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Expose: The Journal of Expository Writing

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Expose biannually shares a selection of noteworthy personal and critical essays that are created by students in College and Expository Writing courses at Purchase College.

Fall 2022



“My gratitude for good writing is unbounded.” —Anne Lamott, Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life

As we  begin a new academic year, the word that comes to mind is gratitude. I’m grateful we are learning together, in person, on campus. I am also grateful to the writers, readers, and contributors to this new issue. Alicia Garbutt, Rachel Dashow, and Johanna Sommer share moments of growth, change, and self-discovery in three new autobiographical essays.  Dana Freeman, Sophia Kalish, Ruby Holt Larsen, Abigail Luis, and Lorena Ramirez write critically about, respectively, our pervasive dependence on technology, endurance and survival, assimilation, and the isolation that can accompany notoriety, with works by Alexander Weinberg, Dorothea Lange, Jhumpa Lahiri, and Andy Warhol as points of entry. In an opinion piece for Introduction to Digital Publishing, senior Thomas Carty questions what makes a classic album a “classic,” reaching essayistic clarity from a philosophical start. And, Expose Editorial Fellow Barbara Kay distills profound points of unity in the analyses of work by Jhumpa Lahiri. She also edited these works thoughtfully, with attention to the voice of each writer.

Sophomore journalism major Lyric Hounshell created illustrations for each piece of writing in this issue. In her words, her works focus on Black life, experience, freedom, and success, include different faces and shifts in size and scale, and employ symbolism to explore the remnants of Black ancestry through contemporary Black culture. Thank you for your wonderful work, Lyric.

An extra special thanks to Professor Emily Sausen, Professor Deborah Cooper, and Professor Ellen Brooks for reading for this issue. 

I am deeply grateful for the years the College Writing department was lifted and inspired by Professor Chris Konzelman. His passing in April of 2022 shocked and saddened us. We grieve him, and miss him. With appreciation for Professor Will Borger for writing a powerful remembrance and tribute, and Director of College Writing Emily Sausen for her leadership, grace, and strength throughout. The department also congratulates Professor Peter Dearing on his new appointment as Director of the Learning Center, and is thrilled to welcome Professor Katherine Dye, Professor Genevieve Mills, Professor Dylan Paul, and Professor Emily Stout. This issue of Expose is dedicated to Professor Konzelman, who once told me, in paraphrase, to go after things without fear—he offered this same confidence and fearlessness to his students, who grew not just as writers but as human beings while studying with him. 

Amy Beth Wright, Editor


  • A woman in a suit with no eyes, and a collage of the words We come together to join hands.

    Passage Selection: “Mrs. Sen’s” by Jhumpa Lahiri

    “In ‘Mrs. Sen’s,’ an immigrant from India becomes the caretaker of a young American boy, Eliot. In their analyses, Ruby Holt Larsen and Abigail Luis explore the reality that multiple things can exist and be true at once…” Read more

  • Collage of lovers with butterfly in front.

    How I Found Out

    “I didn’t know she was right at the moment, but eventually I became comfortable and confident with who I was; and now that I’m in college I feel the most confident. I’m surrounded by other people like me, people who are proud and sure of themselves…” Read more

  • Woman with big sunglasses, red lipstick, and car keys.

    Baby, I Can Drive My Car

    “With no one accompanying me, the car started to feel a little bit like a spaceship again. I could not believe I was driving alone. When I turned on the first main road, I felt like operating this vehicle was more second nature and not foreign like a spaceship anymore…” Read more

  • Arched body with text, transformative leaps of faith.

    The Art of the Essay: “Killed With Delight”

    “When Wordsworth writes a waterfall had, “Haunted [him] like a passion,” I imagined there must have been some opium in the picture to induce such fervor, for what alone in the natural world could stir him with such a lucid intensity?” Read more

  • Dark-skinned girl holding tiger head and clock.

    The Impacts of Technology on People in the Near Future

    “Finally, technology negatively affects people in the near future by distracting them from experiencing reality. For instance, in “Saying Goodbye to Yang,” after Yang malfunctions and then no longer works anymore, the narrator describes time slowing down and how he notices more of the world around him…” Read more

  • Likeness of Marilyn Monroe with purple hair and green skin.

    The Truth of Stardom: Andy Warhol’s Marilyn Diptych

    “Marilyn Diptych was an art piece and commentary on Monroe’s personal life, stardom, and death. Monroe’s stardom ultimately caused her true self to be forgone, and this is demonstrated both through the use of color as well as space in Warhol’s silkscreen piece…” Read more

  • Old time black and white store signs.

    Look At It

    “Migrant Mother and Women of the High Plains both convey intimacy. In both images, there’s a main character, and a protagonist, centered. Based on what they’re wearing, what they’re doing, and their facial expressions, a story is instantly created…” Read more

  • Woman in green sweater with guitar for a head.

    Introduction to Digital Publishing: “What Makes an Album a Classic?”

    The problem is that the word “classic” is hard to define, particularly when it comes to music. Ask five people on the street what the characteristics of a classic album or song are, and you’re likely to get five different answers. …” Read more

In Memoriam: Remembering Professor Chris Konzelman

  • Man facing away from camera with wings and birds coming from his back.

    “I hope he knew how much he meant to me, to all of the people lucky enough to sit in his classroom and know him personally. I think he did. His life impacted too many people for him not to. I know it changed mine.” Read more