The Narrative Impulse (WR 100)
We are moved to tell stories. We tell stories to entertain, to instruct, to inform, and to convince. We use them as tools to interpret the world around us. In this class, we will inquire into the stories we tell, and how these narratives shape our lives and perceptions. We will take risks and ask open-ended questions. What kinds of narratives do we construct to make sense of the world, and to persuade others of our points of view? In turn, how do we recognize the narratives we encounter, evaluate their contents for fact and fiction? How do we decide what to listen to, who to believe? Which stories are amplified, and which are ignored, or overlooked? We will observe texts closely, unraveling stories to analyze their meaning, and learning from how authors use narrative to develop and support their ideas.
As you practice interpreting the stories you encounter, you will learn to cultivate authority and intention as you write your own. Aiming to communicate complex thought in clear, engaging writing, you will outline, draft, compose, edit, and revise three major essays. You will test out different approaches to narrative, exposition, analysis, and argument—experimenting as you develop your voice on the page.
Prof. Helen Hofling is a writer, editor, collage-maker, and teacher. She received a BA in philosophy from Vassar College and an MFA in creative writing from The Writer’s Foundry at St. Joseph’s College. Her poetry and fiction have recently appeared in Berkeley Poetry Review, the Columbia Review, Electric Literature, Fugue, New South, Passages North, Prelude, and elsewhere. A member of the PEN Prison Writing Committee, she serves as poetry judge for their annual writing competition. She lives in Baltimore and teaches writing at Loyola University Maryland. During summers, she teaches in the summer intensive program at the Johns Hopkins Carey Business School.
Experience of Theater (DR 251)
Students experience theatre by performing different roles associated with theatrical production. Students act as readers, audience members, actors, reviewers, playwrights, directors, and designers. An emphasis is placed on students understanding and experiencing all aspects of the theatrical process. Includes attendance at theatre productions on campus and in the Baltimore/Washington area.
Bio coming soon!
Mentor bio coming soon!