Welcome to WRIT Large
WRIT Large is an annual journal of undergraduate research and writing at DU. Begun in the winter of 2012, WRIT Large serves as a resource and teaching tool for our faculty, as well as a source of inspiration for students. Each year, DU students produce an exemplary array of academic writing across disciplines, and WRIT Large gives some of them an audience beyond their instructors and classmates. We are consistently impressed by the variety we see in student writing at DU: variety in the methods they employ, the theories that ground and prompt their thinking, the creativity they display in finding new ways to write about familiar and not-so-familiar topics.
WRIT Large (Volume 9)
April Chapman-Ludwig, Teaching Assistant Professor
David J. Daniels, Teaching Professor
Megan J. Kelly, Teaching Associate Professor
Heather N. Martin, Teaching Professor
Juli Parrish, Teaching Professor
LP Picard, Teaching Associate Professor
From the University Writing Program
Introduction to Volume 9
Every act of writing is an act of making connections. Of course, writers combine words to make meaning, but this is only one dimension of a much larger picture. Skilled writers are also able to connect word to world, story to reality, past to present, present to future, imagination to action, self to other. Some writers invite us to consider connections we never thought possible; others compel us to reconsider the connections we’ve made. In this volume of WRIT Large, five undergraduate authors invoke connections both old and new; in the process, they remind us that encountering another’s words is also a connection made.
In “Smile,” Esther Chung asks readers to rethink “something that is seen so often, yet not much thought is put into it”: the face. Chung’s essay progresses as a series of notes and anecdotes, each one reexamining the idea of “the face” from a different lens: the biological, the psychological, the sociological, and the personal. Along the way, Chung slowly but surely looks “beyond the face,” reflecting on our common desire for connection. She writes that “it’s the things under the mask that allow us to understand the person even more.”
Emma Dent’s “A Mediocre Examination of Incredibly Talented Women” is not simply a heartfelt examination of drag culture. It is, in the author’s own words, “an essay in oversharing…[and] an explanation of who I was in my first months away from the home I grew up in.” Writing auto-ethnographically, Dent combines qualitative research and personal storytelling to explore her own experience of queerness; in the process, she works to connect not only her past to her present, but also her self to others.
Will Fricker makes a compelling case for protecting public lands in “The War on Public Lands: Bears Ears.” By invoking connections between Bears Ears National Monument and the communities that treasure it, Fricker takes aim at the Trump Administration’s decision to shrink Bears Ears, “opening it up for oil drilling and removing previous protections on its fragile environment.” He ends his essay with a call to action, challenging “political complacency” and its disastrous consequences.
Avery Becklenberg’s “Learn, Listen, Teach: The Life of a Self” combines academic research with personal anecdotes in order to tell a story of family, ageism, and Alzheimer’s disease. Becklenberg writes that at the heart of her essay is the question of “self.” She asks, “What is the self that these individuals [diagnosed with Alzheimer’s] lost? Where does it come from? Does everyone define it the same way?” In her pursuit of answers, Becklenberg explores both connections made and connections lost.
Finally, Abigail Moreno Zavala’s “Que Dios Te Bendiga” connects to author Langston Hughes’s “Salvation” in the same way that a cover connects to an original song. While Zavala is careful to point out differences between her story and Hughes’s, she emphasizes their shared method of “telling personal stories in order to establish a strong ethos in relation to an argument.” The result is a moving story of family, religion, and culture.
— David Riche
Teaching Assistant Professor
University Writing Program