The Los Angelino?
Student web site showcases writing talentBy Katherine Yungmee Kim
October 1, 2004
The bright Angelino sun peeks behind two curving palm trees on the home page of the new student-created and student-run Web site AngeLingo. The top of the page boldly declares, “We look to Los Angeles/ for the language we use/ London is dead.”
The student journal of arts and culture claims to hold “a mirror up to Los Angeles,” in order to “look at the rest of the world through a distinctly L.A. prism.”
AngeLingo launched its first issue last April, funded by a $10,000 Innovative Teaching grant from USC’s Center for Excellence in Teaching. Two senior Writing Program lecturers, Kathi Inman Berens and Norah Ashe-McNalley, wrote the successful proposal, motivated by the need to showcase undergraduate writing talent.
A majority of the stories on the site were produced in Writing 340, a general education class that fulfills the upper-division writing requirement in the College. Both Berens and Ashe-McNalley are 340 instructors.
With more than 20 articles written by students and faculty, the inaugural issue included such thought-provoking essays as “Downtown Los Angeles: The Politics of Pride and Prejudice,” a piece on the new Disney Concert Hall and “Pre-Implantation Diagnosis: An Inevitable Quest for Human Perfection?” that discusses the medical ethics of normally fertile couples choosing to undergo in-vitro fertilization to screen each developing embryo for genetic disease prior to implantation in the mother's womb.
Five USC College undergraduates sit on the editorial board of this Web site. The site allows students to read each other’s work on a wide variety of subjects, and the online medium allows ideas and information to be linked and exchanged in ways that conventional magazines or newspapers cannot support.
“People are definitely interested in being a part of AngeLingo’as editors, contributors and readers,” says Mindy Menjou, a student editor. “People recognize the uniqueness of this project and find it attractive. With AngeLingo, we have created and filled a new niche, not just at USC, but in the academic community at large.”