Samuel Martin Assistant Professor of English
Ph.D., Memorial University of Newfoundland
M.A., University of Toronto
B.A., Redeemer University College
Dr. Martin joined Northwestern's English department faculty after completing a doctorate in English language and literature at Memorial University of Newfoundland, where he taught courses in short fiction, poetry, drama and the novel. He holds a master's degree in creative writing from the University of Toronto.
Martin is the author of a collection of short stories entitled This Ramshackle Tabernacle and a novel entitled A Blessed Snarl, along with many other pieces of short fiction and creative nonfiction. He is currently working on his second novel.
- Literary Contexts
ENG250LC offers students an introduction to literary study. The topics ofindividual sections vary by instructor and semester. After completing thiswriting-intensive course, students will be able to imagine other lives,times, and places by reading a variety of texts; empathize with characterswho have diverse stories and perspectives; analyze different genres ofliterature using the tools of literary study; craft a coherent essay with aclear thesis and careful textual analysis; articulate ways that literaturespeaks to and informs their own lives; express delight in God through thebeauty of language and literary text; and witness God's presence in theworld through literature. Topics include:
American Literature and the Rhetoric of Freedom: Americans ofter regardfreedom as the defining characteristic of both their nation and themselves.This course examines how the rhetoric of freedom has been a force inAmerican literature. We will complicate our understanding of Americanfreedom by examining how it has been continually redefined throughout thenation's literary history. We will consider how minority and oppressedgroups have used the rhetoric of freedom to advance their own liberation andhow Christian religions concepts and language have contributed to thisrhetoric. Students will practice reading and writing critically and becomefamiliar with a variety of literary genres, including historical narrative,autobiography, poetry, drama, essays, short stories, and novels.
Literature in the World: This course teaches students to appreciate theaesthetic value of literature and consider its cultural contexts. The courseexplores the beauty of language, the importance of understanding the selfand others, and invites readers to consider how literature contributes toour contemporary culture. The course is arranged thematically and contentvaries from year to year. Themes may include, but are not limited to:immigration, war, poverty, the power of metaphor, and visual art andliterature.
Literary Imaginations: For literature to be more than ink stains on whitepaper, we must use our imaginations to give it life. In this course we shallread works from throughout human history and around the world (India,Greece, Italy, England, Russia, Nigeria, Ireland, Japan) to imagine andunderstand the world that people have believed in, created, andinhabited.
Literary Journeys: This course will examine a wide range of literature fromthe 17th Century to the present, while introducing students to the literarygenres of the short story, the novel and poetry. Students will examine howliterature can give them insights into their own lives as well as the worldaround them. Literary pieces will be examined in various historical, socialand political contexts. Assignments will help students develop theircritical reading and writing practices as well as expand the imaginativeelement of literature and witness God's presence in the world throughliterature.
The Lives of Others: This course explores 4000 years of stories, fromancient Mesopotamia to the American South. Plays, poems, epics, andautobiographies broaden our perspective on the world and deepen ourunderstanding of being human. Two central themes of the course areperceptions of difference and expressions of faith.
