About Us

Founded in the Fall of 2007, Historians are Writers! (HAW!) is a group of students and faculty based in the history department at Cornell University. We take as our founding assumption that “academic” need not be a synonym for “dry,” that learning to write history well means not just getting the historiography straight, and making the argument convincing, but that good books rest on our skill as writers. We ask— and wrestle with—big  questions (and small questions, too) about the writing of history, about the effectiveness of particular strategies and techniques, about the places/spaces we occupy in the history we write, about our experiences as readers.

We read widely, across categories such as history, memoir, fiction, creative nonfiction, and graphic novels, though much of what we read defies categorization. We also workshop our own writing, and host visiting scholars interested in discussing their own works-in-progress. We are a group dedicated to rigorous history and to good writing, and see no reason why one should suffer at the hands of the other.

We gather every three weeks or so, in the evening, off-campus, in one of our homes, for good conversation (and libation).

If you have questions about HAW!, email current groups coordinators Benedetta Carnaghi (bc552@cornell.edu) and Kelsey Utne (kju3@cornell.edu).