Dr. Samuel Martin Associate Professor of English


Ph.D., Memorial University of Newfoundland
M.A., University of Toronto
B.A., Redeemer University College

VPH 109D

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 titled This Ramshackle Tabernacle and a novel titled A Blessed Snarl, along with many other pieces of short fiction and creative nonfiction. He is currently working on his second novel.

ENG250LC - Literary Contexts

ENG250LC offers students an introduction to literary study. The topics of individual sections vary by instructor and semester. After completing this writing-intensive course, students will be able to imagine other lives, times, and places by reading a variety of texts; empathize with characters who have diverse stories and perspectives; analyze different genres of literature using the tools of literary study; craft a coherent essay with a clear thesis and careful textual analysis; articulate ways that literature speaks to and informs their own lives; express delight in God through the beauty of language and literary text; and witness God?s presence in the world through literature. Topics include: American Literature and the Rhetoric of Freedom: Americans often regard freedom as the defining characteristic of both their nation and themselves. This course examines how the rhetoric of freedom has been a force in American literature. We will complicate our understanding of American freedom by examining how it has been continually redefined throughout the nation?s literary history. We will consider how minority and oppressed groups have used the rhetoric of freedom to advance their own liberation and how Christian religions concepts and language have contributed to this rhetoric. Students will practice reading and writing critically and become familiar 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 the aesthetic value of literature and consider its cultural contexts. The course explores the beauty of language, the importance of understanding the self and others, and invites readers to consider how literature contributes to our contemporary culture. The course is arranged thematically and content varies from year to year. Themes may include, but are not limited to: immigration, war, poverty, the power of metaphor, and visual art and literature. Literary Imaginations: For literature to be more than ink stains on white paper, we must use our imaginations to give it life. In this course we shall read works from throughout human history and around the world (India, Greece, Italy, England, Russia, Nigeria, Ireland, Japan) to imagine and understand the world that people have believed in, created, and inhabited. The Lives of Others: This course explores 4000 years of stories, from ancient Mesopotamia to the American South. Plays, poems, epics, and autobiographies broaden our perspective on the world and deepen our understanding of being human. Two central themes of the course are perceptions of difference and expressions of faith. Strangers, Gods, and Monsters: As careful, critical readers, we will come face to face with all sorts of strangers, gods and monsters (both mythic and modern) as we journey through New Mexico deserts, English monasteries, modern day American prisons, contemporary Nigerian villages, Aboriginal healing ceremonies, and deep into the heart of Japan?s 17th century Samurai culture. (4 credits) (NWCore option under Literary Contexts)

ENG350 - Reading and Writing Short Fiction

Students will explore the nature and design of fiction by studying and analyzing a range of short fictional genres, learning to read fiction the way its writers read it, and participating in a fiction writing workshop. Attention will be given to purposes of language, to relationships between reading and writing, and to narrative as a mode of thinking and an expression of culture. Prerequisite: ENG292 or permission of instructor. (4 credits, alternate years, consult department)

ENG352 - Reading and Writing Poetry

Students will actively explore the nature and design of poetry by studying a range of poetic genres and styles, learning to read poetry as writers do, and writing poetry in a writing workshop. Attention will be given to the purposes of language, to relationships between reading and writing, and to poetry as a mode of thinking and an expression of culture. Prerequisite: ENG292 or permission of instructor. (4 credits; alternate years, consult department)

ENG380 - 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. Note: The course may be taken more than once as long as the topic of study is different. Prerequisite: ENG290WI or ENG292 or permisson of the instructor. (2-4 credits)

ENG398 - Directed Study

ENG420 - 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)

ENG480 - 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)

(2018-present) Associate Professor in English at Northwestern College, Orange City, IA

(2012–2018) 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)

(2018) Winner of ScreenCraft's Cinematic Short Story Award for "Syringe-Fed Ferrets"

(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)