The Catalyst



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Project Description

The Catalyst magazine and its associated class present up to five student researchers (editors) with an opportunity to engage with and reflect upon multiple aspects of both classroom engagement and the publishing process. The Catalyst is UCSB’s Literary Arts Magazine and integrates visual and verbal art into layouts that are then published. Each quarter The Catalyst produces a new issue for the UCSB community. Each quarter editors are asked to think about writing as a field by not only creating their own original works but also by reading, commenting on, and editing their peers’ work as they guide the class through the process of publishing a magazine. Student editors are responsible for preparing mini-lectures for the class and facilitating class discussion as well as offering their peers feedback on their work and supervising the production and publication of the magazine.

Undergraduate Contribution

The student editors plan and organize regular class meetings (ENGL 106CW) on the basis of their individual research into poetic and rhetorical traditions, including ekphrasis and visual poetics; best practices for reviewing and commenting on creative work; and methods for introducing their peers to software platforms such as InDesign. Editors are, in part, graded on their ability to summarize and frame their research to their peers during mini-lectures and on their facilitation of weekly class discussions. In class discussion, editors work with the faculty and graduate student liaisons to lead class participants through an initial phase of short creative writing exercises and to guide the class as they produce magazine spreads that combine visual and verbal art. In addition to conducting preparatory research for class meetings, editors will also read several dozen creative pieces generated by their peers over the course of the class, along with submissions from the wider campus community. In total, The Catalyst receives about fifty submissions each quarter that editors are responsible for reading. Editors are also responsible for deciding how every issue of The Catalyst magazine will be laid out and seeing that through to publication. Their ability to work collaboratively with each other, their peers, and the faculty and graduate liaisons to make those decisions throughout the publishing process constitutes another major portion of their grade. 

Requirements and/or Application Instructions

Students must have successfully completed one quarter of ENGL 106CW to apply to become a student editor. They must also enroll in ENGL 199RA with the course instructor of The Catalyst.The application is open to all students.