Christopher Santiago portrait

Christopher Santiago

Assistant Professor of English
Degree
Ph.D., University of Southern California
M.A., University of Southern California
B.A., Oberlin College
B.M., Oberlin College
At St. Thomas since 2015
Office
JRC 354
Hours
(Fall 2018) M 10:00am-1:00pm
Phone
(651) 962-5609

“The universe is made of stories,
not of atoms.”

—    Muriel Rukeyser

I love words—on the page, on the screen, or in the ear. As a writer, teacher, and scholar, I never get tired of thinking about how words work, and I hope to get my students as excited about them as I am. This might mean listening to Beethoven’s late quartets to think about musical form in T. S. Eliot; it might also mean reading snarky blogs to consider the crafting of persona in T. S. 1989. In my research, I read the work of displaced writers and listen for echoes of the homes they’ve left behind. Sometimes these take the form of wordplay, as in the lyrics of the Sri Lankan/British rapper M.I.A.; at other times they take the form of soundscapes or invented languages. My dissertation, which I completed with generous support from The Mellon Foundation/ACLS, focused on writers of Asian diasporas, including Yoko Tawada and Jessica Hagedorn. I’ve found the “sonic” or “sound culture” approach, however, to be incredibly productive for reading the work of writers as diverse as Junot Diáz, James Joyce, Gertrude Stein, Harryette Mullens, Vladimir Nabokov, and William Shakespeare. My first novel, Arkipelagos, weaves together noir, speculative fiction, and postcolonial studies, and is set on a fictional island nation fraught with fake tribes, drunken expats, and fanatical proponents of artificial intelligence. You can find some of my poems, stories, and nonfiction in FIELD, Pleiades, Revolver, The Asian American Literary Review, and elsewhere.

Fall 2018 Courses

Fall 2018 Courses
Course - Section Title Days Time Location
ENGL 203 - W21 Sci-Fi/Literary Worldbuilding - T - R - - - 0955 - 1135 OEC 209

Days of Week:

- T - R - - -

Time of Day:

0955 - 1135

Location:

OEC 209

Course Registration Number:

42532 (View in ClassFinder)

Credit Hours:

4 Credit Hours

Instructor:

Christopher S. Santiago

We will explore stories that engage in explicit acts of worldbuilding, a term first used to describe science fiction and fantasy writers' invention of languages, geographies, cultures, histories, and mythologies. We will focus on worldbuilding as it applies to writers of multiple genres, including both "literary" fiction and "genre" fiction. Along the way, we will begin to address questions raised by authors who engage in worldbuilding, such as: why diverge from the "real world" in the first place? Is there an ethical price that must be paid in order to imagine a new society? Should worldbuilding be seen as a useful tool for social critique, or is it at heart a practice of escapist entertainment? The writing load for this course is a minimum of 15 pages of formal revised writing. This course satisfies the Writing Across the Curriculum Writing Intensive requirement.

Schedule Details

Location Time Day(s)
ENGL 203 - W23 Sci-Fi/Literary Worldbuilding - T - R - - - 1330 - 1510 OEC 206

Days of Week:

- T - R - - -

Time of Day:

1330 - 1510

Location:

OEC 206

Course Registration Number:

42534 (View in ClassFinder)

Credit Hours:

4 Credit Hours

Instructor:

Christopher S. Santiago

We will explore stories that engage in explicit acts of worldbuilding, a term first used to describe science fiction and fantasy writers' invention of languages, geographies, cultures, histories, and mythologies. We will focus on worldbuilding as it applies to writers of multiple genres, including both "literary" fiction and "genre" fiction. Along the way, we will begin to address questions raised by authors who engage in worldbuilding, such as: why diverge from the "real world" in the first place? Is there an ethical price that must be paid in order to imagine a new society? Should worldbuilding be seen as a useful tool for social critique, or is it at heart a practice of escapist entertainment? The writing load for this course is a minimum of 15 pages of formal revised writing. This course satisfies the Writing Across the Curriculum Writing Intensive requirement.

Schedule Details

Location Time Day(s)
ENGL 405 - D01 Advanced Creative Writing - - - R - - - 1800 - 2100 JRC 481

Days of Week:

- - - R - - -

Time of Day:

1800 - 2100

Location:

JRC 481

Course Registration Number:

43520 (View in ClassFinder)

Credit Hours:

4 Credit Hours

Instructor:

Christopher S. Santiago

This advanced course will focus on the student’s development of a substantial body of work in a chosen genre: poetry, fiction, or creative nonfiction. Students will review their previous writing, do further exploration of a chosen genre, and produce significant new work in that genre. Reading will include theoretical and creative texts. This course fulfills the Genre Study requirement in the English major. Prerequisite: ENGL 321 or 322 or 323 or permission of instructor based on examination of a portfolio.

Schedule Details

Location Time Day(s)
GENG 501 - 01 Intro Creative Writing & Publ - - - R - - - 1800 - 2100 JRC 481

Days of Week:

- - - R - - -

Time of Day:

1800 - 2100

Location:

JRC 481

Course Registration Number:

42460 (View in ClassFinder)

Credit Hours:

3 Credit Hours

Instructor:

Christopher S. Santiago

Introduction to Creative Writing and Publishing provides a primer to the expectations and conventions of graduate study in the field of creative writing, including creative writing pedagogy and practice, the running of a literary reading series, innovative forms of creative writing such as podcasting and interactive writing, as well as the study of the publishing field of creative writing; its areas of specialization, key issues, and forms of writing. How do writers orient themselves and their work in 21sts century workshops? What are the tools that govern print design, interactive prose, or literary podcasts? What is the history of the publishing industry and how does that inform our present moment? This course is required for the Master of Arts in Creative Writing & Publishing and is an elective for the Master of Arts in English.

Schedule Details

Location Time Day(s)

J-Term 2019 Courses

J-Term 2019 Courses
Course - Section Title Days Time Location

Spring 2019 Courses

Spring 2019 Courses
Course - Section Title Days Time Location
ENGL 255 - W01 Intro to Imaginative Writing M - W - F - - 1215 - 1320 OEC 212

Days of Week:

M - W - F - -

Time of Day:

1215 - 1320

Location:

OEC 212

Course Registration Number:

20756 (View in ClassFinder)

Credit Hours:

4 Credit Hours

Instructor:

Christopher S. Santiago

This course introduces students to skills necessary for imaginative writing. It includes close readings of literary texts that model basic techniques, weekly writing exercises that encourage exploration and development of craft, and workshop discussions to develop students’ critical skills. This course will include instruction in setting, character, voice, point of view, literal and figurative imagery, rhythm and sound patterns, and literary structures. This course fulfills the Genre Study requirement in the English major. Prerequisites: ENGL 201, 202, 203, or 204

Schedule Details

Location Time Day(s)
ENGL 321 - W01 Writing Poetry M - W - F - - 1055 - 1200 OEC 212

Days of Week:

M - W - F - -

Time of Day:

1055 - 1200

Location:

OEC 212

Course Registration Number:

20830 (View in ClassFinder)

Credit Hours:

4 Credit Hours

Instructor:

Christopher S. Santiago

This intermediate course explores traditional and innovative patterns of poetry writing. Emphasis on experimentation with a variety of techniques and development of individual voice. This course will include critique sessions, readings to broaden possibilities of form and subject, and individual instruction. Open to students with some previous experience in writing poetry. This course fulfills the Genre Study requirement in the English major. Prerequisite: ENGL 255 or permission of instructor.

Schedule Details

Location Time Day(s)