Class partners with TheCultureist.com

by Emily Tanaka / Beacon Correspondent • January 21, 2016

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Susanne Althoff is teaching the class.
Susanne Althoff is teaching the class.

A writing, literature, and publishing class partnered with online magazine The Culture-ist this semester and will create content for the site while learning about digital publishing.

The course, Topics in Writing and Publishing: Writing and Editing for TheCultureist.com, is taught by Susanne Althoff, assistant professor in the writing, literature, and publishing department.

Althoff said the class operates similarly to an internship, but there is a higher emphasis on education.

“They are not only doing the work,” Althoff said. “But then we are stepping back and reflecting on the work and asking what was successful and what can be improved.”

The Culture-ist publishes pieces about culture aimed at young people. Stories fall under four categories: travel, social change, issues specific to the millennial generation, and wellness. Althoff said under the partnership, the 13 graduate and undergraduate students in the class will write and edit the bulk of the content on the site.

The founders of the site, Maria and Anthony Russo, approached Emerson when they decided to dedicate more time to their organization Humanity United, which focuses on providing education and opportunity to women in developing countries.

Robert Sabal, interim dean of the School of the Arts, coordinated the partnership.

“The Culture-ist had used Emerson interns before, so they asked Emerson to take over editorial control of the magazine,” Sabal said in an interview.

According to the course syllabus, students will each write five stories over the course of the semester. Two of these are required to be for the travel section, featuring trips they’ve taken or trend pieces on the topic. Students will partner with one another to edit and workshop their pieces.

The class will also be accepting and editing pieces submitted from the Emerson community.

Alexandra Gandolfo, a graduate student, said that she is looking forward to writing for the social change section, called “I’m a Changemaker.”

“It gives you an opportunity to highlight a variety of of social causes,” Gandolfo said. “It can be anything you want it to be, as long as it makes a change in the world.”

Ryan Bradley, a graduate student, said he believes that mix of students will make the class successful.

“I think everyone is going to benefit from being in the same room together,” Bradley said. “There are just so many different perspectives.”

Jessica Colarossi, a senior journalism major, said she is looking forward to exploring a more creative writing style.

“I’m thinking more newsy,” Colarossi said. “[This class is] more WLP, creative writing, first person pieces. So I’m being pushed to do other things.”

Althoff and Sabal said they did not yet know if the class will be available next semester.