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This presentation discusses the invention process and the end product of a Professional Writing class final project. In light of the difficulty that most students face defining their career objectives and claiming career tracks, I discuss writing and performing songs as a means of self exploration. Through this, I appropriate the professional writing class as a space for creativity and personal identification. Though the songs I wrote for this project pertained strictly to my life, the style of writing I employed is one that may benefit me as an adult, should I pursue a career in advertisement or jingle writing. I conclude my presentation by performing two songs from the project and discussing the value of using performance in a curriculum (i.e., writing studies, professional writing) that is not traditionally associated with it. I also focus on ways in which this project could contribute to a broader meaning of professional writing and point to alternate writing careers in this field.
Although the United States outlawed slavery in 1865, mental and psychological enslavement still remain a societal and governmentally sanctioned form of oppression. This has helped create disunity and lack of pride amongst people of color. I developed an online magazine, entitled FRAME, to combat this enslavement. FRAME relies heavily upon digital and visual technology for accessibility purposes; generating greater opportunity for human connection across demographic and educational lines, thereby helping to promote social involvement and political activism. FRAME is a multi-disciplinary initiative. Each issue is dedicated to one central theme. Ten static categories serve as main pages. Within the scope of these categories, I researched and collected data—literature and multimedia—to expound thematic content. The visual aspects of FRAME are extensions of the words themselves, so as to appeal to even the self-proclaimed non-literary. By combining creative and professional writing, readers are able to fully experience the essence of FRAME and its theme, even if they choose to focus entirely on the technological components rather than the text and vice versa. FRAME’s aggressive social and political nature serves as a call to fight for individual and collective identity, communal action, and social change.
Ecocriticism is an emerging interdisciplinary study, bridging the gap between the humanities and the sciences. This criticism invites scholars to bring scientific knowledge to literature so that literature may help us to better understand the ecological crises of today. Ecocriticism especially pertains to William Shakespeare, who employed nature settings in many of his plays. Scholars can criticize a literary work for only so long until said literary work is exhausted. Ecocriticism, as a new type of criticism, offers yet another way to keep Shakespeare relevant, both to his time and to our time. After surveying both the many facets of ecological criticism and how critics have applied this criticism to Shakespeare’s plays, I then, from an ecological perspective I interpreted some of Shakespeare’s plays, specifically A Midsummer Night’s Dream and The Tempest. I predict that critics’ ecological interpretations of Shakespeare, coupled with my own interpretations, illustrate how and why people committed ecological travesties during the sixteenth century and today. Ecocriticism offers an innovative, interdisciplinary approach to Shakespeare by providing not only a new perspective, but also a perspective that is relevant to both the then and now.
House of Leaves fuses multiple storylines together through footnotes and other typographical techniques. The purpose of this work is to look at how this book incorporates several ways of beginning and multiple endings. There are various pathways which can be taken through the novel. I ask: What does the house symbolize, who is the true narrative voice, and what are the themes of the novel? This novel is one of the few novels that voice an awareness of the text it is bound in, often paralleling the house with the text itself.
Richard Wright's novel, Native Son, is an American classic. When it was originally published in 1940, it was a selection of the Book-of-the-Month Club. Although the Club's selection widened Native Son's readership, it also required that Wright edit his novel before publication. These edits removed many significant scenes, all of which had a sexual nature. In 1991, the Library of America re-published Native Son, using Wright’s original text. This study explores the removed scenes' effect on Bigger's character and the novel as a whole. Although the scenes were originally removed because it was believed they would shock white audiences, their removal makes Bigger an even more sinister, dangerous character than he is in Wright's original text. In the Library of America’s edition, both the novel and its protagonist are how Wright initially intended them to be; Bigger regains his humanity and the novel exposes the horrors of racism instead of furthering it. This research used a side-by-side analysis of the Book-of-the-Month Club edition of Native Son and The Library of America’s edition. The scenes removed from Native Son before it was published by the Book-of-the-Month Club caused both Bigger’s character and the novel’s message to be skewed.
I discusses a few of the problems with post-colonialism, arguing that if the theory would develop further, it could be a reliable and effective means of analyzing and interpreting literature. I argue for interpreting literature as a traditional post-colonialist critic might, then develop the theory to include a flipped post-colonial reading, which could help relieve many of the criticisms that surround and cloud this literary approach. I analyze Indian author Jhumpa Lahiri’s short story This Blessed House as one such example of how this type of interpretation could be played out. Pose colonialism as a literary theory is highly sensitive to socio-political issues; its critics say it is hypersensitive and exaggerative, its proponents say it forces recognition of important issues. This research is both interesting and important because it attempts to find a meeting of the minds somewhere between these two extremes.
Creative writing allows an author to explore the complexities of existence by delving into their own perceptions or by crafting unique ideas and situations that are portrayed through a fictional character. My fiction piece entitled Swing and a Miss was accepted for publication in a national undergraduate review this spring. Reading and writing creative fiction and non-fiction is an integral part of society because the forming of stories proliferates new ideas, beliefs, and attitudes which can affect the way humans view themselves and those around them. When writing this story, I drew from experiences that I have had with others. Scattered throughout the narrative are personalities or pieces of personalities that I have observed in friends, family, acquaintances, or that are entirely fictional. I brought to life two people that had their own understanding, opinions, and emotions while including elements of my own life and point of view. The creative writing process allows for personal development and self-expression. What I hope to have achieved by writing this story was a focused look into the particular details that make up a person’s image and to show that there can be much more to individuals than what initially meets the eye.
Formerly known as Dionysia, Capital’s literary arts magazine underwent several changes this year. Please, join us to honor this year’s submitters and prizewinners, as well as to see the new look of The ReCap.
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