Reading, Spirituality and Cultural Politics: This course explores howliterature can entertain, educate, change, and empower readers. Theassignments are designed to refine college writing skills and to deepenstudents' critical knowledge and imaginative experience of literature. Theend goal of this course is that in learning to understand and serve theirliterary neighbors, students will be better equipped to understand and servetheir literal neighbors. (4 credits) (Fulfills NWCore Literary Contextsrequirement)
- Introduction to Narrative and Verse
Students will be introduced to the foundations of reading and writingnarrative and verse (fiction and poetry) and will, through an exploration ofa wide range of styles, come to understand both the historical aspects ofeach genre (i.e. how the art's been practiced and done before) and how thosegenres are currently practiced (i.e. what's poetry and fiction look liketoday?). Students will learn to read work closely and actively, as writers,and will learn how to be in communication (both written and oral) with text.(4 credits)
- Reading and Writing Short Fiction
Students will explore the nature and design of fiction by studying andanalyzing a range of short fictional genres, learning to read fiction theway its writers read it, and participating in a fiction writing workshop.Attention will be given to purposes of language, to relationships betweenreading and writing, and to narrative as a mode of thinking and anexpression of culture. Prerequisite: ENG292 or permission of instructor. (4credits; alternate years, consult department)
- Reading and Writing Poetry
Students will actively explore the nature and design of poetry by studying arange of poetic genres and styles, learning to read poetry as writers do,and writing poetry in a writing workshop. Attention will be given to thepurposes of language, to relationships between reading and writing, and topoetry as a mode of thinking and an expression of culture. Prerequisite: ENG292 or permission of instructor. (4 credits; alternate years, consult department)
- Special Topics in Writing
Specific subject matter of this course will vary from semester to semester, but will always focus on an issue in composition studies or a genre of writing. Courses will include both readings and student writing within the genre and will be designed to welcome both majors and non-majors. Prerequisite: ENG290WI or ENG292 or permission of the instructor. (2-4 credits)Note: The course may be taken more than once as long as the topic of studyis different, and will count toward the advanced writing course generaleducation requirement.
- Directed Study
- Advanced Writing Project
The heart of the course is an advanced project in artistic, journalistic, or scholarly writing. Students also assemble a portfolio of their best writing and related work, plan writing or study beyond college, and read to gather perspectives on their vocation. Prerequisite: ENG292 and one of the following: ENG350, 351 or 352. (4 credits; alternate years, consult department)
- Special Topics in Literature and Culture
In this seminar we analyze interpretive problems in literature and their relation to cultural theories and conditions. Particular attention is given to questions germane to Christian experience and thought. (4 credits; non-yearly, consult department)Note: Specific subject matter will vary from year to year and might includesuch topics as a literary period, a national literature, a specific author,or literary genre. This course may be taken more than once provided adiferent topic is studied.
- Honors Research
- First-Year Seminar: Speaking and Writing in Community
This course introduces students to the character and abilities consideredessential to becoming a member of a Christian liberal arts community.Students develop their reading, writing and speaking skills by exploringdifficult questions, learning to understand academic inquiry, forminglearning communities, and integrating faith with learning and living. (4credits)
I am interested in:
Fiction writing (both short stories and novels)
Creative nonfiction (personal essays and memoirs)
Contemporary Newfoundland and Labrador literature
The fiction of David Adams Richards
The noir genre in North Atlantic contexts (Canada, Scandinavia, Ireland, U.K.)
The history, practice, and cultural significance of Fantasy writing
Contemporary art writing using the personal essay.
(2012–present) Assistant Professor in English at Northwestern College, Orange City, IA
(2009-2011) Course Instructor at Memorial University of Newfoundland (English Department)
(2011) Mentor in Short Fiction through the Writer’s Alliance of Newfoundland and Labrador
(2012) Judge for the Percy Janes First Novel Award through the Newfoundland and Labrador Arts Council
(2011-12) Assistant Organizer and Media Representative for the Sparks Literary Festival in St. John’s, NL., Canada
The Writer's Union of Canada (TWUC)
(2014) Northwestern Endowed Research Fellowship for novel project Odin’s Eyes
(2013) A Blessed Snarl nominated for the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award
(2013) Mellon Scholarship in Creative Writing from the Institute for Advanced Catholic Studies at the University of Southern California
(2012) Writer-in-Residence (April-June) through the Fogo Island Arts
(2011) This Ramshackle Tabernacle nominated for ReLit and BMO Winterset Awards
(2010-11) Two Professional Writing Grants from the Newfoundland & Labrador Arts Council
2006-12 Full funding for M.A. creative project and Ph.D. thesis from Canada’s Social Sciences & Humanities Research Council (SSHRC)