Marissa K. Landrigan

Marissa K. Landrigan, Science and Nature Writing, Fall 2018

Course Description:

Writing that is inspired by and that engages the natural world and the scientific community affords us opportunities to ask questions about the mysteries of the universe, from the farthest reaches of the galaxy to the dirt beneath our feet. This writing, when at its best, can help a general public grapple with the most pressing scientific questions of our time. In this course, we will split our time between reading some of the best contemporary science and nature writing, and researching and writing our own creative work about environmental, scientific, or technological topics that drive our curiosity. We will shadow and interview experts, engage in research as scholars and in the field, and analyze natural phenomena ourselves. Our goal throughout the semester will be to throw ourselves headlong into the pursuit of wonder, curiosity, and intense investigation, to see what wild and wonderful connections emerge when we tug on any given scientific string.

Required Texts:

- On Immunity by Eula Biss
-Soul of an Octupus byu Sy Montgomery
- A notebook (standard composition notebook)
-Curiosity

Marissa K. Landrigan, Science and Nature Writing, Fall 2018

Course Description:

Writing that is inspired by and that engages the natural world and the scientific community affords us opportunities to ask questions about the mysteries of the universe, from the farthest reaches of the galaxy to the dirt beneath our feet. This writing, when at its best, can help a general public grapple with the most pressing scientific questions of our time. In this course, we will split our time between reading some of the best contemporary science and nature writing, and researching and writing our own creative work about environmental, scientific, or technological topics that drive our curiosity. We will shadow and interview experts, engage in research as scholars and in the field, and analyze natural phenomena ourselves. Our goal throughout the semester will be to throw ourselves headlong into the pursuit of wonder, curiosity, and intense investigation, to see what wild and wonderful connections emerge when we tug on any given scientific string.

Required Texts:

- On Immunity by Eula Biss
-Soul of an Octupus byu Sy Montgomery
- A notebook (standard composition notebook)
-Curiosity

Marissa K. Landrigan, Introduction to Creative Writing, Fall 2018

Course Description:

This course offers students an introductory study of the written arts. Through the close reading of modern and contemporary texts and guided experimentation in a variety of genres (e.g. Poetry, fiction, drama, and creative nonfiction), students will examine, explore, and discuss the creative process.

What You’ll Need   

● What It Is by Lynda Barry 
● Dragon's Breath and Other True Stories by Mari Naomi (print or ebook are fine, as long as you can have them with you in the classroom)
● A composition notebook (I got you)
● Various arts + crafts + school supplies: crayons, colored pencils, drawing pens, coloring books,  glue sticks, tape, scissors, construction paper, yarn, post-­it notes, and whatever else you need to  feel crafty and creative like you did in elementary school.  

Syllabus: 

Marissa K. Landrigan, Introduction to Creative Writing, Fall 2018

Course Description:

This course offers students an introductory study of the written arts. Through the close reading of modern and contemporary texts and guided experimentation in a variety of genres (e.g. Poetry, fiction, drama, and creative nonfiction), students will examine, explore, and discuss the creative process.

What You’ll Need   

● What It Is by Lynda Barry 
● Dragon's Breath and Other True Stories by Mari Naomi (print or ebook are fine, as long as you can have them with you in the classroom)
● A composition notebook (I got you)
● Various arts + crafts + school supplies: crayons, colored pencils, drawing pens, coloring books,  glue sticks, tape, scissors, construction paper, yarn, post-­it notes, and whatever else you need to  feel crafty and creative like you did in elementary school.  

Syllabus: 

Marissa K. Landrigan, Introduction to Creative Writing, Fall 2018

Course Description:

This course offers students an introductory study of the written arts. Through the close reading of modern and contemporary texts and guided experimentation in a variety of genres (e.g. Poetry, fiction, drama, and creative nonfiction), students will examine, explore, and discuss the creative process.

What You’ll Need   

● What It Is by Lynda Barry 
● Dragon's Breath and Other True Stories by Mari Naomi (print or ebook are fine, as long as you can have them with you in the classroom)
● A composition notebook (I got you)
● Various arts + crafts + school supplies: crayons, colored pencils, drawing pens, coloring books,  glue sticks, tape, scissors, construction paper, yarn, post-­it notes, and whatever else you need to  feel crafty and creative like you did in elementary school.  

