Spring 2021

Here is our updated schedule for the Spring 2021:

Thursday, February 11, at 8 pm: Discussion of our long read, Yaa Gyasi’s début novel Homegoing

Friday, April 9, from 1 to 3 pm: Workshop about public writing with invited speaker David M. Perry.

Here is a description of the workshop:

There’s no such thing as the Ivory Tower. Colleges and universities are not isolated enclaves, and they probably never were. Public engagement is an essential part of the core mission of higher education.

But how do we reach the public? This age of constant media babble and a vast explosion of online and print publications have transformed the traditional pathways of publication, prestige, and engagement. Academics – experts in so many things – need to be part of the conversation. In fact, the variety of media voices has only made expertise and authority more important.

In this workshop, David M. Perry will lead you through the process of getting your voice into the public sphere. He will cover pragmatic topics: the art of the pitch, finding the right venue, managing social media profiles, getting paid, making it count for tenure and promotion, and protecting yourself from trolls and harassment. He will also talk about strategies to simultaneously maintain academic authority and be accessible to the broader public.

Through it all, you’ll be working on your pitches, reading essays that embody important traits, and developing your own ideas.

Over the last five years, David – once a mild-mannered medievalist – has become a columnist for Pacific Standard Magazine, with hundreds of published pieces at venues all over the world, including the New York Times, the Guardian, and the Chronicle of Higher Education. Along the way, he’s learned a lot about how to take academic expertise and share it with a much broader audience.

Going public isn’t easy, but neither is getting into graduate school, getting a PhD, or finding an academic job, so you’ve already traveled some pretty difficult paths. This workshop will start you on your way towards the next challenge.

Thursday, May 6, at 8 pm: Session about public writing with Larry Glickman.

Readings:

1. “Don’t Let Them Eat Cake” in the Boston Reviewhttp://bostonreview.net/law-justice/lawrence-glickman-masterpiece-cakeshop

2. “The Racist Politics of the English Language” in the Boston Reviewhttp://bostonreview.net/race/lawrence-glickman-racially-tinged

3. “How White Backlash Controls American Progress” in The Atlantichttps://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2020/05/white-backlash-nothing-new/611914/

4. “Why President Trump used lynching as a metaphor” in The Washington Posthttps://www.washingtonpost.com/outlook/2019/10/23/why-trump-used-lynching-metaphor/

Friday, May 21, at 1 pm: Twelfth Annual History Slam

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