Northwestern University SPS Lecture Series on current American and world culture

Mark your calendars for next week and please share this invaluable lecture series—
"After the American Century: The Ends of U.S. Culture in the Middle East" Presented by: Professor Brian Edwards
Date: Thursday, April 7, 2016
Refreshments - 6 p.m.
Program - 7 p.m.
Location: John Evans Alumni Center, 1800 Sheridan Road
Evanston, Illinois 60208
LectureSeries_Flyer_4.7Event Description: When Henry Luce announced in 1941 that we were living in the “American century,” he believed that the international popularity of American culture made the world favorable to U.S. interests. Now, in the digital twenty-first century, American movies, television, music, video games, graphic novels, and social networking sites move across the Middle East and North Africa with a speed that was previously unimaginable. In this lecture, Professor Brian Edwards (Ph.D. Yale University) will draw upon a decade of fieldwork to argue that the ways that young Arabs and Iranians engage with American culture reflects a new set of global conditions. Edwards is crown professor in Middle East Studies, professor of English, Comparative Literary Studies, and American Studies.
Hope you can make it. ~Ignatius

Metafictions and fabulism in a graduate course on hybrid writing at Northwestern University SPS

Here I am. First day, first week in the graduate course on advanced writing in the new IDS (Information Design and Strategy) program at Northwestern University's School of Professional Studies. Wow, this is an amazing step forward, one which I'm sure any aspiring master's student would look forward to and would dream of doing at the first opportunity. Well, opportunity came knocking on my front door right after I earned my MFA in Creative Writing almost a year ago in June. And how could I not answer it? I'm having a ball, although syllabus preparations for this online course have kept me really busy since late August, 2015. That's a really long time to get a new course off the ground, isn't it? Yea, that's exactly what I thought at first when I began discussions with my learning design team back then. And because it's a new course, a never-before-one-of-a-kind-hybrid- course, I really had to dig deep to draw out the most comprehensive and cohesive reading and writing lessons at a graduate level. Not easy. No, not an easy thing to do, I'll confess, and even as I approached February this year, I had a feeling that things would come down to the wire...and so it was, because I finished just a few days ago and got my approvals from the department, including checking off all the Quality Matters requirements and assuring that my rubrics were in line with my teaching and course expectations. Feels as though I'm driving a Koenigsegg Agera R at 273 Mph without my titanium 9400i helmet on and unbuckled in my seat. But many thanks go to my learning designer who helped me put the entire course together. We made a good team, I thought. And I got a lot from my Canvas training with, which made a huge difference (check them out if there's anything you want to learn well). Now for true engagement with my graduate students. See how it goes. This is solid gold, the Oscars of academia, the Hollywood star of stars. Hm... Here's my course description: In this graduate advanced writing workshop, students of information design and strategy will explore the use of hybrid and technical craft in writing to communicate their sensory, emotional, and practical knowhow through the use of experimental creative writing assignments and information design writing projects that will prepare them for the marketplace. Students will also study comprehensive texts in hybrid writing and storytelling, and engage in collective discussions of weekly reading topics while producing assignments that evolve from visual and informational experiences which are related to the field. At its heart, this course requires readings, instructions, and practice that give graduate students insight into storytelling and technical writing methods to help awaken present-day content creation and management processes. Available at the below link in a new tab: More this week. I have so much to share with you. ~Ignatius

A year of creative writing capsuled to the present.

It's been an incredibly productive year in the creative writing fast lane. I have been so so busy. No, not with busy work, but just busy meeting creative deadlines and writing, writing, writing. Since my last blog post, I've managed to do several drafts of my thesis novel and finally graduate in June 2015, and along the way I earned the distinguished thesis award (surprise!), which is all behind me now but no less significant and consequential. Since then, I've come on board at Harold Washington College as adjunct English faculty (more about this course later), found a literary agent, and attracted the attention of Curbside Splendor Publishing (and more on this later); as well, Northwestern University has invited me to teach a graduate course online in advanced writing, which includes some aspects of experimental fiction, and content and technical writing. And I have been up to my ears in course preparations. Today marks the first day when the course kicks off, and I have students from different parts of the US, including Chicago. Click on the links below. WP will offer a hyperlink pop-up. Choose that to visit the appropriate website:BelmontJaunt_AmyDanzerPic
Yrs, Ignatius
Photo credit goes to Amy Danzer @NU