Author Archives: bc552

About bc552

Benedetta Carnaghi is an Irish Research Council Government of Ireland Postdoctoral Fellow at University College Dublin.

Our 12th Annual History Slam is happening this Friday, May 21!

We look forward to seeing your faces, hearing you read some beautiful writing out loud, and celebrating our resilience through another challenging year! 


Benedetta and Kelsey


Session with Larry Glickman rescheduled for Thursday, May 6 + date for annual History Slam

Hello everyone,

We are delighted to announce that we have a new date for the session with Larry Glickman that we were forced to cancel in March! We rescheduled this meeting for next Thursday, May 6, at 8 pm on Zoom. Shoot us an email if you are not on our list and want to receive the link!

We will continue our conversations about writing for public audiences. Larry has great expertise in the matter. He selected four of his pieces for us to discuss:

1. “Don’t Let Them Eat Cake” in the Boston Review

2. “The Racist Politics of the English Language” in the Boston Review

3. “How White Backlash Controls American Progress” in The Atlantic

4. “Why President Trump used lynching as a metaphor” in The Washington Post

Thank you so much to Larry for his availability! 

Also, mark your calendars for our annual History Slam, now officially set for Friday, May 21st, at 1 pm (link & more information to follow). Never been to our History Slam? It’s like a poetry slam (only with history), or a blues jam (only not at a bar, although food and drinks are highly encouraged!). It’s an open format, alternative way to present creative historical work to a sympathetic, supportive audience. It’s the sort of informal gathering for which you can sign up ahead of time, and be scheduled, or you can decide on the spur-of-the-moment to stand up and share your stuff. Read the full description here.

Looking forward to seeing you next week,

Benedetta & Kelsey

Workshop about public writing with David Perry coming up on Friday, April 9

Hello HAWers!

We hope that you are having a nice Sunday (despite the rainy weather, if you are in Ithaca!).

While we are sorry that we were forced to postpone the discussion with Larry Glickman (new date TBD), we are very excited that our workshop with David Perry is coming up in two weeks! As we previously mentioned, this is the most important event of our series about public writing.

David is a freelance journalist covering politics, history, education, and disability rights. He has a lot of experience on how to take academic expertise and share it with a much broader audience. Over the last few years, his work has appeared in:, The New York TimesThe AtlanticThe GuardianThe Washington PostThe NationThe Los Angeles TimesThe Daily Beast,, Rolling Stone, the Chronicle of Higher Education,  Salon, Chicago TribunePacific Standard MagazineNewsweekPlayboyUSA TodayThe Marshall ProjectNBC News, Al Jazeera America, EaterThe Establishment,, Yahoo! Parenting, CruxGEN, The Mary Sue, and many others.

You can find out more about his work on his website:

Of course, it would have been more fun to host David in person, but the pandemic prevented us from doing so, and we are very happy that he will be able to join us on Zoom.

The workshop will take place on Friday, April 9, from 1 to 3 pm EST

Here is the link to the event on the Cornell event calendar:

Hoping to see many of you at the workshop,

Benedetta & Kelsey

Discussion with Larry Glickman POSTPONED

EDIT: Do to unforeseen circumstances, we are forced to postpone tonight’s event with Larry Glickman. We will announce a new date soon, and look forward to seeing you all then.


Hello everyone,

We hope that you will join us on Thursday, March 11, at 8 pm on Zoom, for a session led by our very own Larry Glickman!

Larry has great expertise in writing for public audiences. He selected four of his pieces for us to discuss:

1. “Don’t Let Them Eat Cake” in the Boston Review

2. “The Racist Politics of the English Language” in the Boston Review

3. “How White Backlash Controls American Progress” in The Atlantic

4. “Why President Trump used lynching as a metaphor” in The Washington Post

If you are not on our email list, shoot us an email for the Zoom link!

Looking forward to seeing you at this session,

Benedetta & Kelsey

Long Read Over Winter Break & Happy Holidays!

Dear HAW! friends,

We really hope that this last week of the fall semester is not too heavy, and that you’ll soon be done with papers, finals, and grading!

As it’s tradition with HAW!, we picked a book to read over winter break: Yaa Gyasi’s début novel Homegoing


The novel follows the parallel paths of two sisters, born into different villages, each unaware of the other. One will marry an Englishman and lead a life of comfort in the palatial rooms of the Cape Coast Castle. The other will be captured in a raid on her village, imprisoned in the very same castle, and sold into slavery. 

The book received significant critical acclaim. It was selected in 2016 for the National Book Foundation’s “5 under 35” award, the National Book Critics Circle’s John Leonard Award for best first book, and was longlisted for the Dylan Thomas Prize in 2017. It also received the Hemingway Foundation/PEN Award for 2017, an American Book Award, and the Vilcek Prize for Creative Promise in Literature. We hope that you will enjoy it!

We will gather to discuss the novel on Thursday, February 11, at 8 pm, on Zoom. Shoot us an email for the Zoom link.

We wish you a very relaxing break (hopefully with very few Zoom meetings, or only the fun ones!).

Happy Holidays!

All the best,

Benedetta & Kelsey

Submit a short piece for our fall writing workshop

Hello everyone!

As we mentioned before, we are having our traditional fall writing workshop on Wednesday, December 9

We are looking for 3-4 volunteers who are willing to share a short piece (max. 1200 words) to discuss.

The pieces can be anything: introductions, endings, short scenes, book reviews, blog posts, short articles… HAW is a safe space where we love and encourage creativity, so do not be afraid to experiment with your writing and try something new, if you feel so inclined 🙂 We would be grateful if you could email us your submissions by Friday, December 4, at and We are very much looking forward to reading and discussing your work!

