our own creative writing. Exploration outside the classroom will be encouraged, and all levels of experience—with writing or magic—are welcome.

WR355: Travel Writing

Instructor: Dr. Marian Crotty
Asynchronous Online

In this section of Travel Writing, you will read contemporary travel writing and use these essays as inspiration for your own writing. Throughout the course, you will maintain a travel blog of photographs and writing 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 358.01 Literary Reviewing

Instructor: Prof. Jane Satterfield
TTH 12:15-1:30pm

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 based on publication outlets we discover together. No expertise required: all majors and levels of experience welcome!

WR385.01: Spc Top in Creative Writing: Memoirs of Crisis 

Counts towards the Peace and Justice Studies minor

Instructor: Prof. Jane Satterfield
TTH 4:30-5:45pm

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.

WR400.01:Senior Seminar

Required capstone for Writing majors and minors

Instructor: Dr. Marian Crotty
TTH 9:25-10:40

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’s statement and workshop and revise your own writing. Students interested in taking this course from a rhetorical perspective should consider registering for a section in spring 2025. 

WR402.01: 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 InternshipPersonal, 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.




Upcoming Events

Modern Masters: Edgar Kunz
Tuesday, February 20th  5 pm 
McManus Theater 

One Question
Monday, April 8th 2024 at 7pm
McGuire Hall

Writers at Work: Matt Bell
Thursday, April 11th at 6pm
Fourth Floor Program Room

Modern Masters: Susanna Sonnenberg
Thursday April 18th 6 pm 
4th Floor Programming Room 
Modern Masters Reading Series 

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