ENG 422: Creating Narratives is a 400-level English seminar designed for students to explore Davidson’s history through examining student literary activity as found in the college archives. The first major assignment of the course is for each student to create a timeline for an assigned student literary publication. These timelines include analyses of two published pieces from the first and last issues of the given publication. Following the timeline is the Around the D blog assignment, where students choose between writing creative or critical blog posts about material uncovered in the archives. Lastly, the final project is a collaborative Omeka S website containing thorough research on a chosen topic drawing on findings from the archives.
Originally from Atlanta, GA, Samantha E. ’23 is an English major and Communication studies minor. She transferred to Davidson in 2020 after spending her freshman year at the University of Georgia. On campus, she is Vice President of the Student Government Association, Co Editor-in-Chief of Libertas, Treasurer of Students Against Sexual Violence (SASV), and a Senior Staff Writer for The Davidsonian.
“As a junior English major, researching the development of creative theses on campus has been both eye-opening and inspiring. It was after arriving at Davidson in 2020 that I discovered my love for creative writing, particularly creative nonfiction. The exploration of my interest in different genres was facilitated by both the curriculum and the student culture around extracurricular involvement on campus. Even with the complications of COVID-19, I was encouraged to participate in extracurriculars and immediately sought opportunities with The Davidsonian. It was there that I was able to try my hand at news writing and opinion-based creative nonfiction. Meanwhile, the English major offered classes for me to explore other genres such as fiction and poetry. This project complimented my interests uniquely as it required thorough research on the history of the English curriculum as well as an examination of literary activity spanning from previous issues of The Davidsonian to creative theses published by former students. After diving into this research, I have a much more vivid image of what creative theses may look like, and am even considering applying to write my own.”
Alice B. ’22 (she/her) is an English major and Art History minor from Maplewood, New Jersey. On campus, she interns in the Van Every/Smith Galleries, writes news pieces for The Davidsonian, and serves on the editorial staff for both Hobart Park and Libertas.
“Before college, I knew I liked to write, but I would have never considered myself a writer. Now, as a senior English major, I’m halfway through the process of writing my own creative honors thesis. Like Samantha, I didn’t truly discover my passion for creative writing until I came to Davidson. As a first-year, I took a Writing 101 course called “In a Family Way,” taught by Religious Studies professor Karl Plank. In this class we read a series of memoirs and had the opportunity to write our own mini memoirs. I had very little experience writing creatively from high school, but taking this class opened my eyes to a type of creative writing that allowed me to articulate personal memories that mean so much to me. Though I had no idea at the time, this course would lay the foundation for the topic of my honors thesis three years later. I didn’t know that there was a name for the type of personal writing that I loved so much until I took ENG 301: Creative Nonfiction with visiting McGee Professor Adrienne Kalfopoulou during the spring of my junior year. It was in that class that the idea for my thesis was born — a memoir about sensory experiences and early childhood memories. With the help of Dr. Campbell, my advisor and thesis director, I’ve been able to tie together and expand upon all my creative writing experiences, and by graduation I will have the honor of adding my name to the impressive list of creative writers that have passed through the Abbott English Honors Program.”