Saint Louis Stories is made possible by several elements of the English Department at Saint Louis University. This site is designed and maintained by Nathaniel A. Rivers, director of the Computer Assisted Instruction Lab.
Our work in the English Department embraces the production, distribution, reception, and interpretation of texts, in written, visual, and interactive formats. We study and we create printed words, images, film, music, and webworks. We also move between these media, analyzing the changes created by inventions such as the alphabet, the book, the printing press, and the internet. As a whole, the department is interested in the Textual Revolution-a phrase we use to encompass the uses of new (and old) technologies in the humanities. This phrase likewise gestures toward the diffusion of new databases and the re-circulation and remediation of the objects of our study, the works of the human imagination--essays, novels, poems, plays, and films.
The English Department Writing Program teaches the fundamentals of persuasive composition. The Program's courses provide students with foundational knowledge of the writing, research, and rhetoric used in academic, professional, and civic arenas. Our courses invite students to compose using a variety of technologies of the word, including traditional print and new media. Most importantly, the Writing Program teaches students how they may craft effective and ethical persuasive messages, the basic components of what the Jesuits called eloquentia perfecta, or "perfect eloquence."
Rhetoric, Writing and Technology Emphasis
Our lives are increasingly lived across electronic networks powered by digital technology. We connect through social networks via smart phones, laptops, and tablets. We access universes of information in minutes. We can publish words, pictures, video and audio to worldwide audiences with the click of a button. In this new media world, writing is more important than ever before. So too is rhetoric, the art of crafting an appeal for a particular audience. The English Department's Rhetoric, Writing, and Technology (RWT) emphasis teaches students to work effectively and ethically in digital environments. What is the impact of new media technologies on the composition of and distribution of texts? How does the electronic word change persuasion? How do these technologies cultivate identity, expertise, and ethics? RWT explores these questions and more. It also puts a premium on production. In RWT, invention complements analysis: students not only study, they also create.