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Interpolations is a journal of academic writing from the University of Maryland. Annually, the editorial board publish essays highlighting exemplary rhetorical work University of Maryland students first produce when taking English 101: Academic Writing.

Journal Information


Catherine Bayly

Managing Editor

Scott Eklund

Fall 2021 Editorial Board

  • Fred Cherry
  • Nia Crawford
  • Brian Davis
  • Annemarie Mott Ewing
  • Nabila Hijazi
  • Katherine Joshi
  • Roberto Leon
  • Alan Montroso
  • Sammy O’Connor
  • Kos Pozoukidis
  • Shalom Rosenberg.

Letter from the Editor

Dear Reader,

What a year it’s been! As you may be aware, this 2021 issue represents writing almost exclusively produced in 2020--a year which will no doubt remain synonymous with turbulence and uncertainty. But, through it all, Scott Eklund and I have been (somew)here, reading beautiful essays, Zooming with tenacious young authors, and wading deep in the weeds of language and rhetoric. And our brilliant board has been (somew)here too, engaged in the practices of teaching, revising, mentoring, and shepherding students through the writing process. So, major thanks to the following folks: Fred Cherry, Nia Crawford, Brian Davis, Annemarie Mott Ewing, Nabila Hijazi, Katherine Joshi, Roberto Leon, Alan Montroso, Sammy O’Connor, Kos Pozoukidis, and Shalom Rosenberg. We truly (actually) couldn’t do it without you.

One peculiarity which stood out during this editorial cycle has been that, out of hundreds of submissions, almost none focused explicitly on the COVID-19 pandemic. Maybe this omission is due to timing--the wheels of evolving science and scholarship slowly churning behind gun-jumping news cycles. Or perhaps student authors felt too oversaturated by the endless daily public health alerts and the political ramifications of coronavirus to engage it in scholarship. If so, I can certainly relate.

But equally fascinating is what does show up in this edition.

Our entire editorial board saw a sustained, rigorous, and action-oriented focus on social justice issues. Our students want--maybe need--to make a difference. This issue features Olivia Nicholson’s Rhetorical Analysis of Kimberlé Crenshaw’s “The Urgency of Intersectionality,” underscoring Crenshaw’s foundational plea for more nuanced frameworks for social justice. We also published a second summary of Enoch Jemmott’s “The Implicit Punishment of Daring to Go to College When Poor,” in which Madison Mohan expertly details Jemmott’s exposé of inequities in college admissions.  

Rebecca Lin, Kylee Roberston, and Simon Younes each took strong positions that aimed to intervene in policy-making and create equitable systemic change. Rebecca’s essay implores psychologists to reconsider gaming as a supplement to traditional therapy, noting the timely need for creative and patient-centered therapeutic treatment. Kylee’s paper looks into the nebulous certification process for service dogs and proposes sweeping changes that would benefit animals and handlers alike. And Simon explores the history and current reality of nativist rhetoric shaping immigration laws, and makes recommendations for methods to create gentler, more expansive US immigration policy.

Interpolations is also proud to feature several public-facing works. Of course, you will see that Rebecca and Kylee produced exemplary remediations of their essays that could not be more different--a letter to Nintendo’s president and a tongue-in-cheek TikTok video. But another star of this issue is surely Madeline Lessard’s recorded Inquiry Presentation, “Social Media and Political Polarization.” Madeline’s incisive and professional inquiry tackles one of this young decade’s defining issues and generates critical thought and deep questions. She also generously created a how-to video detailing her process of topic development, sustained inquiry, and even videography. This video will be a tremendous resource to our faculty and student body.

From each individual submission to its substantially revised final product, this issue is evidence of our students’ commitment to creating a better world against all odds--and, frankly, reading each student's submission bolstered our faith in this generation of brilliant activist writers. With that, I hand the Interpolations reins over to the inimitable Joshua Weiss. With Joshua and Scott in charge, I know the 2022 issue will knock our collective socks off.

Enjoy this edition of Interpolations, revel in our authors’ successes, and take care!

Fall 2021 Essays

Academic Summary

Inquiry Presentation

Position Paper

Position Paper + Public Remediation Project

Public Remediation Project

Rhetorical Analysis