The Words

MacSlams Adapts to the Era of Zoom

Alice Asch ’22

MacSlams, Macalester’s slam poetry organization, has powered through this wild year, and shifted our community online. Nothing can compare to the singular, delightful chaos of an in-person Mac poetry slam—the Loch’s makeshift stage bathed in purple and blue spotlight, brave souls climbing the stairs to the microphone and spilling their hearts out for strangers, and all the audience members, giving up their weekend evening to snap along, stomp their feet, heckle, and applaud in support of their peers—but my co-chair Anna Šverclová ‘23 and I have tried our best to create a modified version of this experience on Zoom. Read more about MacSlams here…

Afrofuturism, The Next Big Thing

Malcolm Cooke ’21

The Album Cover of Janelle Monáe's "Dirty Computer"
The Album Cover of Janelle Monáe’s “Dirty Computer”

“I have a colleague who also always asks me, Daylanne what’s the next big thing? What’s the next big thing? I said it’s Afrofuturism, I tell you, it’s the next big thing,” Daylanne English said. She was describing the motivation behind the sci-fi infused blackness explored in the new course, “Topics in African American Literature: Afrofuturism.”

“That’s another reason for the course—it is by far the most exciting development in my lifetime, in this field.”

Of course, Afrofuturism isn’t entirely new, both as a course at Macalester but also in a much broader sense. The course is new as this is the first time it is being taught generally, instead of as a capstone.

But the imagined futures, pasts, and presents of Afrofuturism itself have a much longer history. Read more about the course here…

New English Course Takes Students Down the Rabbit Hole

Dalton Greene ’22

Students looking over the Module 3 schedule may have noticed a new topics course among the ranks of English department offerings: Professor Andrea Kaston Tange’s “Down the Rabbit Hole.” The course, which emphasized dynamic approaches to the process of research and writing, asked students to take up unique projects and present them in multiple ways as the module progressed, with an eye toward adapting their research for a variety of audiences. Read more about how these projects turned out here…

The Three Worlds of I’m Going to Go Back There Someday

Kira Schukar ’22The poster for "I'm Going to Go Back There Someday": a car inside of a whale

Asher de Forest’s ‘21 original play and Theater & Dance honors project, I’m Going to Go Back There Someday, began as a short story in his freshman year of college. Now, three years later, the playwright and director is weeks away from the show’s opening night, scheduled for April 29th at 6 p.m. Touching on themes of grief, relationships, and folklore, I’m Going to Go Back There Someday takes place in the belly of two beasts: a Subaru and a whale. Read more about Asher’s work here…

Wordplay with Gianella Rojas

Alice Asch ’22

This month at The Words, we’re celebrating the work of Gianella Rojas ‘21! Gianella hails from Miami, Florida, and has majors in English and Educational Studies. Her passion for creative writing began in elementary school—she penned stories in her composition books, and remembers decorating their covers with tape and construction paper.

Gianella mostly writes poetry and fictional stories (often based on her own life), but she said her interests tend to fluctuate as she encounters new experiences. She’s dabbled in the genres of YA coming-of-age, mythopoeia, speculative fiction, and fantasy. Currently, she’s exploring magical realism. Read more about Gianella here…