All best wishes for a wonderful and relaxing Thanksgiving break,

Benedetta & Kelsey

The HAW speaker series continues! Thursday, November 19 with Charles Petersen

Dear HAWers,

We hope that you will join us next week, on Thursday, November 19, at 8 pm on Zoom for our second session of the fall 2020. This session will be led by Charles Petersen, who joined Cornell’s History department this year as postdoctoral fellow.

We are very excited to host Charles and read some of his work! As some of you know, last year we started a speaker series about writing for public and non-academic audiences. Charles has been an editor of the journal n+1 for many years. To kick off our discussion, he shared three pieces of writing:

1. “Serfs of Academe”: a review that he wrote for the New York Review of Books of a multitude of books on the contemporary academy and the academic job market.

2. “American Pastoral”: an essay he wrote for n+1 on Ken Burns’s National Parks documentary and the relationship between romanticism, democracy, and nature. 

From “American Pastoral.” Justine Kurland, Keddie Wye, This Train is Bound for Glory, 2007. C-print, 24 x 31 1/2″. Courtesy Mitchell-Innes & Nash, NY.

3. “Decolonizing Obama”: a work of history, memoir, and political analysis by Aziz Rana that Charles edited for n+1.

Shoot us an email for the Zoom link!

Looking forward to seeing you next week,

Benedetta & Kelsey

Fall 2020 Schedule

Helloooooo HAWers!

We know – we are kind of late with our fall schedule this year. We were trying to figure out how best to function in the times of the apocalypse, but we are happy to report that we are ready to resume our activities on… drum roll… Zoom! Because we know that you have very few Zoom calls going on these days, so you must be terribly excited for a few more…


Just kidding! We are sorry not to be able to share a drink or sit next to you on a sofa, but we want to keep the meaningful conversations going, and provide our usual, non-judgmental space to discuss your pieces of writing. So, we hope that you will join us for these 3 virtual sessions this fall:

1. Our first session will be next Thursday, October 29th, at 8 pm. Email us at and for the Zoom link.

For this meeting, we are proposing to discuss three short readings about the issues we all have in mind right now:

1. The PANDEMIC! Except… with a bit of humor which never hurts: a piece by Kristin Brig for Nursing Clio titled “Joking in the Time of Pandemic: The 1889–92 Flu and 2020 COVID-19.” Link:

2. Policing and racial justice, with an episode of the NPR history podcast Throughline about the history of policing in America where we hear from Harvard historian Khalil Gibran Muhammad. Link:

3. Tearing down statues, with Enzo Traverso’s piece in The Jacobin. Link:

2. Thursday, November 19, at 8 pm: a session led by Charles Petersen, who joined Cornell’s History department as postdoctoral fellow this year. Thank you so much to Charles for accepting our invitation! More info about this session & Zoom link to follow.

3. Wednesday, December 9, time TBD: writing workshop. This will be our usual fall writing workshop with short pieces, so start thinking about a piece that you might want to submit! Zoom link to follow too.

As always, we are also going to pick a book to read over winter break, so if you have any suggestions, we’d love to hear them! 

Looking forward to seeing you next week,

Benedetta & Kelsey

(Coordinators of HAW!, pandemic edition :-P)

Join us for our 11th Annual & 1st Virtual History Slam on May 21

Hello everyone!

Congratulations for making it to day… ehm, we lost count… of quarantine! We had to postpone our spring events, but we are not giving up on our oldest HAW tradition… the History Slam!

We are rescheduling it for Thursday, May 21st, at 4:30 pm Ithaca time, on Zoom—link to follow.

In case you’ve never been to a History Slam before: it’s a chance to read our work out loud to each other and affirm our belief that scholarly writing can be as artful as any other kind of writing. Listening to the way writing sounds is a great way of exploring the question of how your work might have an impact… It’s also nice just to sit back and appreciate the shape and rhythm of crafted prose. But since we are in a particularly stressful time, we would also love if you choose to read a text from another author that you find particularly inspiring… or something funny… or some poetry… anything that you want to share with us and that may uplift our spirits!

Readings usually last about 5 minutes, and we ask that you make sure not to go beyond 10 minutes. We like to have the first few readings scheduled, so we are looking for a few volunteers. Please drop us a quick note if you would be interested in reading something. After our initial volunteers, the microphone will be open for anyone who wants to share some more reading on the spur of the moment.

We are sorry that we will not be able to gather in person, but technology has its advantages, as it allows for people to join for afar. So, we would love to see some HAW alums at this Slam!

We look forward to seeing your faces, hearing your voices, and reconnecting with you all!


Benedetta & Kelsey



Our speaker series continues! March 4 with Stephen Vider

Dear HAWers,

We hope you had a good break!

Our speaker series about public writing continues next week with a session led by Stephen Vider. It will be on Wednesday, March 4, at 8 pm at Aaron’s house.

Stephen shared the following pieces of writing:

– An article about ACT UP’s 1989 protest at Trump Tower, that appeared on Slate shortly after the 2016 presidential election. You can read it here:

– Three documents related to his 2017 exhibition, “AIDS at Home: Art and Everyday Activism,” at the Museum of the City of New York.

Screenshot 2020-02-27 at 15.42.40

Please email us if you are not yet on our listserv and you would like to receive the readings.


Thank you so much to Stephen for these fantastic materials, and to Aaron for hosting this session.

We hope to see many of you there!



Benedetta & Kelsey