Workshop: Going Public.

Go Public: A Workshop on Public Writing for Academics

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 faculty development 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.

David is Professor of History at Dominican University. In 2013, he started writing about medieval history for CNN and The Atlantic. Now he's become a nationally-known disability rights journalist and has published hundreds of 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.

"Going Public" is a half-day or full-day workshop designed for faculty, graduate students, or a mix. It can be taught to any number of people, but works best for 15-20 individuals. To schedule a workshop, contact David Perry via email.

Half-Day Schedule:

Part One
  • Introductory remarks. Going public (Brief Talk)
  • Academia and Public Writing (Discussion)
  • Pitching: Overviews and Practice (Exercise)
Break

Part Two
  • Op-Ed Structure: Rules and Bending Rules (Exercise)
  • Professionalization: Building Audience and Getting Paid (Brief Talk)
  • Tenure and Promotion: Making it Count (Discussion)
  • Protecting Yourself and Your Institution (Discussion)
Full-Day Schedule

Part One
  • Introductory remarks. Going public (Brief Talk)
  • Academia and Public Writing (Discussion)
  • Pitching: Overviews and Practice (Exercise)
Break

Part Two
  • Op-Ed Structure: Rules and Bending Rules (Exercise)
  • Drafting the Op-Ed (Individual Work with Group/Instructor Consults)
Part Three
  • Professionalization: Building Audience and Getting Paid (Brief Talk)
  • Tenure and Promotion: Making it Count (Discussion)
  • Protecting Yourself and Your Institution (Discussion)

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