Writing History for the Public: Fall ’16 Seminar Schedule

Crafting historical narratives for the public

Writing History is a seminar for faculty, graduate students, and exceptional undergraduate students, focused on the pleasures and challenges of writing history for a wider public. We put aside a history essay’s content, context, or historiography in order to hone our approach to the writing process—from style, pacing, and word choices to questions of audience, publishers, and of the changes wrought by digital media.

We will meet six Fridays, from noon to 2 p.m, atColumbia University, 411 Fayerweather Hall, 1180 Amsterdam Avenue.

Let the organizers know via this form if you are interested in coming and receiving the pre-circulated readings. They will write to confirm about a week before the session.

2016-2017 Schedule

September 23 – Timothy Stewart-Winter, Writing Silences: Narrative Dilemmas and the 1964 Walter Jenkins Gay Sex Scandal

October 28 – Claire Potter, Beginning in 1968: Recent History, Feminism, and the Uses of Biography

December 2 – Donna Murch, Historians and the Present: Gender, Herstory and the Movement for Black Lives

February 10 – Debby Applegate, The Influence of Polly Adler: The Challenges of Rumor, Taboo and Context

March 31 – Martha Hodes, Writing History from Memory: What Happens When a Historian Compares Her Own Recollections to Archival Documents?

April 28 – Robert Rosenstone, Postmodern Historian: Living and Writing the Past

The Writing History Seminar acknowledges the support of the Columbia University History Department, the Digital Humanities Initiative at The New School, and theUrban Studies Program at Manhattan College 

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