March 04, 2013

A symposium on the culture of academic writing, Mar. 6

On the Walls of Our Caves:  A Symposium on the Culture of Academic Writing

Academic writing in most disciplines has changed drastically over the last century.  Some changes may be for the better, others for the worse, but either way, these changes restructure our thinking, our writing, and our teaching.  

Why have thesis statements and “road maps” become a standard expectation in so many fields?  Why do we emphasize clarity and efficiency more than beauty or profundity?  Have we become more comprehensible to non-experts or less so?  How did the scholarly essay turn into the research article, and at what price?  When future ages look back on our work, what will they say?

To help think about these and related questions, the Office of the Dean and the Writing Center are pleased to co-sponsor a panel of faculty members from both Lewis & Clark and Reed Colleges: 

Wednesday, March 6

7:30 pm

Miller 105


Lyell Asher, English Department, Lewis & Clark

Jan Mieszkowski, German Department, Reed

Liz Safran, Geological Science Department and Environmental Studies Program, Lewis & Clark

Peter Steinberger, Political Science Department and former Dean of the College, Reed


John Holzwarth, Director, Writing Center, Lewis & Clark

The panelists have been asked to compare academic writing in their fields with that of earlier generations and explore the hidden cultural factors — social, political, and economic — that have influenced the way we work and teach.