Syllabus: 

Marissa K. Landrigan, Digital Storytelling, Fall 2018

Course Description:
In this class, we are interested in both the story and its medium. We will ask why we tell stories, what makes a story, and what purpose stories serve for humanity. In this way, we are engaged with many of the same questions as any creative writing or literature class. But here, we are also occupied by the many other ways — besides language — we have to tell stories. How can we create meaning without text? What other forces can shape a narrative or engage an audience’s emotions, when language is insufficient?

What You'll Need:
● The Imaginary World of ____ by Keri Smith (print)
● A website (with blog), and an Instagram account (both can be repurposed or new to this class)
● A computer / printer / Internet access (our classroom has all these, if you don’t personally)
● A digital camera / microphone / editing software (your basic smartphone or tablet has all these, or you can borrow them from the MMDC program)
● A backup method (cloud storage, flash drives, etc.) for moving your work between machines

Syllabus: 

Marissa K. Landrigan, Writing for Digital Media, Fall 2017

Course Description:

Our goal will be to learn how digital tools & technologies are influencing writing, how they are creating genres and shaping modes of readership and participation. To explore what it means to read and write in the digital age.

Required Texts:

The Johns Hopkins Guide to Digital Media, ed. Marie-Laure Ryan, Lori Emerson, & Benjamin J. Robertson
Steal Like an Artist Journal by Austin Kleon

Marissa K. Landrigan, Creative Nonfiction Writing, Fall 2017

Course Description:

Creative nonfiction is a shape-shifter of a genre, an inherently hybrid form whose lofty goal is to weave truth with beauty. We will soon discover that creative nonfiction is a strange and wild beast, more like an amoeba than a cube, expanding and contracting, slipping out of your grasp. That's what makes the genre wonderful: it can hold almost anything you try to put inside.

Required Texts:

My Body is a Book of Rules by Elissa Washuta
How to Be an Explorer of the World by Keri Smith

Marissa K. Landrigan, Introduction to Creative Writing, Fall 2017

Course Description:

This course offers students an introductory study of the written arts. Through the close reading of modern and contemporary texts and guided experimentation in a variety of genres (e.g. Poetry, fiction, drama, and creative nonfiction), students will examine, explore, and discuss the creative process.

What You’ll Need   

● What It Is by Lynda Barry 
● Lost Cat by Caroline Paul
● A composition notebook (I got you)
● Various arts + crafts + school supplies: crayons, colored pencils, drawing pens, coloring books,  glue sticks, tape, scissors, construction paper, yarn, post-­it notes, and whatever else you need to  feel crafty and creative like you did in elementary school.  

Marissa K. Landrigan, Narrative Nonfiction, Fall 2017

Course Description:

We are living in a time of great upheaval. Wherever we sit on the political spectrum, however safe and secure our daily lives seem to be, the ground shifts beneath our feet. We live in a country that is deeply divided, and yet, we occupy a global citizenship that is closer together and more connected than ever before. We are both very near and very far from each other.

I can’t think of a time when writers have been more important.

The beauty and power of narrative is that it can close the widest gaps, bridge the greatest distances. Stories bring us together across race, gender, geography, and politics, across age, landscape, and ideology. Words wield enormous power. That power can be manipulated and misused to produce fear, anger, and resentment, or it can be applied to the act of humanity itself. Our mission in this class will be to explore the connective power of stories, to use our voices to affect the change we wish to see in our world. To bring light to the shadows, to ask the hard questions, to call our readers to action.

In this course, we’ll examine nonfiction from times of conflict and crisis to help us write essays and critiques in which we witness, report, advocate, question, and desire change in our own era. To provide inspiration, we’ll read essays on the Standing Rock protests, gender identity, Black Lives Matter, and other issues. We'll read authors such as Ta-Nehesi Coates, Edwidge Danticat, Claudia Rankine, Anna Holmes, and Luis Alberto Urrea to study their use of formal tools such as narration, observation, analysis, reflection, and argument in exploring avenues of change in the world around them. What stories do we have a right to tell? What stories do we have an obligation to tell? How do writers bring a personal voice to writing a political essay? How do reporters balance opinion and research to show the need for change? We will discuss the role of the narrator and the ideology of objectivity. We will learn and practice the imaginative writing techniques of the novelist alongside the research strategies of any good journalist.

And hopefully, we’ll change the world.

What You'll Need:

- The Fire This Time ed. by Jesmyn Ward (FTT)
- The Devil’s Highway: A True Story by Luis Alberto Urrea
- A traditional composition notebook for your research journal.
- Cloud storage (if you save your work in only one place, you are courting disaster).
- Access to a reliable printer for other reading materials and your own work.
- Caffeine, paper, passion.

Syllabus: 

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