First-year class president Elizabeth Bishop is a Marketing and Strategic Communications double-major who has always had a passion for writing.
So when Jim Keating, the instructor in her First-Year Seminar (FYS) course Utopian Experience, and some of her friends encouraged her to submit her writing to The Mall, she said she would.
The Mall is a journal dedicated to showcasing exemplary FYS work. First-year students can submit a piece of literary analysis and criticism, a creative writing piece, or a personal essay. Bishop said she will be submitting an analysis of alienation in literature and why it is so common among characters.
“I’m so excited to have the opportunity to have my work published in The Mall,” Bishop said. “I’ve really enjoyed my FYS and I feel as though it has definitely helped me develop as a writer. I think it’s wonderful that Butler is giving us this opportunity and I’m highly anticipating reading everyone’s entries!”
The Mall, now in its fifth year, was created by Adjunct Professor Nicholas Reading, with a push from English Professor Susan Neville.
“She sparked the idea of publishing student’s work, and just needed someone to take initiative and do it,” Reading said.
He said students are not required to have a certain grade on their work to submit. It is also possible to submit multiple papers, and in some cases, be published twice.
The most recent edition of The Mall was 201 pages, with all different kinds of pieces submitted by students. In all, 34 papers were published.
Reading said The Mall serves three primary goals:
-To present to the Butler community the FYS program and increase awareness about the program and the work that is produced in FYS courses.
-To build an FYS learning resource for instructors so that they will have the opportunity to use published essays as learning tools in the classrooms and to provide models of exemplary FYS writing to new students.
-To empower first-year students and give their voices and opinions a forum to be heard.
The Mall is edited by FYS students. Throughout the process, students exercise the peer-review and collaborative learning skills practiced in their FYS courses. Similarly, the journal provides a forum for students to be published and have an opportunity to showcase their work.
“Our purpose is to empower students in their writing,” Reading said. “That is the end goal. To understand that the written word will always be an integral and indispensable facet of our existence. To understand that as writers, we have the opportunity to participate in larger discussions that work to elevate us all. To own that voice, and use it passionately and responsibly, can be an exhilarating feeling. And we try to showcase the results of that journey.”
Goals of FYS
- To reflect on significant questions about yourself, your community, and your world.
- To develop the capacity to read and think critically.
- To develop the capacity to write clear and persuasive expository and argumentative essays with an emphasis on thesis formation and development.
- To gain an understanding of basic principles of oral communication as they apply to classroom discussion.
- To understand the liberal arts as a vital and evolving tradition and to see yourself as agents within that tradition.
- To develop capacities for careful and open reflection on questions of values and norms.
- To develop the ability to carry out research for the purpose of inquiry and to support claims.